It Chapter 2
Directed by Andy Muschietti
Starring James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader
Synopsis: Twenty-seven years after the events that haunted their childhoods, the Loser’s Club returns to Derry, Maine to face their fears and take out Pennywise the Dancing Clown once a for all.
Review: In 2017, It Chapter One was a revelation to the horror genre, proving that a genre film can be an international box office success while also being a great movie. So much of what was great about Chapter One was stripped away from Chapter Two due to its extended run time, reliance on flashbacks, and lack of the unknown that made Pennywise so terrifying. The 1989 tween version of the Loser’s Club are all grown up, and except for Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) has left Derry and have seen success. Once Mike finds out Pennywise is returned, one by one he contacts the Loser’s so they can return to Maine and face Pennywise once again.
The casting of the adult versions of the Loser’s Club is spot-on, especially Jessica Chastain as Bev and James Ransone as Eddie. Mustafa, Bill Hader (adult Richie), and James McAvoy (adult Bill) are all very good as well, with Jay Ryan (adult Ben) serving as the only weak point casting wise. Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise once again is the highlight as the menacing Pennywise. While not as unnerving as he was in Chapter One, he still has his moments that are quite scary.
The biggest issues with the film are the length and structure of the film overall. At 169 minutes, the film both underscores the reintroduction of the adult Loser’s while also wasting time with childhood flashbacks and a treasure hunt for tokens that will help to defeat Pennywise. The third act, while it took too long to reach its final conclusion, was the best part of the film. If this was even 150 minutes, with more emphasis on the characters less time wasted in the second act and the film would have had a smoother pace overall. This was also really heavy right away, with a hate crime introducing the film followed by a domestic assault involving Bev. It would be understood if you were turned off to the entire film because of it.
The verdict: Nowhere as great as Chapter One, but It Chapter Two was an adequate conclusion. My grade for It Chapter Two is a B-.