REVIEW It: Chapter Two
Well the credits have rolled on what was a very long film. There was gore, there was scares, and even a few laughs, but did this second instalment of the Stephen King frightener live up to expectation?
The short answer is yes…and no. (God damn it Tony that’s not an answer.) Just give me a moment and let me explain what I mean.
I made sure I had re-watched the first movie a few days before venturing out to watch the sequel at the cinema. It 2 follows on from the events of the first film 27 years later and as prophesised Pennywise has returned to kill children and strike fear into its vulnerable populace. After the opening sequence of a rather disturbing piece of violent small-minded bullying, we are re-acquainted with the demonic clown and Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) who has remained in Maine beaverishly investigating the phenomenon of Pennywise and importantly discovering a way to kill him. He soon gathers together the losers club once again, and they set off on a quest to confront and end It once and for all.
There are certain elements of this movie which I loved, the cast are great – James McAvoy and Bill Hader in particular - and each put in a stellar performance. Pennywise is as evil as ever, and we even get to learn a little more about his origins, although really for me I was left with a hundred new questions.
The first scene is long and violent and a bit uncomfortable to watch, but even after the film has ended it still annoys me that this scene didn’t really seem to have anything to do with the rest of the film with no recurring characters nor impact upon the story other than to reintroduce Pennywise. By the end of the film, I was left feeling that the first scene could have been cut and not impacted upon the story. But you may disagree.
I absolutely love the use of both sets of characters throughout the film, young and older versions of the loser’s club. On many occasions a scene will have the characters flick between the child and adult version, sometimes reliving memories, sometimes watching themselves acting out a scene. There is lots of extra footage of action that was not included in the first movie, and here we are treated to a beautifully crafted quilt of past and present crossing over and mingling. I think this film is best watched soon after a re-watching of the first movie to get the best feel for what has been achieved, much like Insidious 1 and 2 two work best watched back-to-back, so too here with It 1 and 2.
I have to say though, this second chapter feels quite different to the first. It’s sacrificed the intensity and scares for creature horror – think John Carpenter’s The Thing – and dare I say it, laughs. That’s right, this film is actually quite funny, and that humour runs throughout the film and takes the edge off of some of its more intense scenes.
Would I watch it again? Not for a long while - but you know what, whilst it may not have been great, it was entertaining and fun and I’m glad I saw it.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Written by: Gary Dauberman & Stephen King
7 out of 10