It Chapter Two: Film Review

I’m not a big fan of horror films but I loved the first chapter of IT. I thought it was a terrifying horror but also a funny coming-of-age piece. Naturally, given it’s set 27 years later, Chapter Two doesn’t have that coming-of-age aspect anymore and so I didn’t enjoy it quite as much.

Twenty-seven years after the events of the first film, in which the Losers Club defeated Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), the clown makes a comeback and starts his killing spree again. Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), who has remained in Derry, calls up his estranged friends and asks them to return to fulfil a blood oath they made to do so if Pennywise ever came back. Despite not being able to remember anything from that time, Bev (Jessica Chastain), Bill (James McAvoy), Richie (Bill Hader), Eddie (James Ransone) and Ben (Jay Ryan) return to Derry.

Chapter Two didn’t terrify me as much as the first, maybe because I’ve seen Pennywise lure in and kill children before or because a lot of the scary moments are shown in the trailer, but it is quite bloody and gory and there is way more horrifying, disgusting imagery and grim body horror that really grossed me out. Because Pennywise can make people see things that aren’t real, director Andy Muschietti really has a blank state when it comes to imagining weird and creepy things, for example, flies growing baby heads! Pennywise uses different guises a lot this time – like old ladies and deformed people – but these aren’t as effective as him because they are heavily CGI. Pennywise is still as creepy as ever but I was less affected by him this time around for some reason. Even still, there were a couple of good jump scares and it was effective at building tension when something was about to happen. Usually during these moments I’d put my hands to my eyes and think “Don’t go in there!” “Don’t do that, you fool!”

The film is two hours and 49 minutes (!!) but it genuinely doesn’t feel that long. However, there are some scenes that don’t seem necessary so it could have been cut down a bit, particularly some of the flashback scenes to 1989 using the young actors. These are lovely to watch because the child actors are fantastic and they gave me those coming-of-age vibes, but they aren’t essential. It takes a while to reintroduce the characters as adults and then they all go off separately in search of their “artefact” so the runtime slowly creeps up but it always captured my attention. The final showdown goes on quite a while and is just bizarre.

Richie (Finn Wolfhard) was one of my favourites in the first chapter so it’s no surprise that Hader as grown-up Richie was the star of the show for me. He was the funniest but also the most heartbreaking, while Chastain also had a great deal of emotional work to do, with Bev revisiting her childhood trauma. Appearance wise, Ransone and Chastain were perfectly cast as the adult versions of Jack Dylan Grazer and Sophia Lillis. Each castmember had a backstory to explore and it was interesting learning more about them and their friendships. I was also excited to see Xavier Dolan in the brutal opening sequence and author Stephen King in a cameo role as a shopkeeper.

It Chapter Two isn’t just a horror. It has a lot of substance and drama and emotion, as most characters have to confront their past demons. It is a good, gruesome, disturbing horror but it just doesn’t match up to its predecessor in my eyes.

In cinemas Friday 6th September

(Rating: 4/5)

Trackbacks

  1. […] Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader. I’ve already seen it and you can read my review here. It’s not as good or as scary or as funny as the first one. Released: 6th […]

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  2. […] It Chapter Two, Pet Sematary and In the Tall Grass, Doctor Sleep is the fourth movie adaptation of a Stephen King […]

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