All the Problems with the Movie “It”

pennywise clown from it
Not a happy clown. Or a sad clown, either. Just a homicidal jerk clown.

With It Chapter 2 coming out September 6th I decided to rewatch the first chapter. But I never like doing regular reviews, so instead of singing this movie’s praises, how about we take a look at the flaws? Now to preface this, I say you should absolutely watch It Chapter 1 since it is a great horror film and just a great film in general.

But you can’t love something truly until you understand and accepts its faults….at least that’s what I’ve been told.

With that said, let’s start with a small point that drives me up a wall every time I watch this movie: the bullies.

It — Bullies

More specifically, how they’re introduced. When the camera pans to them, we see Patrick (the tall scrawny dark haired bully) first, and he waves to the boys walking down the hall. This gives the impression that he is the big bad bully, especially considering you can see Henry (the actual big bad bully) just sitting there. It’s not that big of a deal, but whenever I watch this movie I can’t help but initially think Patrick is the villain, when I know he isn’t. 

cast it the movie it chapter one
In for a world of hurt.

It  — Character Development

Next I want to talk about character development. These characters are so defined and well done you know about their house life, their own struggles, and what scares them the most. But two characters don’t really get this treatment. Those two are Stanley and Mike. If you know the story of It, then you can probably figure out why Stanley isn’t so developed. And I can’t say why, because then we get into spoiler territory, and I want to avoid that.

Either way though, Stanley shouldn’t be pushed to the side just because of his arc. 

And then we have Mike, who once again I kind of understand why isn’t as developed as the others — considering more of his development will happen in Chapter 2. Mike is nowhere near as bad as Stanley, though.

But Mike also has a weird entrance into the loser club. Mike is being pummeled by Henry and his gang when the rest of the loser club shows up to help him.

While it is an inspiring moment of them standing up for someone they barely know, it is just one out of three (I think) moments that feel tonally out of place. 

It — Tonal Whiplash

And speaking of tonally out of place, let’s talk about the scene that has the kids cleaning a bathroom. This scene has the 80’s montage of bonding all over it with the music, the way its edited, and the fact that it really doesn’t belong in that tone.

The time, leading up to that scene we were in that classic horror movie tone, where it’s unsettling and creepy — and then in the middle of that we have The Cure playing, while the kids clean a bathroom. It feels like it supposed to be a comic relief scene that’s not necessary, since you have a comic relief character constantly cracking jokes. Of course, the scene still does have a purpose of irony, but your average movie-goer isn’t going to spot that on a first watch.

It — The Stutter

Alright, let’s go back to some minor things like Bills’ stutter.

If I remember correctly, in the book Bill got his stutter after Georgie died due to a form of trauma, but in the movie Bill has it before Georgie even dies. Now it’s a small thing, but it still makes much more sense that he developed the stutter after the extreme trauma of his brother dying.

This is even reflected at the end of the movie, with Pennywise stuttering in fear of the kids. 

pennywise chapter one it
Ewww. Okay. Just no.

Minor Nits to Pick With It

And the last point I want to make is that this movie feels like it abuses the Dutch angle. This is something very small, but it stuck out to me how much they used it. If you don’t know: the Dutch angle is when you have the camera at a 45 degree angle, giving the shot a eerie feeling. Obviously this is something no one will really notice, but it stuck out to me and I couldn’t help but mention it. 

Now there are plenty of other tiny little things here and there I could mention, but that just more nitpicking. I think I already feel we’re well into that category.

It is truly a great horror film, and possibly the best Stephen King adaptation yet. I can’t recommend enough that you should watch this and the sequel.

 Pennywise is coming back, but is he coming in full force? 

#Itchapter2 #Pennywise #YoullFloatToo

Who is Who in IT – Chapter 2

Movie Review – It (Chapter 1)

Why Avatar Deserves to be the Number 1 Movie Over Avengers: Endgame

Na'vi girl in avatar
It’s not easy being Blue…

With Avengers: Endgame passing Avatar to become the highest grossing movie of all time, I’ve recently gotten into a lot of heated debates with my friends as to why I think Avatar is more deserving of #1.

So I’m going to tell you — in a more calm manner than I do my friends — why I think Avatar is still Number 1.

Avatar Revolutionized Film-Making

The first thing we can’t ignore is that Avatar pushed new boundaries for film-making when it came out. Avatar revolutionized the visual effects industry with its ground-breaking CGI…which still looks amazing 10 years later.

Don’t get me wrong — if you know what to look for, you can easily spot where they took shortcuts with the effects. For example, how several of the wildlife creatures are sleek and black…meaning they didn’t have to render a lot of texture on the skin. But all of it still looks spectacular.

With Avengers: Endgame, while the CGI is on a technical level better than Avatar, doesn’t push it to the next level, and still looks on par for Avatar.

If you put these two movies side by side, it would be hard to tell whose CGI is better.

Anvengers endgame superheroes
However, we DO know everyone’s name here…

Better Characters? Or Just More of Them?

Now let’s talk about the characters. It’s been a joke for a while now that people can’t name a single character from Avatar, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have good characters. The actors give great performances to bring them to life, and you feel genuinely sad when someone dies.

Now of course Avengers: Endgame has superb characters: that much can’t be denied, but the main reason we feel so bad when someone dies in Endgame is because we have seen these characters on screen for quite some time. Endgame wasn’t just a one and done, it built up over 20+ films. Avatar had to build its characters in one go. And this leads nicely into my next point…

Avengers: Endgame didn’t come out of the blue with Marvel expecting it to flop. It came out a hit from the beginning. Book-ending 11 years worth of movies Endgame had so many people behind it already. Avatar had Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel come out a week after it, because Fox thought Avatar would flop. Not even Fox backed up Avatar.

And one small extra point: both of these movies came out a second time with additional features in the movie theaters. But generally everyone agrees that Avengers: Endgame extra content sucked, while Avatar came out with essentially a Directors Cut of the film, which just made it better. 

avatar na'vi man and woman
You have to admit, they look good together.

The World Building is Unmatched in Avatar, Comparatively

Now my favorite part: the world building. The world building on Avatar is done extremely well. Watching the movie, you learn about these alien creatures, what happened to Earth, how the tribe works, how their lives work, and so much more.

In Avengers: Endgame, while yes, there is some world building done through the characters, at the end of the day it’s Earth, it’s New York. You understand it’s being destroyed, but if you want to know what happens after that — and to get more of the world building you have to turn to other Marvel associated content.

For example: you don’t know what happened to clean up New York in 2012 unless you watch a special they released, shortly after the original Avengers film. In Avatar, once the tree is destroyed you see the aftermath; you see where the Na’vi go to hide; you see what happens. There are some questions left unanswered, but at least I only have to wait until 2021 to get some answers, where as with Marvel I have to watch every TV show they have to figure it out. [Editor’s note: the TV shows are optional, you know — you don’t even need to see Agents of SHIELD, unless you’re a huge Agent Coulson fan…]

thanos in avengers endgame with his sword
Seriously. Is that a sword or a helicopter propeller?

What About…the Plot? And the Villains?

And, of course I have to bring up the last point I hear all the time…the plot. I constantly hear Avatar’s plot is basic and boring. Which I don’t understand; both movies basically have the same plot.

It’s just that in one, the bad guy is greedy and want to destroy nature to get to minerals to fill his greed…and in the other you have the villain who wants to control the population, and kills half of the living organisms in his way. Both of these villains are the same. Both are so blinded by their own ways that they wreck everything else in their way.

And besides that, it’s your standard good vs. bad scenario. It’s nothing new, but when you watch these movies you get so invested in what’s going on. As far as I’m concerned, the plots follow the same beats, just like every other movie ever. 

Really. Both are Winners.

Listen, at the end of the day both of these movies are fantastic, and both have their flaws. But you can’t deny the impact and influence Avatar has had on movies.

Everything I said just either agreed with one person or pissed off another; there’s nothing I can do about that. But I do invite everyone to comment below with your counter arguments, or even just your thoughts.

Avengers: Endgame Re-Release Extra Footage Explained

Life on Earth After Avengers: Endgame (Post-post Snap)

Avengers Bests Avatar at Box Office – But Avatar Is Still #1 in My Heart

Movie review : Avatar

Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame

Surprise! The Lion King is a Hamlet Remake

lion king characters
Lion King Crew. You can probably name every character here.

As you may know there, is a controversy that surrounds The Lion King. The fact that it possibly stole its entire movie from one called Kimba the White Lion is one ting…but we’re not talking about that here. We are going to be talking about how the Lion King is basically Hamlet with lions.

And yes, I mean the Shakespeare Hamlet too, and not some play or movie about a baby pig. So if you don’t know Hamlet like you should, here’s a brief reminder:

The king has a brother and that brother kills the king. The king prior to death had a son. The son now has to kill his uncle and reclaim the throne. 

There’s the very short and sweet reminder of Hamlet. (Sparknotes should take notes on how it’s done.) Either way, today I’m going to be comparing the Lion King (which is loosely based on Hamlet) to Hamlet (1996), which is essentially a word for word re-imagining. Obviously, this battle is pretty even. Let’s compare the two and see how they stack up to each other.

The Villain—

First things first, Scar and Claudius and drastically different characters for the better of each story. Scar, I would say, is a dictator, where as Claudius is a king. Claudius is very methodical and punctual with his words and actions, where as Scar when he gets power runs everything downhill. Scar doesn’t think about the betterment of all his people, but Claudius does. That said, it does mean that it’s more satisfying to see Scar lose in the end, than it is to see Claudius lose.

But if I had to give it up to which movie killed off its villain better, I would go with Hamlet.

Hamlet fighting scene
Hamlet fights for his right to party.

The Love Interest—

We have Nala and Ophelia. Nala is basically a side character that only really serves for one music number, and to push the main character to fulfill their destiny. Weirdly enough, Ophelia has a musical number too. Nala is very basic — interesting and better than most side characters in movies — but still basic. Ophelia starts out as a confused girl who then just snaps to crazy. It’s kind of jarring, but she dies shortly after, so it’s all good.

simba and nala in lion king
Hamlet and The Lion King. One lady is insane. And the other is a princess. Do you recall which is which?

Ghost Dad—

Weird one to put in, but I wanted to mention it. In Hamlet, ghost dad simply acts as like a Macguffin to inform Hamlet about the foul play in his death. But ghost dad in Lion King acts as a guiding light for Simba. When Simba is confused and unsure, ghost dad comes in to guide him in the right direction. Ghost dad in Hamlet just yells at his son to avenge his murder.

Hamlet/Simba—

The main man/lion. I’m going to keep this bareboned. Simba is a scared, confused, yet growing character who realizes what needs to happen, and grows to become the lion he needs to be. Hamlet just kinda goes from mad to slightly insane, then back to mad.

Kenneth Branagh still brings many complex emotions through his acting, but the character as a whole has just about those three emotions, looking back on it.

The Queen—

The queens are completely different characters in these movies. In Hamlet she is a woman who loves her son, marries a murderer willingly, and falls victim to the king’s evil ploys against Hamlet. In Lion King the queen is not really seen ,but from what we do see she is forced into marriage, doesn’t put up with the “king’s” rule, but still loves her son. 

hamlet the movie
You can’t beat a good confetti cannon.

Overall, The Lion King vs Hamlet–

In the end, if I honestly had to say which of these movies is better, that would depend on who you are.

If you’re an absolute film nerd and want to see something beautifully done, you can watch both of these. If you mainly love Shakespeare, then watch Hamlet, since it’s more true to the original tale.

But let’s face it, you’re not just watching 4 hours worth of movie regardless of any high praise I could give it, if you’re a true fan of good films. 

The Conjuring Universe Explained


With 2 mainline movies and 5 spin-off movies filling out the Conjuring Universe, no one would blame you for getting lost in Annabelle’s eyes… I mean getting lost in slight confusion. Obviously there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen these movies, then read at your own risk. But either way, we are going to start with the one thing that connects them all — the Warrens.

The Conjuring is where we start. Here we meet Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ed and Lorraine are paranormal investigators who just so happen to have a room in their house filled with haunted/cursed items. This is essentially the thing that holds this universe together. In the room we can find Annabelle, among many other things that all help connect this universe. But let’s talk about Lorraine. 

Lorraine is a clairvoyant, meaning she can perceive events in the future beyond sensory contact. This may not exactly make sense, but if you watch just the first Conjuring you’ll understand what it means. With that said, all you need to know is that when Lorraine helps with a case, a little bit of the case becomes a part of her. So this is where we get into The Nun. In The Conjuring 2 the Warrens, and Lorraine in particular, are haunted by the Nun. But how did the nun get there?

Let’s go back to 1952, when the movie The Nun takes place (and let’s use a few spark notes.) Basically an abbey is haunted, and three people go in to try to find out what’s going on. The abbey is haunted by the nun named Valak, who just so happens to be a demon from hell. Valak the demon managed to possess a nun that killed herself so Valak could take the body for itself. So, long story short, a portal to hell was opened and that’s how she got there to begin– with but at the end of the movie when the good guys manage to close the portal, Valak possesses 1 of the 3 good guys (a man known as Frenchie).

So Valak is now on the move inside of Frenchie. Now, we jump back to The Conjuring where we see when Ed and Lorraine are giving a lecture. They show a video of Frenchie having an exorcism performed on him, where by no accident Ed and Lorraine Warren are there to help. Obviously they didn’t know he came with so much baggage, but Lorraine happens to touch Frenchie and now Valak has attached itself to Lorraine. This is how Valak is present in The Conjuring 2. 

Now with one big baddie out of the way, let talk about the next: Annabelle. How did Annabelle come to be? Simple. When young Annabelle Mullins loses her life to a tragic accident, her parents start praying to whoever will listen and bring her back. Little did they know they prayed to the wrong people. The demon ended up getting permission to move into the Annabelle doll and decided to turn things up to 11. As it turns out, a demon was pretending to be their little girl in order to get a soul from them. 

Years later, when an orphanage stays at the Mullins place, the demon takes ahold of one girl named Janice. By the end of Annabelle Creation, we see that Janice, still possessed, managed to escape the orphanage and eventually got adopted. Sounds like a happy ending, except for the fact that Janice grows up under the name Annabelle and joins a satanic cult. Eventually grown-up Janice (now Annabelle) goes and kills her adoptive parents with her boyfriend, and eventually herself. And on top of that, it turns out the Annabelle doll is still possessed. We see this happen in the first Annabelle movie. 

So in the first Annabelle movie we follow the Form family, as their neighbors just so happened to be the adopted parents of Janice. Of course the Forms have a doll collection which includes the possessed Annabelle doll. The Annabelle doll does her thing and eventually gets another soul, and the demon is satisfied. Until we get back to The Conjuring, where we see that the girls who got the Annabelle doll next invited a demon to live in the doll once again.

So at this point the Warrens obtain and contain the possessed Annabelle doll. 

Now with Annabelle, we get to the newest installment in the series, Annabelle Comes Home. This one takes place in between The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 and explains that the Annabelle doll is a beacon for demons. Which would explain how one can come and go so frequently with this franchise. With the next movie planned being The Conjuring 3, all you need to know is Annabelle is contained and possessed very much still. Valak has been banished but probably not completely, and we might see some Easter eggs from The Curse of La Llorona

And with that said, that’s basically the confusing winding road of the Conjuring Universe explained. There are a few minor details, like how Father Perez from Annabelle shows up in The Curse of La Llorona, making that movie tie in loosely with the Conjuring Universe, but that’s about it. And these movies, quite frankly, like to add additional bits every chance they get, but also retcon some details or forget to explain something every now and again. Or maybe it’s just that I didn’t understand. Who knows? But I now have explained all of this, and honestly I might’ve gone insane. 🙂

Movie Review – Annabelle Comes Home

Movie Review – The Conjuring

Movie Review – The Curse of La Llorona – A Good Scary Time in the Conjuring Universe

 

Ranking the Chucky Movies – From a True Horror Fan

Have you ever watched all 7 Chucky movies, ranked them, and wrote an article with them ranked all within 24 hours? No? Good, because I already did that and I don’t know why you’d be here if you did. Either way, with the new Chucky movie coming out June 21st let me tell you which ones are the best. 

Now before we get into this let me just tell you that I am a huge horror movie fan and I will gladly watch Alien at 1 a.m. in the dark. So just know this ranking comes from someone who loves horror movies.

7. Seed of Chucky (2004) – Seed of Chucky is easily one of the most confusing movies in the Chucky franchise. Its plot is very sloppy and its humor is very nonexistent. The ideas that it brings to the table are interesting, but unfortunately one of the major ones is not realized fully, at least not to a satisfying conclusion for me. This movie also has a problem of it will show you how they drive a car, but that in turn makes all of Bride of Chucky unnecessary. The biggest problem with this one is that while it is OK for a horror franchise to go crazy, it still needs to stay grounded in the universe it made. When it starts breaking its own rules you start having problems.

6. Curse of Chucky (2013) – The curse of Chucky is the sixth movie in the Chucky franchise, and it’s at this point in time they decided to retcon everything…and yet nothing. This movie simply just doesn’t know what it wants to be. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a revitalized Chucky movie or something that continues the story we previously have seen. And it won’t directly answer these questions. It doesn’t even directly answer questions in its sequel the Cult of Chucky. It will make references to the old movies all while setting up the next one, and yet will replay plot points from other Chucky movies. This movie is simply a mess that should’ve been worked on a bit more to figure out what it was going to be. Also, this movie gives Chucky a re-design, which doesn’t look good to begin with. It looks all right towards the end of the movie, but at the beginning when he’s pristine and clean it just doesn’t look good.

5. Cult of Chucky (2017) – Cult of Chucky is definitely not the scariest, but definitely has some great ideas…but unfortunately does not execute them to their fullest extent. I wish I could say this film in particular is entirely creative, but they do steal one of the death scenes from one of the earlier movies. When you have to reuse a scenario for your movie, you have a problem. The parallel between a schizophrenic and the multiple Chuckies is nice, but not nicely done. It could’ve been expanded upon it and it could’ve been better. That’s the biggest disappointment for any movie — when you just watch it and say it could’ve been better.

4. Child’s Play 2 (1990) – This movie for some reason is a sequel. Now obviously it’s a sequel, but why does it sound like it confuses me? That’s because most horror franchises that came out around the time Chucky did decided that the sequel is the time to go balls to the walls crazy with the killing and swearing. This movie decides to try to be an actual sequel. Now this wouldn’t be horrible, except for the fact that this movie’s first half is extremely forgettable. By the time I got halfway through I forgot what happened at the beginning of the movie. I legitimately forgot about the very first kill in this movie until I started writing, and even then I’m realizing I’m thinking of the second kill of the movie. This movie does decide to go a little more crazy, especially by the end, but it’s still not what you would expect from a B-Horror movie sequel. Now, of course the practical effects are still amazing: Chucky still looks as real as ever, and you wouldn’t doubt for a second that it’s a puppet. The movie does have its redeeming factors such as an older sister-like character, and the climax going to the factory, which makes the good guy dolls. These elements are very interesting to watch unfold. I can see the appeal of these movies in this one, and why the franchise somehow kept going to this day.

3. Bride of Chucky (1998) – This is the turning point of the Chucky franchise. This is where they decided to finally go balls to the wall crazy with its creative kills, insane violence, and gory scenes. With its meta humor and expected late 90’s Rob Zombie music, this is easily one of the best Chucky movies. The movie will gladly make fun of its self and other horror movies, and and it lets all of its craziness out in the final scene when you see both dolls having a shovel fight. This one is worth a watch for the insanity alone.

2. Child’s Play 3 (1991) – This is where the franchise starts to get interesting. This is where some of the creative kills start to come into play and it’s also when you start seeing some of those B- horror movie moments shine through. In this one we have some creative kills, along with some very anticlimactic kills. This movie definitely leans a bit more into the have fun portion of horror movie sequels, but not completely. It’s still did focus on a plot, which in some regards is nice, but with this franchise in the absurdity that goes with the idea of a possessed doll you expect it to be a bit more gruesome and a lot more fun than what we got. It’s still a great movie that is a fun time to watch, and definitely not forgettable…and out of the original trilogy will be the one that I say is the best.

1. Child’s Play (1988) – The first movie that started this all off is surprisingly only OK. It’s your basic horror flick that follows all the same beats you’d find in anything other horror movie. But every movie follows the same beats: it just depends on how it decides to change them up to make it stand out. Chucky makes it stand out by of course making the villain a killer doll. Now maybe I found this movie to be a slightly scary, all because when I was little I was petrified of raggedy Ann and Andy but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect you. The practical effects done in this movie are so good that it gets outright creepy to look at. But why is it the best? Simply because this is the one in which you’re introduced to this insane idea, insane character, and to some extent the insane deaths. This is the one that kicked it all off and is still worth watching. Watching Child’s Play makes it obvious as to why this franchise has kept going.

Some final thoughts.

If I were to honestly judge these movies hyper critically, as people have known me to do, all of these movies kinda suck. But today I’m here as a horror fan. And while I will say that the Chucky franchise has its problems from movie to movie — the absurdity of the idea, to the character of Chucky himself — keeps me wanting more. I want to know more about this serial killer turned doll. And that’s all I could ask for from a franchise like this. 

Guest posted by Nicholas Collier, also known at #RunPeeNick. He loves genre films and hopes to write about every one of them. 

Want to be a MIB? A Satirical Review of the Original Men in Black (1997)

men in black poster
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, out to save you from the scum of the universe

*Flash*

Everyone listen now: what you may think you just experienced is a house party with drunk teenagers and a crazy, lonely lady. In actuality, you traveled back in time 22 years to help us, the Men in Black, save the galaxy from an alien invasion. We’re looking for some new recruits and think all of you have potential, so you can call me Agent N. Let me explain what happened here today, so you can determine if you want to join us.

Let me set the scene. First, the Men In Black is an organization that keeps track of every alien life form not from Earth.

Second, we recently got a rookie named Agent J (former name Will Smith), who was partnered with our ace in the hole Agent K (former name Tommy Lee Jones).

Third, it just so happened that an alien bug decided to crash land here in search of something. We later found out he was looking for an alien prince hiding himself and a whole galaxy here on Earth. Long story short, the rook’s first day on the job somehow was smooth sailing — even though you may be hearing all of this thinking, “There’s no way this can go well”. No matter what you think, that’s the basics of what you need to know.

Now, let me explain some tiny details that might help you determine if you want to join the Men in Black permanently or not. Without a doubt, some of the jokes we like to crack on the job don’t land like we wish, but our aim is still pretty good. Especially between Agent J’s strong charisma and Agent K’s deadpan delivery, bouncing off each other.

You may also see some of our alien companions and realize they actually do look good, even though you all are from the future. Our 1997 technology advanced the human eye to make everything seem much better. When our alien friends are there, you can’t properly distinguish them from when they’re not there. And don’t tell them otherwise.

If you haven’t seen the report yet, consider this a warning. Our job may not be glamorous, even at the climax of our mission, which in this most recent mission was exactly the case. From what I’ve seen on the report, apparently all that happened was Agent J distracted the alien by swinging some sticks and getting flung around, while Agent K damaged the creepy-crawly in a slow but effective way…just for some girl from the morgue to give the final blow.

Everyone who has seen the report keeps talking about Frank the Pug and the Noisy Cricket, since apparently they stole the show. So if a dog they talked to for 3 minutes oozes enough charisma to leave a lasting impression, so can the Men in Black.

And of course, we need to have a moment of silence for Agent K…who at the end of his mission revealed that he wasn’t looking for Agent J to be a partner, but to be a replacement. For Men in Black agents who show no emotion to begin with, we were heartbroken to see Agent J use the neuralyzer on Agent K. Thankfully, we had a happy ending, but a heart-wrenching one at that.

Now it is time for you to decide if you’re going to join us in the Men in Black or not. If you are, you can stop here and you’ll get further notice later. If not, then let’s walk this way and let me explain what the neuralyzer is. ↓

……

……

A neuralyzer is a special tool we use to make sure you don’t remember anything we don’t want you to, so look right here at the red dot and…

*Flash*

…What you just witnessed here today is a couple of high school girls who decided to live it up a little after not going to any parties at all and instead spent all their time studying…

– – Written by RunPee guest writer Nicholas Collier, who secretly wants to join the MIB. Nick says, “I’ve been watching movies since I got my glasses in 5th grade. Movies are what I love, what I know, and what I aspire to create. Find me @LightCameraNick on twitter, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”  

Learn More About The RunPee App

Watching movies, because we have to!

RunPee FAQs (about)