Saying I went into It: Chapter 2 with high expectations is a bit of an understatement. The first film was perfect on so many levels -- the plot, the script, the casting… everything just came together to create what felt like an actual adult horror version of Stranger Things. So did It: Chapter 2 live up to the hype that the first film created? Like most sequels, this film fell short in many ways. However, that doesn’t mean that it was a total disappointment. It has just lost its innocence that the kids so perfectly captured in the 2017 film.
The plot is simple, 27 years have passed in Derry, and Pennywise has returned. Our favorite “Losers” all made a pack in their youth to return if Pennywise did. All grown up, the characters we knew and loved as kids have returned to the town that most of them have entirely forgotten. Whether it was Pennywise that made them forget -- or just the scars of trauma, we relieve a lot of their childhoods through flashbacks, which remind us how close they all really were.
This time around, the threat from Pennywise seems much more significant with consequences these characters don’t seem too keen on facing. But the reality is, if they don’t put an end to IT, they all will die -- along with countless others in Derry.
Take a look at the trailer below.
It Chapter 2 Review: What I Liked and Didn’t Like
I should start this section by saying that I didn’t “not like” It: Chapter 2. I just didn’t like it as much as I did the first film. The characters were much more enjoyable to watch as kids than they are as adults.
The acting is all fine for the most part. Bill Skarsgard is as terrifying as ever. And the kids are as loveable as they were in 2017. My problem though lies with the adult characters. Riche Tozier (Bill Hader), Andy Bean (Stanely), and namely/mostly Jessica Chastain (Beverly) have moments that just altogether remove you from the film. I don’t know if the script is to blame or the acting, but those moments just get delivered like a hard blow to the face. It removes you from the film and reminds you that you’re watching a movie. I don’t mind watching tender moments between Beverly and Bill as kids, but there’s something about watching those moments with the adults that seems forced and awkward (and spare me Chastain’s puppy dog eyes -- it’s as if she’s forgotten the genre that she’s in).
There’s way more action/blood/gore/jump scares in this film, which was also something that bothered me. There was not a noticeable buildup to an all-out showdown with Pennywise, which made the ending feel anti-climatic and created less fear for the audience -- something the first film wholly mastered. Not to mention, all of this takes place in an unnecessary 2.5 hours. It’s roughly 45 minutes too long.
Enough of the negative, one thing that deserves a great deal of praise with this movie is the cuts between scenes. There are some genuinely creative and unique transitions that occur -- especially in the first part of the film. The special effects are what you would expect, if not slightly over-the-top. And the humor is the same humor from the first film. The script does a beautiful job at transitioning the same personality characteristics that we loved in the kids -- to their adult forms.
Overall, I do not doubt that It: Chapter 2 will own the box office this weekend. And it will deliver the scares and subsequently the nightmares that you expect it to. However, it will make you love and cherish the 2017 It all the more. It’s magic that simply can’t be recreated.
It Chapter 2 Review: