IT Chapter Two Review:

Trouble Continues in Derry

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IT Chapter Two Review:

Pennywise uses a lightning bug to lure a little girl into his grasp. (Photo by Warner Brothers)

Pennywise uses a lightning bug to lure a little girl into his grasp. (Photo by Warner Brothers)

Pennywise uses a lightning bug to lure a little girl into his grasp. (Photo by Warner Brothers)

Pennywise uses a lightning bug to lure a little girl into his grasp. (Photo by Warner Brothers)

Alexis Drummond, Review Staff

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IT comes back to claim more victims —and a $91 million opening weekend.

On September 5th, movie theatres officially began playing “IT: Chapter Two” — sequel to the number three in box office records in 2017, “IT”. 

“The film is Muschietti’s follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed and massive worldwide box office hit ‘IT,’ which grossed over $700 million globally,” said Warner Brothers. “Both redefining and transcending the genre, ‘IT’ became part of the cultural zeitgeist as well as the highest-grossing horror film of all time.”

After a 27 year wait from the 1990 original — featuring Tim Curry as IT (aka Pennywise) — we saw the remake — featuring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. After an additional two years, we finally get to see part two. 

The movie begins 27 years after the “Losers’ Club” subdued the murderous spree of Pennywise, in their hometown of Derry, Maine. Now as adults and after going their separate ways, kids began disappearing in Derry. In hope of stopping Pennywise for the last time, Mike (played by Isaiah Mustafa) calls his old friends and members of the Losers’ Club.  

After putting their horrifying past behind them, they each must overcome their deepest fears to destroy the dancing clown once and for all… making each of them vulnerable to the clown that has become deadlier than ever.

The movie poster for Chapter Two hanging in the Arapahoe Crossings theater. The movie officially began playing on Thursday, September 5th.

Each aspect of Chapter Two, as well as the overall movie, will be rated out of five red balloons. While rating each aspect, I will be including information from the first part and comparing each to the 1990 original.  

Storyline: 🎈🎈🎈🎈

The movie was extremely well written. Chapter Two continues where the first part left off 27 years later. All of the Losers’ Club has grown up and gone their separate ways. 

In IT: Chapter One, the director —Andrés Muschietti—offered the audience an enjoyable experience of watching the horror film starring a remarkable cast of foul-mouthed minors, while incorporating the rush on 1980s nostalgia. Choosing a more linear structure, though, the filmmakers also backloaded many of Stephen King’s original novel’s complex and compelling aspects onto the second part, ultimately, setting themselves up for difficultly to execute the Ritual of Chüd, as well as other major aspects. 

With this difficult setup, IT: Chapter Two had to struggle to completely follow the original plan. Along with this challenge, Muschietti also had to stray away from confirming what those who read the book, originally suspected: It is, ultimately, an unfilmable book. 

 The 1990 film was originally meant for a TV series. If the director —Tommy Lee Wallace— would’ve broken the three-hour movie into more then two parts, he could’ve incorporated more details from the book.

“It was cool to see the license plate from Christine in there,” said Brooklyn Drummond. “It was a great reference to King’s other works.” 

Muschietti did an excellent job of trying to incorporate many of the little and some of the big ideas from the novel, into the second part. From little ideas like the turtle and Mrs. Kersh to bigger ideas like Paul Bunyan and Adrian Mellon. By incorporating these ideas in, those who read the book, as well as those who haven’t, can pick up on the two major themes of memory and abuse, in a variety of senses. 

Characters/Actors: 🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈

The choice in the cast was excellent. The 1990 cast set the bar pretty high for being a film in the 1990’s with: Tim Curry (Pennywise), Jonathan Brandis (young Bill) and Richard Thomas (older Bill), Emily Perkins (young Beverly) and Annette O’Toole (older Beverly), Seth Green (young Richie) and Harry Anderson (older Richie), Brandon Crane (young Ben) and John Ritter (older Ben), Adam Faraizl (young Eddie) and Dennis Christopher (older Eddie), Ben Heller (young Stanley) and Richard Masur (older Stanley), Marlon Taylor (young Mike) and Tim Reid (older Mike).  

In the 2017 remake, we got the foul-mouthed, teenage adaptions and the even scarier clown from the 1990 film with Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise), Jaeden Lieberher (Bill), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben), Sophia Lillis (Beverly), Finn Wolfhard (Richie), Chosen Jacobs (Mike), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie), and Wyatt Oleff (Stanley). 

Each of these actors/actresses gave the updated It a new, scarier look. They each incorporated parts of themselves into their roles, and truly lived the character they played. Compared to the 1990 film, these actors/actresses showed more of the book’s details than the original did. You could see more of the emotions in this group of Losers’ Club than in the original. 

“It is glo­ri­ous to see this stuff en­vi­sioned on such a huge and self-as­sured scale, a joy to have a film of this size trad­ing in this sort of genre car­nage with such un­com­pro­mis­ing and un­apolo­getic style,” said Alex Godfrey.

Bill (James McAvoy) following a child into the carnival’s funhouse in hope to save him from Pennywise. Bill faces his worst fear in an attempt to save this child. (Photo by Warner Brothers)

With Chapter Two, we get to see both the child and the adult actors/actresses. James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie,  Andy Bean as Stanley.

From the first scenes, each character is introduced by giving each of them an extended moment. This is where we get to see how each actor/actress will fill their role. 

The screenwriters repeat this solo moment by sending each member on quests that feel more like separate horror short films that come back together to create the one big horror film.

Special Effects/Design: 🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈

The special effects are fantastic; blending the Fangoria magazine design with 21st-century visual effects. You see the great visual effects of CGI as it all comes to life on the big screen.

The greatest effect is Skarsgard’s Pennywise; balancing the dark humor of the character with his murderous tendencies. The conditioning with the costume designs of each of the “fears” are brought to life. 

The little details found in the background and the foreshadowing one may not recognize the first time they see it. These are all parts of the brilliant mind of Muschietti. Adding little details into the set like the creepy smiles of the people in the background, to the hints of Stephen King’s other works, to the special guest cameo in Bill’s solo quest.

Pennywise intimidates Adrian’s boyfriend while holding him. Adrain was a significant character to the plot. Adrian was Pennywise’s first victim in Chapter Two.

Adding all of these little details into a movie, while following a budget and adding so many fun special effects, brought the quality of the movie up and made it more fun to watch. 

Questions: 

  1. Is there going to be another IT? I heard that Bill Skarsgård was willing to play Pennywise again in another film. The only way he could play Pennywise would either be in a prequel or a history of what Pennywise is. 
  2. Why wasn’t there more reference to the turtle? I understand that it’s only a thing people who read the book would understand, but we only had a few hints of it in the first part. It would’ve been cool to bring King’s idea of the turtle to life in the second part. 

Overall: 🎈🎈🎈🎈

After seeing the original with Tim Curry, I fell in love with the character Pennywise, so seeing what he adapted into with Bill Skarsgård, it brought the whole experience together; It brought IT to life. 

I would recommend all of the movies to everyone —except if you have a major fear of clowns; this is not the movie series for you. Especially if you read the book, go see the movie. It adds in so much more than the 1990 original. 

For more information on the film and many more of Stephen King’s work, click here. There are spoilers for the movie there.