“IT Chapter Two” Review: Fun, Creepy, and Messy
By Angela Kight
After the major success of “IT,” there was no doubt that “IT Chapter Two” would be a highly anticipated blockbuster this year. “IT Chapter Two” floated to No.1 at the box office in its first weekend with $91 million in North America. The film, directed by Andy Muschietti, is a continuation of the prequel and is strategically executed with scary scenes complemented by comic relief. Although the film has garnered a lot of buzz, however, it is a less than decent successor to its first film.
When “IT Chapter Two” begins, the Losers are called back to Derry, Maine 27 years later. The film reintroduces the group of misfit teenagers as adults played by an impressive cast: Richie (Bill Hader) is a well-known standup comic; Bill (James McAvoy) is a bestselling author; Eddie (James Ransone) is a financial advisor in New York; Ben (Jay Ryan) is an architect; Beverly (Jessica Chastain) is a successful fashion designer; Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) never left Derry and calls everyone back home. Stan (Andy Bean) is the only Loser who doesn’t make it back to Derry and never faces Pennywise.
The biggest weakness of the film is the lack of chemistry between the adult Losers. In the first movie, the Losers promised to be there for one another if “It” ever returned. And while the Losers were supposed to believe in that strong, everlasting friendship they had as teens, it never fully comes to fruition when they’re adults. The adults don’t show the same love and eagerness to stand together to defeat “It” as they did when they were teens. The first movie was filled with a youthful energy and determination, but sequel focuses more on the bleakness of adulthood and how the Losers must overcome their trauma together.
The film, in a nutshell, can be described as a horror-comedy. The creepiest scenes often cut to comical scenes in an instant, relieving you of the dreadful feeling in the pit of your stomach. One of the funniest parts of the movie happens during a battle with Pennywise, when Eddie and Richie run into three doors labeled “scary,” “very scary,” and “not scary at all.” They open the “not scary at all” door and are greeted by an adorable Pomeranian. They admire and coo at the puppy until it turns into a ravenous CGI monster. The comic relief is executed well throughout the movie, but in scenes that are meant to be tense and climactic such as this one, the comedy takes away from the horror. With the film being labeled a horror film, the horror element feels secondary at times. In horror-comedies, comic relief gives viewers a chance to catch their breath, helping intensify the horror. But with so many jokes and one-liners, the film takes away too much of the scare factor.
“IT Chapter Two” has some great scares, but at nearly three hours long, it lacks real nerve-rattling scares. The film feels as though Muschietti was going for more creepy themes than scary; Beverly fleeing a naked, goofy-looking, giant, old woman is unnerving, but it doesn’t make you jump in your seat. If you’re expecting a horror show, prepare to be disappointed. But if you let the movie express itself as a horror-comedy, you’ll experience an entertaining story that is easy to enjoy.