Well, this was inevitable. After IT (2017) became a huge success, doing a sequel was the next logical step considering where the first movie ended. The original novel and miniseries follow the same kids 27 years later and for a lot of people, this is considered to be the weakest part of the story, especially at the end. This makes looking at today’s subject matter a bit more cautious because it can go bad. Did this sequel live up to the first movie? Well, let’s find out. This is IT Chapter Two.
The Losers Club reunites 27 years later after the events of the first movie to confront Pennywise once and for all when he pops up and terrorizes Derry again. Yeah, I’m going to be frank; the story here isn’t as strong as the first chapter. Where Chapter One was about the kids dealing with a supernatural killer clown that’s haunting their town and it’s genuinely believable, Chapter Two is those same kids grown up experiencing the same shit again. The second-third of the film goes like this: one person goes to an area, flashback to the past occurs, scary thing happens, they run, rinse and repeat. It gets repetitive after a while. And there’s that ending. I’ll talk more on that later. Also, the movie is WAY too long, clocking in at two hours and forty minutes. You could’ve cut at least 20 minutes from this film.
Returning from the first film is Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, who’s still his silly and creepy self, and the Losers Club as kids, who appear in flashbacks and it’s nice to see them because they were great. Now let’s focus our attention to the Losers Club as adults. Yo, they did a great job at casting the adults because I believe that those kids would grow up like that and they retain the same personalities and traits. You got James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Bill Hader as Richie, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransome as Eddie, and Andy Bean as Stanley. The best actor is easily Bill Hader. He brings a lot of levity to this film with his quips and he’s just having a blast. The rest were fine, but not great. One of them, Stanley, dies when the Losers Club reunite. The bully from the first film returns and he’s an asylum patient who escapes in order to kill the Losers Club. He was pointless.
I’m gonna go ahead and say it: IT Chapter Two isn’t as scary as IT Chapter One. There are jump scares in this movie, but none of them really works. If anything, this movie is more hilarious than scary. The scenes that were supposed to be scary ended up making me laugh instead of scared. That is not a good sign for a horror movie when you can’t inspire fright from your audience. There’s at least two recreations of the Georgie scene from Chapter One with different kids and an asthmatic gay dude in the beginning. In terms of special effects, while the practical effects still look good (even if some are borderline silly), the CGI looks awful, especially in the climax. Okay, let’s talk about the climax. So the movie explains that It came from outer space and a bunch of Native Americans attempted to destroy it with a ritual, but failed. So the Losers Club must perform this ritual to get rid of It once and for all and It’s true form is revealed as a giant spider-like creature with Pennywise’s head. It looks just as silly as you’d thought it would be. They manage to defeat It, but Eddie dies, and the movie ends on the characters reading letters that Stanley left them before he died.
I give IT Chapter Two a solid 6/10. While there are some really strong performances, especially from Hader and Skarsgard, and I can appreciate the production design and the fact that it’s faithful to the source material, they don’t make up for a weak script, a bloated runtime, and a lot of underwhelming scares. All of this makes up for a sequel that doesn’t live up to the first and isn’t as re-watchable. So, next movie I’ll be reviewing is Joker, which comes out next month. This will be fun.