Warning: Major spoilers ahead. If you haven't watched this movie yet or read the novel, feel free to click the back button or simply scroll towards the end of the post where we discuss Your Fright Shop’s top selection of top new horror movies you absolutely must see in time for Halloween.
Last Oct. 31, Warner Bros. Pictures celebrated Halloween by releasing its first official teaser poster of the It sequel - IT: Chapter Two.
Image Source: It official Twitter account
Though many us humble peons had to wait until the official release date, a select group of film critics and lucky audiences have already been treated to an early screening of the final installment of the smash hit Stephen King horror saga. Still, now the movie is out and the reviews are pouring in from everywhere across the globe.
For the most part, the reactions have been kind of all over the map for “IT: Chapter Two.” While some say the movie pales in comparison to last year’s box-office sweeper, “It”, even calling it tough act to follow, many have praised the movie as “creepy,” and gushed over the stellar performance of the new adult cast.
As a true horror fan, you’ll agree that "IT" (2017) was a topnotch horror film and definitely one of the best films based on a Stephen King novel. The film recounts the harrowing experiences of a gang of teenagers in Derry, Maine, called "The Losers Club" terrorized by the evil carnivorous clown Pennywise. At the end of that film, “the losers” pledged with each other that if ‘It’ ever came back, they will reunite and fight It together again.
IT: Chapter 2 opens almost three decades (27 years) after the events of the first film where It/Pennywise comes back hungrier and crueler than ever. The now grown members of the Losers Club return to their hometown of Derry, Maine, for one final showdown with the murderous clown. While everyone else in the group had since gone their separate ways and away from Derry, Mike Hanlon (now played by actor, Isaiah Mustafa) remained to keep watch for Pennywise's return.
When such a case came up, he immediately calls in his friends to come home as they promised. Unfortunately, Stanley Uris (played by actor, Andy Bean) opted for another way out. However, everyone else comes back all with fuzzy memories about what happened in their past. Mike then instructs each one of them to get an artifact from their past in order to use in an old Native American ritual to finish It off once and for all.
In addition to Bill Hader in his scene-stealing role as our favorite jokester, Richie Tozier, “It: Chapter 2” also stars Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, James McAvoy as stuttering leader, Bill Denbrough, Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom, James Ransome as our lovable hypochondriac, Eddie Kaspbrak, Teach Grant as the resident psycho bully, Henry Bowers, and of course, Bill Skarsgård reprising his role as It.
What We Liked
One of the best aspects of the film was seeing just how well the actors playing the Losers Club as adults carried on the look and behavior of their respective child characters. The continuity plays out quite smoothly, especially when scenes alternated between the adult and child characters. Managing editor of Fandango, Erik Davis, sums it up quite nicely in his tweet:
The movie also doesn't disappoint with its array of some of the scariest scenes ever with more Pennywise imagery to haunt your dreams. The part where Beverly goes back to her old home to retrieve her token and encounters It in the form of a grotesquely misshapen and disfigured old hag is the stuff of nightmares. The scare factor is definitely there throughout the movie.
What We Didn't Like
Admittedly, the scenes where the Losers were gathering their tokens from the past had their own sense of nostalgia and dreadful macabre, but ultimately these scenes did not really contribute much to the main story. The entire middle of the film is less a narrative than it is a series of vignettes, such that you could cut out those scenes and the ending would not be affected. Even the scenes involving psychopath, Henry Bowers could be cut out without affecting the story.
Pennywise is still so creepy and sinister, but the CGI seemed too over-the-top that it actually makes him less intimidating. Given the events of the first film, we were looking forward to seeing one pissed off murder-clown, who for the first time in millions of years felt what it was like to hurt and is now out for the ultimate vendetta. But instead, it feels like Pennywise could kill any of these people at any time and just doesn’t, choosing instead to vaguely toy with them and even literally handing over Bill’s token to him. That felt a bit underwhelming. Mike Ryan from Uproxx breaks it down with the following tweet.
Box Office Records
So what did you think of IT: Chapter Two? The movie earned roughly 25% less than its 2017 predecessor did in its opening weekend, but still dominated the weekend box office with an estimated $91 million debut. Not bad at all, considering this figure makes it the second-biggest opening weekend of all time for a horror film, behind 2017's “It”, which garnered a whopping $123.4 million in its bow. The sequel also performed on par with the first film's opening overseas, grossing $94 million from international markets this weekend, which effectively makes it the number one movie worldwide. According to Box Office Mojo, these are the Top 10 R-rated horror movies with the highest domestic opening weekends of all time:
- IT (2017) $123.4 million
- IT: Chapter Two $91 million
- Halloween (2018) $76.2 million
- Us $71.1 million
- The Nun $53.8 million
- Paranormal Activity 3 $52.6 million
- The Conjuring $41.9 million
- Paranormal Activity 2 $40.7 million
- Friday the 13th (2009) $40.6 million
- The Conjuring 2 $40.4 million
Book Vs. Movie Differences
- With IT: Chapter Two wrapping up the Losers' Club saga, we take a look at the biggest differences between the film’s ending and Stephen King’s sprawling 1100-plus page novel.
- The Ritual of Chüd - Confronting Pennywise in both Stephen King’s book and the movie hinges on the Ritual of Chud. In the movie, the ritual was discovered by Mike Hanlon, who then describes the mechanics of the ritual to Bill. In the book, however, the ritual is discovered by Bill, who stumbles onto a method to banish It.
- It’s Gender - We’ve always referred to It as a “him”, but in the book, the ancient demon has laid eggs all over the cave and cries in anguish as the Losers destroy them. This part is missing in the movie.
- The Final Battle - In the movie, Bill, Ben, Beverly, Richie, Mike, and a facially wounded Eddie make the trip into the sewers to confront Pennywise, but in the book, Mike doesn't go with the group as he is laid up in the hospital, having been seriously wounded by Henry Bowers. Both Beverly’s husband Tom and Bill’s wife Audra are also in the sewers in the novel, but not in the movie.
- Killing It - The movie sees the losers out-bullying Pennywise, shrinking the massive spider with a clown head down to a manageable size until they remove the demon’s heart and crush it. In the book, Bill literally punches It to death, raining blow after blow until he reaches It’s heart.
There’s definitely more key differences between the book and the movie, but hey, why spoil it all the way, right?
New Horror Movies you Absolutely Must See in Time for Halloween
With Halloween just around the corner, there’s no better time to get our scare on and probably even get some inspiration for your theme and costume. So far, we’ve already weathered multiple devil dolls in the Anabelle franchise and homicidal doppelgangers in Us, but it's time to kick it up a notch in the days and weeks leading up to Halloween. In addition to IT: Chapter 2, Here’s what we got for you to keep you on the edge of your seat between now and Halloween:
- ‘Satanic Panic’ - On her first day as a pizza delivery girl, Sam (Hayley Griffith) delivers pies to a bunch of really rich Satanists, who decide the young woman is perfect to be their next virgin sacrifice.
Watch Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gts3q4zz88
- ‘Haunt’ - A group of teenagers visits an “extreme” Halloween attraction that’s said to bring visitors’ darkest nightmares to life, and well, it turns out to be exactly as advertised.
Watch Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXRGvxdHvZA
- ‘3 From Hell’ - The crazy-evil Firefly family returns for another round of violent terror. This time, the villains inspire a public “#FreeTheThree” campaign and unleash yet another bloody crime spree.
Watch Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9xZ8tVMmbM
- ‘Villains’ - Bill Skarsgard ignites the silver screen again, this time as a criminal on the run with his lover (Maike Monroe) robbing a convenience store. Their car breaks down on the way so they decide to break into a home for some wheels and loot, only to find the seemingly normal owners are way worse than them.
Watch Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2tGz4wDaQM
- ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ - Our favorite gun-toting dysfunctional family return doing their creature-killing thing amid a zombie apocalypse.
Watch Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlW9yhUKlkQ
Have the Best Halloween Ever with Your Fright Shop
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