The autumn movie season stars on September 6 with the release of highly anticipated horror sequel It Chapter Two. Though that’s still over two weeks away, Warner Bros. has begun screening the film for critics. Screenings mean social media reactions, and while lots of people don’t put faith in that kind of early buzz, we think you’ll be especially interested in this case.
Here’s why: The reactions are kind of all over the map. For superhero movies, lots of times the early reactions are hyperbolic as shit. Here, though, many critics are much more measured about their reactions, making us very curious about what general audiences are going to think.
Here are a few reactions.
#ITChapter2 isn't as refined as the first, but it's still an excellent ensemble piece, oozing with heart & packed with extremely well-crafted set pieces. Muschietti weaves the young & adult Losers together super well, giving IT 2 a truly epic feel. (MVP: Bill Hader as Richie.) pic.twitter.com/7dXmIsd2z6
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) August 21, 2019
#ItChapterTwo has some excellent set pieces and a few great performances, but it's also got big problems. It's very contrived, the jokes get in the way of the scares and it relies too heavily on flashbacks about the kid Losers instead of developing the adult versions. pic.twitter.com/SwixiPU2De
— William Bibbiani (@WilliamBibbiani) August 21, 2019
So #ITChapterTwo was pretty damn great & the ending left me in tears. There are some excellent set pieces (finale had me holding my breath at times) that got under my skin & I think the adult Losers are awesome. Relies a bit too much on flashbacks tho but fans should be happy. pic.twitter.com/UKDf0frOTg
— Heather Wixson (@thehorrorchick) August 21, 2019
Really enjoyed #ITChapterTwo. Still not sure if it needed to be as long as it was but I enjoyed the performances thoroughly. Also, thanks for all the horrific images that’ll never get out of my head. pic.twitter.com/YJJ7vKe0dW
— Wendy Lee Szany (@WendyLeeSzany) August 21, 2019
I wish I could say that #ItChapterTwo was as great, scary and moving as the first movie, but it isn't. It has a number of terrific moments and a generally strong cast (led by an outstanding Bill Hader), but it's repetitive and too long through much of its middle section. (more)
— Don Kaye (@donkaye) August 21, 2019
It: Chapter Two is the biggest disappointment of the year. A dull & bloated mess that spends too much time rehashing things from the first film. While there are a few good moments, the film ultimately lacks suspense and scares. The performances are also a mixed bag. #ITChapterTwo pic.twitter.com/3NlauZxj2f
— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) August 21, 2019
So, #ITChapterTwo: it's v. good, but not great. I liked it, but didn't LOVE it. First movie is a tough act to follow. TWO is gruesome, strange but rarely scary. Nails important aspects from the book, but feels overlong. Cast is aces, though, & Bill Hader SHOULD be in Oscar convo. pic.twitter.com/1KUZk5TXA1
— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) August 21, 2019
#ITChapterTwo is probably scarier than chapter one - more Pennywise imagery to haunt your dreams. But it also loses a lot of charm in the shift in focus from the coming of age to the now adult characters. At nearly 3 hours it feels long.
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) August 21, 2019
#ITChapterTwo is big and ambitious and can't *quite* handle the weight of its aspirations, but it's still a fine piece of heartfelt horror. The parts that work, work REALLY well and Bill Hader is every-bit the scene-stealing standout we all hoped he'd be.
— Haleigh Foutch (@HaleighFoutch) August 21, 2019
#ITChapterTwo: a bacchanal of blood, brutal beauty & bold vision. Muschietti brings King’s wicked nightmare factory alive again with all its terrifying, unhinged madness & gory glory. A carnival of creeps, you’ll float (and perhaps yourself) down here. @ITMovieOfficial pic.twitter.com/quwcIV6Ow9
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) August 21, 2019
#ITChapterTwo is a terrific companion to #ITChapterOne. Similar vibes, great ensemble chemistry w/ a nice mix of humor and horror. Part 2 plays heavier in tone, dealing w/ defeating the burden of childhood trauma, & I definitely teared up at the very end. Bill Hader steals it pic.twitter.com/bjiwtJufNQ
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) August 21, 2019
For the most part I liked IT CHAPTER TWO. First half (of this pretty long movie!) is great. And the new adult cast is stellar. Second half isn’t as tight. And overall Chapter Two isn’t as tight as the first movie.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) August 21, 2019
— Kristen Lopez @ #D23Expo (@Journeys_Film) August 21, 2019
#ITMovie is SO SO SO GOOD. Yes, it's slower than the first but the pacing really allows the story to grow and the characters to define themselves. The scares were fun and wisely timed. My fave thing is how it truly hones in on the effects of trauma, just like Stephen King did.
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) August 21, 2019
So, as you can see, even the positive reviews find time to make a few concessions. And, we’ll end on my personal reaction—which, in a way, is kind of right smack in the middle of all of these.
When It Chapter 2 works, it really works. The blending of past & present can be poetic & the actors rule. However, the scares are overpowered by exposition & effects that leave the story feeling disjointed. It’s well-paced & surprising but a bit of a letdown versus Chapter 1. pic.twitter.com/67UuJKr8gh
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) August 21, 2019
It Chapter Two opens September 6. We’ll have much more, including a full review, before that.