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IT Chapter Two

IT Chapter Two

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Sep 06, 2019
Grade:
B-
Running Time: 
169 minutes

IT wasn’t just one of the scariest films of 2017, it’s one of the scariest films I’ve seen. Period. For two years I’ve been anticipating Pennywise’s return to Derry alongside the now adult versions of the Losers Club to see them defeat It once and for all. Now that IT Chapter Two is finally here, I have to say that I am satisfied with its conclusion, although it wasn’t nearly as impressive as the first film. Chapter Two is disturbingly creepy with excellent performances by the adult Losers, although its lengthy running time might push some people to their limits.

 

27 years after “defeating” the monster It, nearly all of the Losers Club have moved out of Derry and are busy living their own lives. They’ve forgotten about the horrors they faced with the exception of Mike, the only one of the group who decided to stay behind. After a string of mysterious deaths and disappearances, Mike is convinced that It is back and calls the rest of the Losers back home in order to finish the job they started all those years ago. But as they each return to Derry, all of their memories from before start coming back as well. To defeat It, they’re going to have to conquer their fears first.

 

The casting of the film is spot on. The main story takes place 27 years later with James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Bev, Jay Ryan as Ben, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, James Ransone as Eddie, and Andy Bean as Stanley. They’re all grown up but the film does a great job at showing how they haven’t really escaped their younger selves and fears. Beverly might have escaped her abusive father, but now she’s married to a monster. Eddie is still a hypochondriac although he’s managed to channel that into becoming a successful risk assessor. The film opens by showing how much all these characters have moved on, but the second they get back to Derry we start to see them regress back to their old selves, like how Bill’s stutter gradually gets worse and worse as the film progresses. The casting is absolutely perfect, especially with Bill Hader and James Ransone.

 

That being said, it’s impossible to forget just how great the initial casting of the kids are because there are flashbacks cut into scenes throughout. Sometimes it’s footage from the first film so that can be a little repetitive, but most of the times it expands on the story. As good as the adult cast is, seeing them alongside their younger counterparts really nails home just how fantastic the original casting is. Even in their limited scenes, the kids still outshine the adults.

 

Bill Skarsgård, meanwhile, continues to terrify everyone as Pennywise. Like the first film, he’s absolutely brilliant and knows exactly how to play to each of the Losers’ fears. I will say that IT Chapter Two is less scarier than the first. It no doubt messes with your mind; there’s a creepy spider head that will haunt my dreams for weeks to come, but it can get a little too weird at times. Sometimes the jokes fall flat, especially when they come right after what’s supposed to be a terrifying moment. It doesn’t quite pull you out of the film, but there are little moments that make you question how it was all edited together. Then again, I don’t think IT Chapter Two is supposed to be as scary as the first. The whole film is about these adults coming back to face their fears instead of running away from them. They’re learning that they don’t have to be afraid of Pennywise and that fear is what gives him his power.

 

There’s an ongoing joke throughout the film that Bill is a great writer but does a horrible job with endings, which is a tiny jab at Stephen King himself who also happens to make a cameo in the film. It’s a fitting joke because IT Chapter Two doesn’t quite land with its ending. It’s fine but like leaving Derry, it’s mostly forgettable. Andy Muschietti struck gold with 2017’s IT and while Chapter Two may not be as scary, it isn’t that far behind either with a respectable silver.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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