>> With Fall right around the corner, it’s just about that time to kiss our sweet ignorant summer blockbusters good-bye and focus our attention towards Award Season. Before we surrender ourselves over to our beloved Award Season, Pennywise is ready to greet us once again with his crossed eyed smile. It Chapter Two reunites the ragtag bunch of badasses (this time, all grown up) to defeat ‘It’ once and for all.
Directed by Andrés Muschietti, It Chapter Two is Muschietti’s big finale. Taking place 27 years after its predecessor, the Losers Club reconvenes to vanquish the killer clown that once terrorized them as children. Confronted by traumatizing memories from their past and paralyzed with fear, the group must persevere to overcome ludicrously terrifying obstacles while also deciphering the illusions from reality.
There’s a lot going on in this film, to put it simply: this film is big, and it gets a lot of things right. For starters, its star-studded cast (including Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and James McAvoy) is cast so perfectly I was actually convinced the child actors and adults were the same people at times. Especially in the case of James Ransone, who plays the neurotic hypochondriac, Eddie. Ransone steals most of the scenes and was my preferred comic relief (even over Hader). It Chapter Two finds its footing a bit quicker this time around, it’s more visually cohesive, and the scares are focused on past psychological traumas rather than just a demonic clown—which not everyone will prefer.
‘It’ manifests itself in many different ways throughout the film, and It Chapter Two delivers twice as many scares as Chapter One.
However, similar to its predecessor, the amount of screen time for Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) was simply not enough. Skarsgard is a treasure, and whenever I watch these films I can’t help but be disappointed in how his character is used primarily for jump scares and shock value. While It Chapter Two allows Skarsgard to act a bit more, his face is constantly distorted and enhanced with CGI effects that are more than distracting. However, Skarsgard himself doesn’t disappoint and brings a level of true terror to the sequel (wandering eye and all). Pennywise is so frightening that the kid sitting in front of me was crying and begging her guardian to take her home. (Oh, yeah don’t bring kids to see this film.)
If you ever watched the miniseries way back when, I’m sure you’re familiar with the dual-sided disc you had to flip over to watch part two. Part two of the original miniseries is awful, my sister and I even had a long-running joke about “it was great until we flipped the disc”, which eventually turned into “don’t flip the disc!”. So, as a fan of the original miniseries, I can assure you this is the finale we finally deserved—it’s over the top, disgusting, gag-worthy, every nightmare tied up into a long three-hour bundle. Yes, this film is nowhere close to being perfect, it’s flawed in almost every way possible—but it’s a fun wild ride, so enjoy it. 6/10 <<