Movie: IT Chapter 2
Rating: 3.7/5 stars
Movies to watch before: IT Chapter 1
IT Chapter One is one of the most popular horror movies of this century. It was a fan favorite fast, but Chapter Two seemed to fall short of that same magic. I liked this movie as a sequel to the first film, but it was full of plot holes and too many callbacks to the first movie. Chapter One’s magic was mainly on the kids and the new face of Pennywise so the director and crew made those points obvious in the film, but it didn’t seem to land 100% of the time.
The Kids: With the fame of Stranger Things, the 80s are back in pop culture. The kids were well-loved by audiences in the first film, and Finn Wolfhard was a nice familiar face to most. In the sequel, they showed the kids a lot and it makes sense as the adults are starting to remember their childhood. But I think they added in scenes of the kids and Pennywise just because they wanted kid screen time. Those scenes made unnecessary plot holes. They even added a clubhouse, which was never seen in the first film but seemed to be important to the now-grown Losers. I think they could have planned the first and second parts a little better so those flashbacks didn’t feel so out of place.
Pennywise: Another part of the success of Chapter One was Pennywise. He was scary and nothing like the Tim Curry Pennywise our parents have been used to. He was a shock factor and obviously we’ve seen him now so there isn’t a shock about him. They knew this too and didn’t try to make him as shocking in this part and Pennywise had a lot more screen time in this movie. It was nice and made Pennywise more complex as an antagonist. They never truly explain his backstory though, and that was disappointing to me.
Grownup Counterparts: I think the casting of the adult version of the kids was really good. Stan, Mike, Bowers, and Eddie looked great and a lot like their child counterparts. Bill, Ben, Beverly, and Richie weren’t as close in look-alikes but the adult actors were decent. The acting was great overall. I think most of the actors played a believable counterpart to their child version. I think Ben’s adult actor was very different from the child version and it felt off when his character was in a scene. The stand out actor of this film is definitely Bill Hader as Richie. Hader makes Richie funny, and even though Wolfhard and Hader look different, the character felt the most real and I believed that Richie grew up to be this man. I also liked the secret that Richie held and it made the end all the more emotional for me.
Technical Aspects: The score was really nice. They kept a lot of the same music for callbacks, but their overall score was haunting and beautiful just like Chapter One had been. The filmography was just as well done as Chapter One as well. It fit the atmosphere very well. There were also two cameos from Stephan King, the author of It, and the film director, Andy Mushietti. It was a cool touch for fans, it felt along the same lines as Stan Lee’s cameos are in Marvel movies.
The horror: The horror part of this film was right where I thought it would be. It is hard to make the sequel scarier when it’s basically the same scares as the first film, but even with that, they managed to make the movie scary. I think you should go into this movie letting yourself jump and be scared of anticipation because it makes the experience more fun and it engages you in the movie more. The standout scene is the last 30 minutes because it’s the final battle. Lots of things happen and it is a fun and stressful scene to watch.
Final Thoughts: Overall I would rate this movie 3.7/4 stars. I never get that specific with a rating but I didn’t love it enough to get 4 stars but 3.5 feels way too low. I really enjoyed the movie and will see it again, but on the technical side it was plot hole city and some of the kid flashbacks felt forced. Even with this, it is a nice sequel and the ending was satisfying. I recommend this movie to those who have seen Chapter One and those who like horror and suspense.