It: Chapter 2 – Review

It: Chapter 1 was a near unprecedented success, uniting audiences across the board in nearly three hours of horror as a relentless evil spirit terrorises seven misfit children. Led by Bill Skarsgaard as demented clown Pennywise, the film drew countless of horror fans, cinephiles, and regular viewers to the movie. The horror phenomenon, based on a Stephen King novel, has spooked many – making us weary of drains and sewers and even more so…clowns.

Now a follow up, the second half of the novel, is floating back to cinemas. And things are about to get really weird.

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Set 27 years after the first one, and our beloved Losers Club has all but gone their separate ways, forgetting all the horrors they faced in Derry so many years ago. When Mike, the only friend who stayed, calls them all up to tell them that the entity is back terrorizing the town, the Losers reluctantly return to defeat the evil once more. But can they face Pennywise once more?

It: Chapter 2 is one of those great examples of how to do exceptional casting. Each adult version of their child counterpart brilliant inhibits the role. Whether that is James McAvoy returning to Bill’s stutter as he further, Jay Ryan’s innocent and now slim Ben, or Jessica Chastain’s troubled Bev, the adult   But the film belongs to two men: James Ransone and Bill Hader as Eddie and Ritchie respectively. The nervous Eddie, played terrifically by Jack Dylan Grazer in the first film, is brilliantly portrayed by Ransone.  Not only embodying Grazer’s work, Ransone brings new levels to Eddie that are tragic and empathic. It is true hard

For those who have seen The Skeleton Twins, it’s not difficult to grasp that Hader can do both comedy and drama effectively well. In Ritchie, Hader becomes the film’s greatest asset – not only delivering funny lines but also effective tragedy. When he jokes, you laugh, when he screams, you cry. It is a phenomenal performance.

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It Chapter 2 has some brilliant horror moments in it. Demented and deformed characters from your worse nightmares streak across the screen. However, the second part is definitely sillier than the first. There was an insidious darkness to the first film that the second fails to replicate but introducing the stupidest book elements. It takes away the unknown and what it replaces it with is more ridiculous

Having to focus on seven children turned adults over-bloats the film yet surprisingly is lacklustre in deeper delves into who these character’s are now. Ritchie’s homosexuality is touched upon but it never feels wholly developed. Beverly cyclic trauma and abusive relationships are barely touched upon. Instead the film has her bounce into a love triangle whilst back in Derry. Mike Hanlon, The Loser’s only black character and the subject of a lot of racism in the first film, is merely exposition – with only a brief encounter with his horrors and Pennywise. It is these troubling parts that fail to bring It Chapter 2 to full fruition.

Ultimately, clocking it at 165 minutes, It: Chapter 2 does try your patience in a few places. That could be from clutching your heart, wishing for a moment’s relief from monstrous vignettes or from bum-shuffling agony of a slow unfurling story that never feels fully fleshed out. A good enough sequel with a viciously brilliant cast.

It: Chapter 2 is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

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