It Chapter Two Review

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It Chapter Two Review

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In 1986, Stephen King released his 22nd book: It. The book gained popularity because of its exploration of fear and the forms it can take. In 1990, the book was turned into a “tv movie” that was split into two parts and aired over two days. The original suffered from its lack of gore and “cheesy” tv nature, which is why it is not a surprise New Line Cinema decided to tackle a remake of the film. Development for this remake began in 2009, and it was decided that the movie would be split into two parts. In 2017, It was released and had major box office success. This year, on September 9, It Chapter Two was released. The film stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, and Bill Skarsgård, and is directed by Muschietti. 

The films is set 27 years after its predecessor. The “losers” are all grown up and pursuing various careers all around the country. After a series of recent murders catch Mike’s (Mustafa) attention, as he is the only member of the group still living in Derry,  he decides to contact his old friends and bring them back to Derry to fulfill their promise at the end of the first chapter. There is only a small issue with Mike’s plan: the people who left Derry hardly remember what happened when they were children, and, when they discover the real reason Mike decided to call them, they are hesitant to stay and help fight. After realizing someone has to put a stop to Pennywise for good, or the town will continue to face brutal murder sprees every 27 years, the “losers” band together once again to take on the monster.

The film is able to tackle the time jump fairly well. The actors for the adults did a good job keeping the same “feel” as their character’s original child actor. This is particularly evident in Ransone’s portray of Eddie and Hader’s portrayal of Richie. As the two characters were arguably the most memorable kids in the original, it was important the older actors would continue this in the sequel, which they successfully did. It Chapter Two also managed to keep some of the same humor as “chapter 1”, with Richie providing most of the comedy yet again. Even with its comedic moments, the movie had a much more serious tone which was clear in a lot of the scenes where certain members of the “losers” were alone. Going along with this last point, Chapter 2 was able to flesh out the overarching theme of friendship extremely well. The plot explores the loss of friends overtime and how great, yet hard, it is to attempt to reconnect. By going in deeper to the theme, the film is able to keep its originality in a sense of valuing the theme of friendship over the stereotypical horror scares. 

While there is a lot of great things the film has to offer, there are also a lot of issues with it. A large portion of the film was used to watch each of the losers reflect on their time in Derry in order to gather a “personal token” for battling Pennywise. It is hard not to accept this portion of the plot with open arms because it allows the audience to return to the child actors’ storyline again, but it also feels like a “lazy” way to do this. Instead of being funny moments that allow viewers to revisit a beloved set of characters, the scenes end up distracting from the actual storyline of the film, making it hard to appreciate the flashbacks. Additionally, It Chapter Two leaves its original movie’s use of creepy props and tension to build fear behind, and returns to the stereotypical modern horror use of “jump scares.”  Because of this, a lot of the fear within the film feels extremely short lived and does not have as large of an impact on the audience. There were a few other issues with the movie as well, such as how flat Mike’s character seemed, and the slow start to the film. 

It Chapter Two is not as good as its predecessor, but it is still a fun watch. There is a lot to love about this sequel, and, while it had its issues, it was not too disappointing. Overall, It Chapter Two is definitely worth the watch regardless, especially to those who loved the first part.