IT: Chapter Two Review & Rating
It - Chapter Two Review: Hauntingly Terrific Epic Horror
It and It
It had come. It has ruled. And It has been conquered. The hotly anticipated second chapter in the horror duology It has all the scares of the first film and a charming camaraderie among the members of the Losers Club.
It and the kids
The first film has kids and the scariest clown of all Pennywise troubling them gives knots in the stomach. But the effect won't be that much horrific when he does the same with the adults. The give or take 40-something protagonists. This is where the actors playing the roles should step up. Children can be charming without having to try. But the adults need to be careful. In many ways.
But fortunately for It - Chapter Two, the cast is terrific. Despite the increase in budget (doubled from some $35 M of the first film) Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader et Al lifted what could have been one another horror film to the next level. With this in mind, let's jump directly into the review with a little bit about the It, the eponymous supernatural being which resurfaced 27 years after the Losers made it go into hibernation in the Chapter One.
It is a supernatural creature/entity which in the Stephen King world comes from a universe known as Macroverse and makes its home on the earth at a place which becomes the fictional town of Derry (a staple of King's mythology) in the American state Maine. It feeds in children and their fears. It surfaces every 27 years and does its job and kills hundreds of children but everything is erased from the minds of people of Derry just like that. It haunts mostly as a clown named Pennywise.
In the year 1988 It killed Bill Denbrough's kid brother (the first victim) and started to wreak havoc. It cannot be seen by elders and it had fallen in the shoulders of a group of teens and pre-teens to fight it. The group comprises of social miscasts and they named themselves The Losers and the collective is The Losers Club. After a terrifying fight and a lot of efforts, the made It go into hibernation. All this happened in the first film.
Now It is awakened again and the Losers who took a blood oath 27 years ago have to return and dispose of It forever. But where are the Losers now? They are all grownup and are scattered across the globe. Here's the list of Losers and the actors who played them.
The Losers Club (actors both adult and young versions)
James McAvoy is Bill, the former leader of the Losers’ Club, who has become a best-selling mystery novelist Yet there are complaints from readers (including his wife) that he doesn’t know how to end a story (Jaeden Martell returns as young Bill in flashbacks).
Jessica Chastain is Beverly aka Bev - the only girl of the group - who was abused by her father and was the subject of hateful rumors at school. Beverly has become a successful fashion designer now but has been trapped in a horrific marriage with an abusive husband (Sophia Lillis is young Beverly).
Bill Hader is the foul-mouthed smartass Richie, who has put his talents to good use as a popular stand-up comic (Finn Wolfhard is little Richie)
Jay Ryan is the formerly overweight, popilar punch-bag Ben, who has become a hunky architect (Jeremy Ray Taylor is younger Ben).
James Ransone is the hypochondriac Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer as young Eddie).
Andy Bean is the reluctant Losers’ Club member Stanley (Wyatt Oleff is 27-years-ago Stanley) who has a terrible fate awaiting.
Isaiah Mustafa is Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs in the flashback scenes), the only member of the Losers to stay in Derry. It is he who remembers what had happened all the way back 27 years ago.
Losers are no longer kids — they’re a bunch of neurotic, wisecracking (hello Tony Stark), self-aware adults. Even as they’re fighting for their survival, they can’t help but acknowledge how there’s something inherently ludicrous about them facing off against a clown most people can’t see.
The Reunion and the finale
After a funny reunion of sorts in a prolonged scene whose ending packs a spine-chilling punch, the Losers go on their individual quests to collect clues that may help them stop the It. Before all the film opens with a hauntingly horrific sequence that will haunt us for sometime. And rest all is about how the Losers kill/destroy It and at what cost.
Epic source material and competent writing
One of the biggest strengths of the film is an epic source material and this particular film is a follow-up for the most successful horror film of all time. Stephen King's sprawling 1000+ page epic has a lot of beats to choose from. But that made this film overlong for normal horror film standards and the entire second act of the film depended on murky humor blended with horrors.
But all this leads to an electrifying climax. The narration closely follows the source material and the screenplay looks partitioned. The first act sets it up, the second act is the individual quests and the third act unites everything into a bloodstone horror finale. It is more powerful than ever after all.
Direction, et al
The music is as powerful as the first film and the interludes that lead to the horror action and the sounds for horror are refreshing. The cinematography has all the qualities of. Stephen King novel. That is wildly atmospheric and pessimistically optimistic. Editing is splashy and the visual effects including the bloody pools of tomato juice are first rate. Andrés Muschietti direction is tack sharp as in the first Chapter.
Oh, forgot to mention. Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the clown is fantastic. His body language and screen presence inspire awesome terror. He kept even the fullest scenes (very very few to be frank) afloat. It is a film not to be missed by King's fans and those who liked the book. And for the general horror film lovers, it's still a very good cinema. Just watch it.
• Epic source material
• Faithful to the source narration
• Enchantic performance by stars
• Kid episodes added value
• Slick direction
• Lesser in number but top class horrors
• Too long for a horror film
• Kids haunted creates better effect than adults got beaten
Pycker Rating: 3.25 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
IT: Chapter Two Critic Reviews
IT: Chapter Two User Reviews
Terrific follow up to the Chapter One