‘It Chapter Two’ Review: A Deflating Experience

IT Chapter 2

IT Chapter Two left me with an inordinate amount of disappointment and no satisfaction for someone who was looking forward to this sequel. How can a sequel to a film which was enjoyed by critics a fair amount become so mediocre? We are dealing with one of the more iconic figures in horror and source material written by one of the best writers of our generation. How did we get off track? It’s quite simple. IT Chapter Two put too much of the focus on the grief of the losers club and not enough on the mythology behind the creation of Pennywise.

IT Chapter 2

It’s fine and dandy to go into how each of the adult versions of the losers club is handling their PTSD (after the events in Derry 27 years ago), but to dedicated almost 1/2 the movie to just that was a classic case of overkill. What starts as empathy quickly morphs into apathy — drawing this out cause the film to drag quite a bit. Another puzzling twist was casting Bill Hader.

While the choices on paper were perfect, Director Andy Muscietti would have been better served with as cast of relative no-names (rather than actors who are both recognizable and can overshadow the narrative). Hader does look like Richie, but he’s so hysterical in the role that it snaps the audience out of these terrible, gut-wrenching moments. The tone of the film just felt off. There was nothing ominous or foreboding about It Chapter Two. Yes, I understand that the second chapter is meant to be their quest for peace after what occurred twenty-seven years ago, but this is supposed to be a horror movie. At no time did the film ever match the intensity of the 2017 film.

The one positive that everyone will take from the film is, of course, the score and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise. It’s a shame that casting and writing choices had this type of impact on the final product. The relative anonymity of the 2017 cast not only allowed the audience to buy into what was occurring but quite frankly there performance was way more heartfelt than their 2019 counterparts. It Chapter Two relied way too much on previous events to cover up the lack of heart between this band of loveable losers. We should have felt some connection between their adult counterparts.

It also was puzzling why most of the mythology of Pennywise was cut out of the sequel. What made the second book so terrifying was the very part they chose to cut. We didn’t need to see how messed up the Losers have become as adults. That was always an obvious effect of being almost murdered by a supernatural clown. I don’t need melodrama! I want to be scared and if anything, IT Chapter Two was boring for long stretches.

'It Chapter 2'
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