Pennywise and the Loser Club rocked the world in It: Chapter 1, which became the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. A lot of people wondered how the films would culminate. As someone who’s now seen the movie, I can indeed confirm that in my opinion at least, It is… alright.
Keep in mind, while I enjoyed It: Chapter 1, I did not find it very scary. I was more laughing at Pennywise’s antics than clutching my armrests in terror. Am I a sick person? Yes, but not for that reason. However, It: Chapter 2 is by far the most anticipated horror movie of the year, possibly of the past few years. So, what does the movie do right and what does it do wrong?
One thing I can for certain say that the film does right is the casting. The actors here look exactly how you think the kids from the first movie would grow up to be like. There are even comparisons out there between this movie and Chapter 1, showing how much the actors align between generations. A particular highlight for me is James McAvoy as the older Bill Denbrough, the leader of the Losers Club. Reviews of this movie are also praising Bill Hader for his portrayal of Richie Tozier, and of course, all the credit in the world must go to Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the dancing clown.
However, something that Pennywise fanatics might be disappointed at is the lack of the clown in the movie. For a nearly three hour movie (clocking in at 2 hours and 50 minutes), Pennywise himself feels like he’s only in there for a few minutes. Even when he does show up, it is not for that long, pardoning the climax of the film. It feels like Skarsgard either got paid by screen time or he had other engagements. Either way, Pennywise is used surprisingly sparingly in this movie.
Another aspect that is surprisingly sparse in this horror movie is the actual horror element. I only found myself jumping once or twice. For a three hour movie, that is not the best scare ratio for a horror movie. While there were plenty of moments where I felt tense, it was usually boiled down to one jump-scare, maybe two, and then they moved on. Keep in mind, horror is very subjective. What someone else might be scared at, I could shrug at, and vice versa. It is much like the humor, which is surprisingly prevalent in this movie. I found myself laughing a lot throughout this film, whether it be from Bill Hader’s excellent deliveries, or from the dialogue and chemistry between the main actors. There were a lot of laughs for me and the audience I was with.
I know a lot of people are going to be wondering how this movie differs from the adult sections of the book. The first film had several changes as well (a lot of them for the better) so do the changes in this film hold the same candle? Well, the changes in this movie aren’t that numerous, but do certainly occur. Without spoiling anything, I think the changes made to this movie are worthwhile if ultimately not as impactful or important as the ones from the first movie.
I researched the novel beforehand, not having the time to read the brick that is the 1,000-page book. From what I see, changes from the book boil down to character choices and some differences in the climax, but there’s not much difference. If you’ve read the book and want a more loyal adaptation than the first one provided, this will be a pleasant surprise.
Overall, if you enjoyed the first It movie in 2017, you will enjoy this one. It might not be exactly what you expect, but I think you will find a lot of enjoyment in it. If you’re like me and just thought the movie was average, I still say check it out. You may be surprised.