Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Film: IT: Chapter Two
Starring: Bill Skarsgard, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean Jaeden Martel, Sophia Lillie, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Gazer, Wyett Oleff
Director: Andy Muschietti
Review: Wade Swift & Keith Napier
Rating: 4X’s out of 5X’s
The most anticipated horror sequel in recent memory has arrived. Once the remake to the legendary Stephen King “IT” novel hit theaters back in 2017, the world was once again reminded of who the one and only master of horror and suspense truly is. Fast forward two years later we get to relive the terror once again with “IT: Chapter Two”, the epic conclusion to what once was a two part mini series made for television in 1990. Chapter Two carries out the return of Pennywise The Clown, 27 years after his previous sighting in Chapter One which took place in good old 1989. The now 30 somethings "Losers Club" are called back to their hometown based off the strength of a blood promise they made to one another as kids, agreeing to return to the town of Derry, New Hampshire should the evil entity they once defeated ever return. Now, we were super excited for this film and we’re happy to say it has a lot more wins than expected. For instance, this film stands close to its source material right out the gate. Although Hollywood has it's way of milking things, Stephen King should be very proud of the work put forth here. Director Andres Muschietti pays homage to the original novel with style. Secondly, much like it's predecessor it delivers an almost seamless tone, delivery and overall cohesiveness. This is one of those franchises that through marketing could easily rely on its marquee villain "Pennywise" and shamelessly insert him into every scene with a bunch of epic one liners to sell a few shirts and action figures. However that’s not the case here. Instead you get to experience the horror almost entirely with the heroes, I mean, The Losers. In fact, to the complete contrary you barely see Pennywise. What you will see is the perception of terror he deploys, which bears many different forms throughout the film. This allows you to get trapped in your own thoughts wondering what will happen next. Thirdly, which also plays double as a win and a loss is the pace. This film could have easily cheated the audience with the usual 90-120 minute film of “slash & dash”, but no, Muschietti takes his time to get you there. We believe this is needed to authenticate the story and transition between the characters and their younger selves. Whenever the story looks like it's dipping into dormancy the comedic relief is right on time making even the dullest conversations interesting. Which brings us to the Losses. And well, this is we’re things get tricky, because what helps this film also hurts it in some areas. Beginning with it's unbridled run time of just under 3 hours, a tall order for many movie goers. We know we called this a win, but a horror film being 10 minutes shy of 3 hours can be regarded as extreme these days. You really have to attend this film with a strong desire to want to watch this movie as well as a deep investment in the franchise. Otherwise the length of this film may be a bit much for you. Secondly, and again we called this one a win but the underusage of Bill Skarsgård and his terrifying take on Pennywise is a bit of a tragedy if you ask us. While it was impressive that they didn't need to lean too heavily on their main attraction it still leaves a bit to be desired. We might sound a little crazy here, but another 10-15 minutes to add one or two more Pennywise sequences wouldn't have hurt this film. Lastly, and we may be nitpicking here but the completely horrid use of CGI de-aging on the kids faces & voices for their flashback scenes really left a bad taste in our mouths. Certainly not Disney quality lol. Again these are very minuscule issues in our opinion. Overall (IT: Chapter Two) does what it came to do and that is deliver a fitting end for the friends in the Losers Club and a proper conclusion to this epic saga. Could it have been done in under 2 - 2 1/2 hours? We're not so sure, but if you’re actually connected to the characters and a fan of all things in the creepy world of Stephen King well then pull up a chair because this may be his best novel to film adaptation to date, and even includes a rare cameo from Mr.King himself. Watch this film with friends, family or a loved one and prepare for a good old fashioned night at the movies!