Nothing lasts forever… including a demonic, shape-shifting clown that preys on the flesh of small children. Steven King’s two-part novel comes to wacky and twisted end with IT Chapter 2. Critics and die-hard fans of the franchise are uneasy about how the storybook closes but audiences continue to laugh and scream their way to the box office.
After 27 years, the Losers Club returns to Derry, Maine to finish what they started and Pennywise the clown (Bill Skarsgard) could not be more excited to play. To defeat the beast once and for all, they must dig up their past, that so many of them have repressed, and look their deepest, darkest fears in the eye.
The casting of the adult versions of the original gang of friends is scary good. Jessica Chastain as Beverly, initially portrayed by Sophia Lillis; James McAvoy as Bill, played by Jaden Martell in the first film; Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, played by Chosen Jacobs; Bill Hader as Richie, noteably played by Finn Wolfhard; Jay Ryan as Ben, played by Jeremy Ray Taylor; James Ransone as Eddie, portrayed by Jack Dylan Grazer; and Andy Bean as Stanley, played by Wyatt Oleff.
Not only does the adult case resemble their tween counterparts but they capture their spirits perfectly. Please give the casting director an Oscar for their impeccable work. (See photo below).
I hate to say it but Chapter 2 lacks the depth and charm of the first film. There are a few plot lines I could have seriously done without and some acting that was near cringe-worthy. Looking past these differences, Chapter 2 is still scary, heart-wrenching, and sprinkled with authentic, side-splitting humor (mostly thanks to Bill Hader).
WARNING: The jump-scare count of this film nearly triples that of the first. My whole body was tense for the near 3 hour ride, watching what I could see between my fingers. It almost felt as if they knew the underlying plot wasn’t that great so they thought, “Hmm, let’s just have them jumping out of their seat the whole time to mask that.”
Here are my “Bri’s Three” for seeing IT Chapter 2 –
- Watch this recap video of the first film. You get to see the adults with their tween counterparts as they break down all that you need to remember in order to fully understand the second installment. Don’t worry! No spoilers ahead.
2. There is a cameo I was really surprised to see. True fans will catch it right away. Listen closely to their lines as it is very tongue-and-cheek to the themes in the film. Who knew this wickedly talented person could (sort of) act too?
3. If there is an Alamo Drafthouse Theater near you – Be sure to see IT there. Alamo is notorious for curating drink and food menus specifically for the film you are seeing. The Midtown theater may or may not have a six-foot clown hanging from the balcony, sporting a bouquet of red balloons…
I don’t do scary movies so if you are also a scaredy cat, I will let you know that if I can handle this film, so can you. Everything must come to an end, whether you like the ending or not, so head back to Derry and get the closure you need. I am sure you’ll float… I mean, enjoy it too.
IT Chapter 2 is now playing in theaters everywhere. Click here for my podcast with Montez on 99.9 KGOR, where we talk about the original film and whether we are really afraid of clowns.
Score: 3/ ★★★★★
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