PSA: This review will be spoiler free. No need to hunt me down for ruining your favorite movie.
Almost exactly two years since the release of the 2017 film, “It,” the second chapter in the saga is here, creating excitement for fans of Stephen King and the horror genre.
The story brings us back to the small town of Derry 27 years after the events of the first film. The Losers’ Club has split up since their traumatizing misadventures with Pennywise in 1989, but must now return to fulfill their pact of destroying the evil that plagues their hometown.
If you’re expecting/hoping for intense terror and sleepless nights, “It: Chapter 2” is not that movie. While the film certainly maintains its eerie and spooky vibe from the first, the overly-used CGI and preposterous monsters maintain humor over horror. Rather than Pennywise preying on children’s darkest fears, the sequel focuses more on scary old woman boobs and leper vomit.
That being said, was I entertained? Absolutely.
Although it wasn’t the scariest film of the year (have you even seen Jordan Peele’s “Us”?), it was certainly one of the funniest. The comedic duo of Bill Hader and James Ransone was just as brilliant as their middle school counterparts, Finn Wolfhard and Jack Dylan Grazer.
Other than hilarious dialogue, the monsters were–hear me out–pretty silly. They were shocking and gross, but completely ridiculous. Rather than gasping, hiding my eyes and screaming, I found myself laughing out loud at almost every scary image on screen. The film thrives on jump scares, which are certainly fun in the moment, but had absolutely no lasting effect on me afterwards. Depending on how much you love horror, that could be interpreted as a good or bad thing.
As far as story and actual cinematic elements go, “It: Chapter 2” was disappointing. The plot felt messy and not completely put together.
While a part of me appreciated the developing adult characters, as well as more diverse representation on screen, not every development/change made a lot of sense, mainly because it wasn’t alluded to in the first film at all. One could argue that these characters would be expected to change a lot over 27 years, but better writing would have made for a more cohesive story.
However, the interesting cinematography and lighting choices from the first film were still present in the sequel, which was greatly appreciated. The film also highly benefited from strong performances from the adult cast, especially James Mcavoy, who I would follow anywhere.
Now that I’ve complained for paragraphs about a globally anticipated film, I want to applaud the excellent and heartwarming portrayal of the theme of friendship and togetherness. If there’s one thing to take away from “It: Chapter 2,” it’s the magic of long time friendship.
There’s something exceptionally wonderful about relationships so close that no matter the fights, distance or shared trauma, coming together again feels like coming home. The Losers’ club embodies that feeling, and reminds audiences of the value and power in real friendship. Friendship so strong that it stands a chance against a killer demon clown.
Is “It: Chapter 2” a cinematic masterpiece? Absolutely not. Was it fun and exciting to be a part of? 100%, yes.
If anything, go see this film for Stephen King’s cameo, the digital remastering of Finn Wolfhard’s face because he grew too much and the seriously gross old lady boobs. There’s a chance Pennywise will scare you for three hours, but those will haunt you for life.
Story by: Amanda Walton
Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.