It Chapter Two

Pennywise is back and ready to give kids everywhere nightmares
Verdict: 
7/10 - Overlong and not as scary, Chapter Two isn't as good as its predecessor.
Release Date: 
Friday, September 6, 2019
Written by: 

The Losers' Club returns to Derry to take down Pennywise after the evil clown makes a reappearance.

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In the first part of It, the Losers' Club, who were then children, defeated Pennywise, the evil clown who went on a killing spree in Derry.

They then made a blood oath to return to their hometown to do so again if he should ever come back.

Flash forward 27 years and members of the Losers' Club are adults and no longer friends.

Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only one who remained in Derry, learns that Pennywise is back and calls up Beverly (Jessica Chastain), Bill (James McAvoy), Richie (Bill Hader), Eddie (James Ransone) and Ben (Jay Ryan) and gets them to come back, even though they can't remember anything about what happened 27 years before.

To defeat Pennywise, they must get their memories back by going to places that are important to them - risking a hallucinatory encounter with Pennywise in the process - and finding an artefact they can burn as part of a ritual.

The problem with It Chapter Two is that it's not all that scary.

Sure, there's some good jump scares, but the antics of Pennywise aren't as terrifying this time around because we've seen him do it all before.

He's also not in it as much as you'd think and mostly manifests himself as different creepy people - old ladies and deformed characters, for example - and these aren't as effective because they are CGI and don't look particularly realistic.

 

Also, director Andy Muschietti has opted to go for more horrifying, disgusting imagery in the hallucination scenes and these are gross but also very obviously digital.

And the film is way too long. Muschietti has insisted the 169-minute runtime was essential but that's not the case and it could have easily been half an hour shorter.

There are a lot of unnecessary scenes weighing it down. It was a nice touch that flashbacks to 1989 were included, so we could see the likes of the young Bev (Sophia Lillis), young Richie (Finn Wolfhard) and young Bill (Jaeden Martell) again, but they aren't vital to the story.

In terms of appearance, the casting was perfect, with Chastain, Hader, and Ransone, in particular, looking uncannily like their younger counterparts.

The lead cast members are given a lot of emotional work to do, trying to face their childhood trauma and the fear they had repressed, but the standout is Hader, who offers up both the funniest and most heartbreaking performance. He steals every scene he appears in.

The first chapter had an entertaining mix of comedy and horror and also served as a coming-of-age story like Stand by Me or The Goonies.

Naturally, because they're now grown-ups, the latter genre had to go and it is missed, as are the hilarious child stars. Chapter Two is darker, more serious and disturbing, with only a bit of humour to offset that heaviness.

Chapter Two had high expectations to live up to and it failed to be as good as its predecessor, despite all that star power.

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