Director Andrés Muschietti’s “IT Chapter Two” released this week and raked in $38.1 million on its opening day.
“IT Chapter Two” is the highly anticipated sequel to Muschietti’s 2017 film “It.” Based on the Stephen King novel, “IT Chapter Two” had high expectations to live up to after the box office success of its predecessor.
The film follows the same cast of characters from the first movie — Beverly, Bill, Eddie, Richie, Mike, Stanely and Ben — as both adults and children via flashbacks. Together the band of friends, dubbed the "Losers' Club," are called back to their hometown of Derry, Maine, where they must face their childhood traumas alone before coming together for a face-off with the horrifying enigma, Pennywise.
This film starts off intense and sets the mood right away with a chilling opening sequence.
Elements from the entire movie have references to King’s original book, including the first scene, which depicts homophobia in the fictional town of Derry.
If there’s one thing that “IT Chapter Two” does well, it’s building tension before scares. The slow-moving, horizontal first-person shots that occur several times throughout the film make the viewer feel like they are in the movie themselves.
“IT Chapter Two” also depicts dramatic irony in the best way. When the audience knows something that the characters don’t, it only adds to the feeling of tension and helplessness.
Despite the truly terrifying elements, the movie has extremely funny moments in it as well.
Bill Hader, who plays the adult Richie Tozier, serves as the comic relief in almost every scene. At some points, this film almost seems like a parody of itself with how much humor is in it.
Bill Skarsgård reprises his role of Pennywise and is easily the most memorable performance of the movie. Occasionally, the child actors seem to give more convincing performances than their adult counterparts — with the exception of Skarsgård, of course — but this is probably the biggest complaint about the movie overall.
Something different that “IT Chapter Two” does from the first movie is give a bit more context as to what exactly Pennywise is. In one scene, an adult Beverly Marsh, portrayed by Jessica Chastain, comes across an old woman who gives Beverly some backstory on her “father.” Without going into spoilers, the images and information given away in this sequence are haunting.
As was briefly mentioned before, this movie does not shy away from real-life horrors, such as homophobia and especially childhood trauma. As each of the members of the Losers' Club go back to traumatic places from their childhoods, they have to face their own demons alone.
While an adult Bill — played by James McAvoy — deals with the loss of his brother Georgie from the first film, Beverly attempts to track down her physically, emotionally and sexually abusive father. The combination of both fictional and realistic horror in this movie does more than enough to leave an impression on the audience.
“IT Chapter Two” is a beautiful marriage of King’s creature features, H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror and Junji Ito’s body horror wrapped up into one. Whether you’re more of a gore or psychological thriller fan, this movie will leave you with something that is sure to keep you up a little later at night.
Final Verdict: 8/10