Review: It Chapter Two

It’s Not Good

Until I saw It Chapter Two, I would have given the prize for the Worst Scary Movie Ending to Sphere. In Sphere, released in 1998, Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson develop dangerous powers on an underwater spacecraft.

They don't know what to do about this so they just decide to use these powers to make themselves forget they have these powers. Yes, they close their eyes and then they open their eyes and … voila. Movie over.

Now there's It Chapter Two, which pretty much follows the Sphere approach. For millennia, a malevolent force from another universe has been terrorizing a single small town in Maine. In It Part One, released two years ago, seven little kids battle the force, which manifests itself as a clown that feeds on human fear. They defeat it somehow. The sequel is set 27 years later; the clown is back and they must reassemble as 40 year olds to take it down once and for all.

In a few paragraphs I will reveal to you the unimaginably lame ending of It Chapter Two. Let me explain. I'm doing this to spare you. If there's any way I can convince you not to waste your money on this movie, I'm going to try it. If I had the powers of the characters in Sphere, I could just wish it had never been made and it would disappear. But I don't. Anyway, there's plenty wrong with the movie aside from the ending. It Chapter Two may clock in as the longest horror movie ever made at an ungodly 2 hours and 49 minutes, and it would be too long at 1 hour and 49 minutes.

Even so, it is chock full of plot holes and inconsistencies. Several bad-guy characters are introduced at length and then just dropped. At times, the monster only seems able to create hallucinations that can be dissipated; at others, it kills people wantonly. How his evil works and why goes unexplained across both pictures and their total running time of more than five hours.

Then, just as the movie comes to a climax, director Andy Muschietti serves up what may be the worst continuity error in movie history.

Bill Hader plays one of the 40-year-olds. He has like five days of facial hair grown on his face from the first time we see him until the movie's climax. And then, suddenly, his cheeks are miraculously free of any and all stubble.

For 20 minutes, while you're supposed to be scared out of your mind watching a monster try to kill Bill Hader, you are instead wondering: When did he shave?

And that's not even the worst thing. Here's the spoiler. The 40 year olds end up in an underground lair and perform a ritual that is supposed to destroy the clown. The ritual doesn't work. The clown transforms into a giant semi-spider and it's chasing them and they don't know what to do. They need the clown to shrink down to human size so they can battle it mano-a-mano. They need to go into a tunnel smaller than the spider.

Alas, the spider blocks them. Now what do they do?

Well, suddenly one of them realizes that things only frighten you if you let them frighten you.

So, they start yelling at the clown spider.

They yell dismissive things. Slighting things. They're so disrespectful you wouldn't believe it! It's like they're Sweathogs and the clown is Mr. Kotter.

And because they're yelling at it and injuring its self-esteem, the clown starts to shrink and shrink and shrink until it's the size of Tattoo from Fantasy Island and then one of the people pulls the clown's heart out of his chest and together they all squeeze the heart until it bursts and the clown dies.

Who knew the way to kill an ageless monster from another universe was by injuring its self-esteem? Well, Marianne Williamson for sure. But not the rest of us!

If you want to see a clever horror movie, go to Ready or Not, a totally bonkers and surprisingly pleasing picture about a bride who finds herself being hunted to the death in her groom's family mansion. It's grisly and funny and has an absolutely sensational lead performance by Samara Weaving. And the best part is, it's 95 minutes long and the ending doesn't involve making an interdimensional clown reduce itself in size by insulting it.