This was a suspenseful movie that proved adults aren’t that different from children in the fear department. The sequel to the highly successful remake of It is the first big horror movie of the 2019 fall season. Chapter 2, directed by Andy Muschietti (the same director of the first movie as well as the rumored director for the upcoming Flash film), was full of psychological jump scares. Although the marketing suggested It would feature the adult’s story this time, many of the scenes were still about the children. In some ways this worked but in others it made the plot a little incoherent. There were also side stories I was either uninterested in or didn’t end up mattering. Regardless It still made sure to petrify anyone with a fear of clowns.
Much like the first film, many of the hardest things to watch in Chapter 2 wasn’t the blood or clowns, but the real horror we experience today. We see domestic abuse, hate crimes, heartbreak, and insanity. I mean the other stuff is plenty scary as well but you get the point. The continuing theme of fear and the power it gives is present but they also introduced and element to aging. It’s hard to recall a lot from 27 years ago. The memory loss is also an element from the book. The adults, played by Jessica Chastain (Bev), James McAvoy (Bill), Bill Hader (Richie), Jay Ryan (Ben), and James Rasone (Eddie), do not remember Pennywise or really anything that happened in Derry, including each other at first. I think this highlighted how we are in real life. When you come from a small town you kind of grow up and forget about all the fucked up shit that happened in your childhood. Mike, played by Isaiah Mustafa, never left the town. He remembers everything and tricks the Losers club back into town. I was interested in this story element but unfortunately this is where the movie takes a dragging tempo.
The adults, who do not remember their pasts, have to go around Derry and basically remember what happened in the first movie. However a lot of what they remember, we either already saw and wastes screen time or never happened in the first movie. The scenes with the children almost appear like deleted scenes from the first movie that they shoved in to fill up time. Specifically Richie’s past and character development came out of nowhere. They gave his character a semi love story that was never brought up in the first film and it just seems like a hit and a miss for me. Not only did the series of flashbacks ruin the tempo of the film but there were other elements introduced that didn’t really amount to anything. They bring back the psycho Bower character, played by Teach Grant, that I thought was setting up for something great, but it didn’t really go anywhere.
There was a moment, about halfway through the movie, where I was sure the sequel was getting Snapped. But then the third act happened. I will admit the movie drags on and has a weird direction of focus for a plot, but the end of It is worthy of saving the film. The final interaction with Pennywise, played masterfully by Bill Skarsgård, is just a thirty minute mind-fuck where everyone’s nightmares come to life. It was incredible; part of me would have rather have seen the entire movie have this kind of direction and budget. An added bonus was getting a great ending while the movie has a running joke about Stephen King being incapable of writing a good ending to a story.
The movie actually was pretty funny, especially Bill Hader’s character, which was nice but a weird mix when you are watching horror. This movie still had the coming of age moments and focused heavily on the relationship dynamic between Ben, Bev, and Bill. Personally I think they focused too much and it went over the needed time to develop characters. I understand needing those story elements to make the deaths matter but this movie spent too much time there. I could see Chapter 2 getting Snapped because of the relationship element, the comedy, and the discombobulated story, however the horror was still solid. I loved seeing children get eaten and people get freaked out. I’m using one of my six infinity stones to and saving It from The Snappening. Because at the end of the day, we need more mainstream horror movies with a budget and creative direction like this one.
Movie watched and review written by: Troy Smith