Film review: It Chapter Two
Nearly 30 years after their first encounter with Pennywise, the Losers Club return to the town of Derry to beat the shapeshifting clown once and for all.
The highly anticipated follow-up to the most financially successful horror film ever made is a mixed bag, succeeding in many ways, but ultimately failing to live up to its predecessor.
It Chapter Two picks up 27-years after It (2017) with the Losers Club having gone their separate ways until they’re reunited when the shapeshifting clown Pennywise returns.
It Chapter Two excels in its casting. One of the highlights of the first film was the terrific child cast who delivered a performance for the ages. Fans of the original will be delighted that the original cast reappears at several points throughout the sequel in flashback sequences.
In It Chapter Two the child cast are now played by adults, most notably Jessica Chastain as Bev, James McAvoy as Bill and Bill Hader as Richie. The adult cast nails the grown-up portrayals of their younger counterparts from their looks, mannerisms and chemistry with one another. It’s hard to believe that the younger and older castmates aren’t related offscreen.
The other standout is Bill Skarsgård’s performance as Pennywise. Skarsgård delivers a horrifying performance that will go down as one of the best horror movie villain portrayals of all time. It is akin to Robert Englund’s beloved tenure as Freddy Krueger.
Where the film falls apart is the pacing. Clocking in at near three hours long, It Chapter Two is overstuffed. Stephen King’s source material is 1200 pages long, so a long movie was always expected, but three hours is past the point of excessive.
Luckily, the chemistry between the cast and terrifying visuals are captivating as the movie detours far too often into unnecessary subplots. At several points I checked my watch to see when it would end.
Ultimately, It Chapter Two bit off more than it could chew - it’s far too long and never quite reaches the horrific heights of its predecessor. But it’s bolstered by a stellar cast and it’s refreshing to see a horror movie that provides actual character studies rather than relying on blood and gore.
Final Verdict: 3/5 stars.
Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård, Finn Wolfhard.
If you liked the movie, try:
It (2017), It (1990), Stranger Things, A Nightmare on Elm Street.
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