IT: Chapter Two Review

IT: chapter Two
  • Directing8.5
  • Writing8.5
  • Acting8.5

IT: Chapter Two is full of terrifying creature designs and top tier performances. Director Andy Muschietti has made the largest and weirdest horror film to date that proves the genre's ability to capitalize on a larger budget and cast. This is the horror event film you will not want to miss.

Director Andy Muschietti and writer Gary Dauberman return to Derry for IT: Chapter Two — the terrifying and epic conclusion to the story of Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgard) and the brave group of children that are now adults, known as The Losers Club. IT: Chapter Two is the biggest and boldest horror film to drop into theaters in ages, taking advantage of Part One‘s success by increasing the scope and size of the production, making for a big-budget horror film that wastes not a single dollar on its perfect cast and endless wheelhouse of twisted and horrific fun.

It has been 27 years since the events of IT: Chapter One. Now, the Losers Club have all separated and gone their different ways, with only Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) remaining in Derry. But, a promise is a promise and now Mike is calling upon his former friends to come back and help finally put an end to the disturbing killer clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) as the murders start to stack up.

Bill (James McAvoy), Beverly (Jessica Chastain), Richie (Bill Hader), Ben (Jay Ryan) and Eddie (James Ransone) return to Derry, despite their fuzzy memories of the town and their association with it when they were children. All they know is that something happened in Derry and that same something is calling back to them.

Andy Muschietti‘s IT: Chapter Two is absolutely epic, presenting itself as an R-rated horror movie that’s nearly three hours long, featuring A-list actors and a budget that feels like a never-expanding red balloon — Chapter Two is easily the biggest and weirdest horror film that I have ever seen, with the scares constantly upping themselves, while the scope and size of the story remains large and sprawling.

Director Andy Muschietti has really outdone himself, creating a film that looks and feels epic and large, rarely sacrificing itself for shoddy CGI, instead mostly settling on well-done effects that are cooked up in a way to bring complete terror to its audiences.

Writer Gary Dauberman accomplishes the difficult task of bringing The Losers Club 27 years into the future, taking what perfect casting was already done with their children counterparts and matching them up with adults. And the performances are mostly perfect, with each new actor feeling like an honest carbon copy aged into the future. Bill Hader and James Ransone especially steal the show as Richie and Eddie. Yes, Hader’s comedic relief might factor into his effectiveness of this film, but Ransone’s Eddie helps remind us that these are the same characters, only aged.

The rest of the cast helps balance out the film, with McAvoy and Chastain giving reliable, but mostly safe performances that aren’t the norm for a horror film, but feel welcoming and much-needed. It’s hard to talk about an IT film without again mentioning just how perfect Bill Skarsgard is as Pennywise. His facial movements and his body mannerisms will go down as some of the best physical work ever. He is and will always be the most menacing aspect of the movie, despite Muschietti and Dauberman peppering the film with so many creatively scary designs and moments that don’t always need the inclusion of the killer clown.

IT: Chapter Two is a sprawling movie that on occasion feels its weight. I enjoyed spending nearly three hours with the characters and the story, but after viewing it I could see them trimming 15-20 minutes altogether to make for a more lean and mean production. That being said, I couldn’t pinpoint specific moments and instead think maybe the last act itself was a bit sluggish.

I walked into the film with no comparisons to the book — I read it when I was young and mostly forgot about it, aside from a few big moments that are represented in the final film. With that being said, I thought Chapter Two did a fine job progressing the story from Chapter One, giving us backstory and closure, mixed with even more terrifying moments of dread and fear. I’ve been told that moments from the book were completely changed or missing altogether and that didn’t bother me at all, but I figured I would make note as some people are almost always trying to compare the book to the adaptation, which is almost always going to disappoint.

I think it’s more fitting (and honestly fair) to compare Chapter Two to Chapter One — did Muschietti and co. further the story in a satisfying way? I think so and I’m even willing to say that Chapter Two might be slightly better than Chapter One, if not unique in its own right and its ability to escalate and expand the story.

IT: Chapter One is well-rounded and a better use of its running time, but Chapter Two expands on the mythos of Derry, Pennywise and The Losers Club in a way that feels more rewarding and organic versus cramming too much information into Chapter One. For that, I think Chapter Two is much more of an achievement, effectively blending so many elements to make for both a wholesome conclusion and an epic sequel that we just don’t get to see these days.

IT: Chapter Two is proof that even horror movies can benefit from an increased budget and more casting options — if you have the right team in place to make the film say something on a large scale.

IT: Chapter Two terrified me and entertained me for almost three hours, constantly delivering both a consistent helping of scares and jumps and a story worth investing in, with characters that I have now grown to love.

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