Film Review: IT CHAPTER 2 (USA 2019) ***

It Chapter Two Poster

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.


Andy Muschietti


Gary Dauberman (screenplay by), Stephen King (based on the novel by)

It takes close to 3 hours for 7 adult-children to take down the killer clown Pennywise.  

If you can stomach that together with more gore, loud noise and other excessiveness, then IT CHAPTER 2 might be a treat.  Director Andy Muschietti who helmed the first IT returns tothe director’s chair providing more of the formula that works in the original movie.  

(Reviewer’s note: I sat next to a lady that kept texting throughout the film, which was so annoying that I had to say something.  Worse of all, she was a Warner Bros. publicity employee, which made matters worse.  This is something that is way beyond my understanding why she, of all people would be doing the no-no! This might be a reason I had little tolerance for annoyance in the film).

The film opens with the 8 original children played by Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff as the younger Losers reprising their roles.  They had left the town of Derry after destroying the evil of Pennyswise but they swear to come back to the town if the evil re-appears.

The evil re-appears.  This is right after a brutal gay bashing (one of the victims is played by Quebec gay director Xavier Dolan).  This segment is the most horrific of all the horror segments put together and makes a  good clear the message regarding the gay cause.  But the segment is unclear as to the story’s significance.  Did the deed bring back the evil or the evil bring about the bashing?

The film moves forward to the year 2016, 27 years after the events depicted in the first film.  Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) returns to create havoc in the town.  The film traces each of the children (now grown ups), leaving their current place of dwelling to return to their childhood town to take down Pennywise.  Each grown up still behave like children.  They hilariously meet at a Chinese restaurant where their fortune cookies turn into little monstrous creatures.  The adults are portrayed by a competent cast comprising James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean.

At its worst, the script by Gary Dauberman contains inane dialogue which makes no sense like: “We are what we forget…”.  with lots of opportunities for car crashes and puke jokes (the Bill Hader character pukes no less than three times in the film).  The film has impressive horror set-pieces such as: the creatures from the fortune cookies; the attacking spider with the human head;  the monster corpse having from the railings and more but often than not, these are not really connected to the story.  If one is a huge fan of horror or if one consumes a bit of weed before or during the show, it does not matter and the film should be a delicious delight.

IT CHAPTER 2 is the only new big Hollywood film opening these few weeks usually a slow time while the Toronto International Film takes place.  With little competition and a huge fan base, IT CHAPTER 2 should scare up a hefty sum at the box-office.


Movie Review: IT (USA 2017) ***


It Poster



Chase Palmer (screenplay), Cary Fukunaga (screenplay) 


Bill SkarsgårdJaeden LieberherFinn Wolfhard

IT is the much anticipated new horror film based on the 1986 Stephen King of the same name. Any novel by King turns out to be a box-office hit. IT expects to do the same and not only that, but to boost the 2017 box-office from its awful slump in recent months. IT was first adapted in a 1990 series, but many like myself have never see it.

The basic story involves seven children, with stuttering Bill being the main one, all terrorized by a killer dancing clown called Pennywise. Their town of Derry, Maine have experienced disappearing children in the past. One of the kids researched that these events occur once every 27 years. It is later revealed that Pennywise comes out to eat children. The kids have to say together in order to defeat the monster.

The film never compromises the horror – which is both emotional and physical. IT is clearly a film for adults but with both adult and childhood horror. Besides the real terror of the dancing clown, there is the notion that the terror is also imagined. When the terrorized kids stick together, Pennywise is defenceless. The film also emphasizes the terror of being alone.

As a result of the un-compromised horror, the film turns out to be quite nasty. The nastiness includes:

– poor young Georgie at the start of the film losing an entire arm
– pedophilia with Beverly terrorized sexually by her father
– bullying taken to the limit with the bullies using a knife to cut up a victim and a vicious fight of rock throwing lots of blood splattering a son killing his father with a switchblade

With a story involving a total of 7 kids, it is expected and it does happen, that not all the stories are completely told. The main kid, Bill, for example has a few minutes with his parents who are then absent throughout the rest of the film .

IT though set in Maine (as in many of King’s stories) was shot in the Riverdale neighbourhood of Toronto and also around Oshawa and Port Hope. Canadians will definitely recognize their typical built neighbourhoods, with the streets and storm drains, like the one shown early in the film when Georgie first meets the killer clown.

Despite the film’s flaws, director Andy Muschietti (MAMA) effectively piles the horrors on. His display of emotional and physical terror is well balanced. The horror and shock effects are quite good. The film is definitely many steps ahead of recent horror films like ANNABELLE CREATION.

The film running at 135 minutes, is long for a horror movie which normally runs 90 minutes. Thought the film is scary in most parts, the film drags in the middle. At the end of the film, the credits ‘Chapter 1’ appear, which means a sequel is for sure already in the making. The second instalment should be good if it is at least good as this one.