“IT Chapter Two” is the highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s “IT,” based on the novel by Stephen King. The nearly three-hour experience concludes the journey of the “Loser’s Club,” who have all returned to the fictional Derry, Maine, after everyone’s favorite dancing clown strikes back 27 years later.
Given that the film is adapting a 1100-page King novel, one can understand the length, regardless of how well the movie actually plays out when watching it.
Far too often though, despite what the clown chants, time did not float by.
That said, it would be very difficult to cut scenes that made their way into the film. Flashbacks, for example, play a heavy role in chapter two and feel too important to cut from the overall narrative. At the same time, the film has to establish the threat of Pennywise and make the audience understand why the Losers come back to confront It.
Bill Hader stands out as Richie Tozier and brings a balance of levity and emotional weight to the role.
Another Bill, this one’s last name being Skarsgård (Pennywise), is equally great as the aforementioned clown of horror. There is a scene in which he is acting alongside Jessica Chastain (Beverly Marsh) where we see Skarsgård outside of the makeup and he is surprisingly just as terrifying.
I also appreciated the themes of trauma, lost friendships and guilt that surround this film.
Bill Denbrough is seen clearly wrestling with the guilt of losing his brother, a survivor’s guilt that Pennywise plays with throughout.
Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa a.k.a. “old spice”) has been trapped in Derry by the past horrors that he and his friends experienced 27 years prior.
Beverly Marsh is abused by her husband, a man who is eerily similar to her abusive father.
Jump-scares are a cheap trick and don’t represent true horror in my eyes. Anyone can get quiet and hide in the dark only to jump out and scare an unsuspecting soul nearby. That’s too easy to be taken seriously and for chapter two it seems too easy to pass up.
The film also uses a lot of CGI in order to create Pennywise’s other form, which to me isn’t that scary.
That’s not to say that a kid getting their head bitten off isn’t scary, but CG effect can take away from the movie-going experience.
Chapter two is more thrilling than horrifying.
If you want a sequel that ups the scare and challenges your ability to stay seated through the fear that Pennywise inflicts upon you, this may not be the film for you. However, if you want a sequel that concludes some interesting character journeys in a satisfying way, devoid of a plethora of scares, then check out “IT: Chapter Two!”