“IT: Chapter 2” Review

Welp, this is the end folks. At least for all we know…

We’re not really going to go over the plot as there are over a billion resources to tell you the differences and major plot points between every iteration with this monster of a book. Instead, let’s take a look at how all of the outer elements like the storytelling, running time, and choice of actors made this epic horror tale come to a fantastic climax. Here’s the usual warning, some spoilers may lie ahead.

As expected, this film picks up 27 years after the first film. The Loser’s Club have gone their separate ways to become writers, architects, fashion designers, and lawyers. No one remembers the events that happened in Derry almost 30 years ago. No one except Mike Hanlon. Unlike the rest of the group, Mike never left. He spent his time researching on how to finally finish Pennywise when and if he came back and after a spree of murders, Mike is convinced the nightmare has returned to Derry and finally gets the gang back together to stop it.

One of the most surprising parts for me was how it actually somewhat followed the main plot points from the book. Starting off with a gay couple being beaten by bigots and Pennywise making a mess of their remains, it was both a topical and striking start to the film. Like with the last movie, director Andy Muschietti pulled no punches with the gore and jumps. Aside from the normal gore of corpses and children getting their faces ripped off, there are also great moments like Pennywise riding through the air with an army of red balloons. The change of also making Pennywise a little more animalistic and primal was a much different and needed turn as it isn’t the 80’s anymore. Kids have been numbed to certain horrors of a different age as seen by the little girl almost avoiding a bloody death from IT. There was an actual predator occupying the form of a now outdated clown. Something not of this world.

The casting choices were also fabulous. Sadly, the only one the audience never really had the chance to see as an adult was Stanley (Andy Dean). Bill Hader was of course perfect for Richie as was James McAvoy for Bill. Jessica Chastain (Beverly), Jay Ryan (Ben), Isaiah Mustafa (Mike), and James Ransone (Eddie) portrayed all of their respected character wonderfully along with bearing somewhat of a resemblance to their younger selves. It’s a bold thing to say, but I literally cannot picture anyone else taking up the mantle of these roles. Of course, Bill Skarsgård continued to embody a perfect Pennywise.

One of the most ambitious parts of the film though was the massive run time. Just under 3 hours and yet, not one part of it boring. The story was evenly paced with the characters backstories and reintroduction’s of Pennywise never creating a dull moment. There were also some fun horror references thrown into the mix with an ode to Nicholson‘s “here’s Johnny” from The Shining (also a Stephen King novel and film) along with a fight between the Loser’s Club and Pennywise referencing this infamous scene from John Carpenter‘s The Thing

Honestly, I cannot think of any negatives or downsides to IT: Chapter 2. Really the only thing I was slightly thrown off by is how it really wasn’t terrifying. Aside from a few jump scares, it tended to focus more on the story and our heroes coming together to finally defeat IT. After seeing a well deserved and well done finale, I’m excited to see a possible release of both films edited into one entire film. I guess with something this monumental, there’s really no way to perfectly end this. No more chapters. No more floating balloons. The nightmares are gone and the book is closed. Goodbye Georgie…

★★★★★

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