Last night I caught up on parts 2 and 3, not having seem them in a while.
Part 1 is a classic horror movie, full of wonder, mystery, suspense, thrills, chills, scares and plain dread...it's masterfully directed, acted, shot, edited and scored. And yes, I still believe Spielberg totally directed this movie.
Part 2...tries to at least do something interesting by fleshing out the background of the spirits who kidnapped Carol Anne, led by the evil preacher Kane (a wonderfully unnerving performance by Julian Beck, who is the best thing in the movie by a country mile), and introducing an effective, new Native American element with the warrior, Taylor. It retains alot of the creepiness and grossness (hello vomit monster) of the original with some inventive set pieces and scenes (the braces monster, the end battle under the Cuesta Verde property). But it doesn't quite reach the heights of the first film, and honestly without Spielberg's involvement, it didn't have a chance.
Part 3 is where things completely fall apart. I wouldn't even call it a horror movie, as much as I'd call it a comedy. It starts out decent enough, but the whole thing with mirrors is so overdone it's ridiculous. And then it becomes apparent the acting has taken a nosedive...instead of playing it straight, the actors revel in scenery chewing and try to act like they're in a horror movie, rather than just act the drama of the situation (which is what made the previous two films work). And the entire plot is just silly and devolves into parody. The biggest sin is the score...totally ditching the beautiful Goldsmith orchestral theme (he wasn't involved, but they still could've used it), they use some cheesy synth bullshit...it sounds like something you'd hear on a Tales From The Darkside TV episode.
Edited by Ambler - 8/1/12 at 1:54pm