I hesitated a little before giving this one a 5 out of 5 because it’s not perfect, but I forgot how awesome the experience is watching the first two movies back to back so it’s mostly earned it. I think the story is incomplete without this movie, so if you liked the first one you’d be doing yourself a favor to watch this one — and an even bigger favor by watching it immediately after watching the first one.
The events in this movie take place immediately after the events in the original…and also 30 years earlier. (Some spoilers ahead) The crossover between the timelines is handled gracefully and doesn’t leave too many open questions, especially if you’ve already suspended your disbelief for the rest of the story. The same cast from the first one returned for this one — and the same crew — which makes the story even more seamless and the characters even more sympathetic.
I had two major issues with this one that (obviously) didn’t impact my enjoyment too much but are worth calling out. The first one is the pacing — it’s really erratic in this one. There are a few points that drag on interspersed with some seriously in-your-face, tension-packed moments that might just scare the pants off of you (okay, maybe not literally…). It’s a bit jarring and is one of the more noticeable differences between this and its predecessor.
The other was the way they dubbed Lin Shaye’s voice over the scenes set in the past. If you watch this, you’ll see what I mean. The movie starts off with it and sticks with it until the end. I sort of understand it — Lin Shaye’s voice is recognizable — but she’s the only one they do that for. I think Barbara Hershey’s voice is pretty recognizable too but they didn’t dub her voice over those scenes.
Overall this movie is just as creepy and just as interesting as the first one was. It’s the same story from a wider angle and there’s a good payoff at the end. I’ll admit that I haven’t actually watched the third one yet — I’ve seen this and the original several times — so I’m looking forward to watching it but also a little apprehensive. I always felt like I had closure after this movie and I’m cautiously optimistic about where the next one goes.
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