By: Movie Snurb (Three Beers) –
It: Chapter Two picks up 27 years after the first film ended. Bill is a successful writer, Richie is a comedian, Ben is a brilliant architect, Beverly is a fashion designer, Eddie asses risk for insurance companies, Mike stayed in Derry as the town librarian, and Stanley is an accountant. All of the kids are major successes except for Mike because he stayed in Derry to watch out and contact everyone if It ever came back. It makes his first appearance killing a poor man who was a victim of a gay-bashing and was thrown in the river to die. So, Mike contacts everyone to come back together and defeat Pennywise once and for all.
Hands down the strongest aspect of this film and the previous film is the performances. Everyone brings their a game to this film; Jessica Chastain as Beverly is great as always, and James McAvoy as Bill gives a solid leading performance. And Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise is also brilliant. He completely disappears again into Pennywise, bringing to life one of the most terrifying and iconic horror villains of all-time. I honestly wish he could’ve had more screen time. One of the two other performances I feel I need to praise is Bill Hader as Richie; he finds the humor in every moment and no joke ever feels forced or out of place, and he also brings an honesty to his performance that brings Richie to life and makes him the most likable character of the loser’s club. The other performance that is brilliant is Jason Ransone as Eddie. First of all, it’s perfect casting because if you told me Jason and Jack Glazer who plays young Eddie were related I’d believe it. Their mannerisms and speech affectations are very similar, making Eddie feel like a real person that has aged and they just waited 27 years to make the second film. Jason perfectly nails Eddie and it’s a joy to watch.
The CGI is pretty great in this film as well. If it wasn’t for the strong special effects this film could fall apart very quickly- the CGI is believable and proves why this film needed to be remade. It’s a massive step up from the 1990 made-for-TV movie. Off of the CGI topic, I liked how close to the book this one stays for a while at least. This one is more faithful than the first film.
Pretty sure Older Richie looks like my Dad did when he was in college.
Unfortunately, this film doesn’t rise to the level that the first chapter did. It’s a little long, but the pacing never seems off, even though they could’ve trimmed this down by about 20 minutes and cut down some of the repetitiveness. The first scares work and provide some genuine jump scares; however, they use the same formula to scare each one of the losers and this formula 6 times in a row begins to wear thin and the scares become less effective. It’s too bad, because it almost feels like Bill is being wasted as Pennywise.
Because of the repetitive scares the film is not as scary as the first one was. It feels like they decided they didn’t need to be as creative with the scares because they knew they were going to get the asses in the seats and they didn’t need word of mouth to get people to come to the theater. They really needed to work on the scary aspect of the film, because the book becomes less scary when they are adults, that’s why Henry Bowers is sent to kill them by Pennywise. It provides a real-world aspect to the story that would be scarier to adults. Unfortunately, they can’t make the movies or movie in the format of the book. The book has remained a timeless classic because it goes back and forth between them as kids and adults. I think King did this because they adult story is the weaker of the two, so the second half of the book doesn’t drag. However, when you make the movie or movies in chronological order the second movie is going to be weaker and therefore won’t hold up to the first one.
I did enjoy the closing chapter to It, but it could’ve been better. If you liked the first one and love the book I recommend seeing this one. It: Chapter Two may not live up to the first, but it’s still a well-made horror film.
It: Chapter Two (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every flashback.
Take a Drink: for every similar scare formula
Do a Shot: every time you see the deadlights.
Do a Shot: every time they say “Pennywise”.
Take a Drink: for any moments you feel could’ve been left on the cutting room floor.