‘IT: Chapter Two’ Review – Pennywise Is Back For A Marathon Sequel

Michael BurtonMichael Burton in Entertainment, Film
Published 03.09.19
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IT: Chapter Two Review – 3 out of 5.

I wanted to love it, I really did. I wanted to tell you that it was so scary that people were walking out of the cinema halfway through, screaming as they covered their eyes while begging their mothers to cradle them to sleep.

In the end the only people walking out halfway through were those whose bladders couldn’t take it any more. They’d tried so desperately to hold on but it had become clear to them that IT: Chapter Two was a mighty long chapter, and if they did go and relieve themselves, they probably wouldn’t be missing much.

What is IT: Chapter Two about?

We pick things up in Derry 27 years after Chapter One. A gay couple are badly beaten in a homophobic attack, with one of the men being dumped over the bridge and into the river. As he struggles to stay afloat a hand reaches out, the hand of Pennywise the clown. IT is back.

Following through on the pact they made all those years ago, Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), as the only Loser left in Derry, summons the rest of the gang back home to deal with unfinished business.

After finding out what they’ve all been up to in the intervening years we’re treated to one of the movie’s better scenes, a big Losers Club reunion over dinner.

Bill (James McAvoy) grew up to be an author whose book has a terrible ending. Beverly (Jessica Chastain) has found herself in an abusive relationship, Ben (Jay Ryan) lost weight and is now a hottie, and Richie (Bill Hader) and Eddie (James Ransone) provide for some of the film’s lighter moments. Noticeably absent from dinner is Stanley (Andy Bean), but we’ll leave that there. Spoilers and all that.

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The setup is strong but it’s from this moment onwards that IT: Chapter Two starts to lose its way. Well, not so much as lose its way, it knew where it was going, it just decided to take the long way round, along hammy streets with too much baggage weighing it down.

Each Loser is forced to revisit their past in order to find the solution to defeating Pennywise, and this allows for some welcome flashbacks to them as kids, scenes which are instantly more likeable. Maybe this story just isn’t meant to be spearheaded by adults?

Despite Pennywise failing to ever really be that scary, the film does have its moments. There’s some nice set pieces dotted throughout, with Director Muschietti going to great lengths to identify each character’s trauma from all those years ago and how it still lingers with them as adults. The problem is that there’s just too much of it, meaning any attempts at genuine horror doesn’t carry enough tension.

Is IT: Chapter Two any good?

IT: Chapter Two is perhaps guilt of trying to do too much, of trying to be too many things. It wants to be a nostalgic horror adventure comedy epic, but it just ends up being a bit of a drag.

There’s enough in there to be entertained by, but by the time the final act played out I couldn’t help but think to myself that I should have been leaving the cinema at least half an hour ago.

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