Review of 'It Chapter Two'

it_part2.jpg 27 years after the events of the first film, Mike Hanlon (Isiah Mustafa), one of the members of the “Losers Club”, still lives in Derry. Monitoring a police scanner Mike attends a crime scene to see “Come Home” written in blood and realises the evil entity Pennywise has returned. As children the members had agreed to return to Derry if “IT” reappeared so Mike calls each of them. Stanley (Andy Bean) is now a member of an accounting firm but chooses to end his life rather than return to Derry but the rest all meet in a Chinese restaurant where Mike reveals his news. Their initial scepticism of the monster's return is dismissed when the messages from their fortune cookies are rearranged to read “Guess Stanley Could Not Cut It” and the cookies themselves turn into spider-like demons. The initial reaction is for the group, now beginning to remember their experiences as children, to return to their homes but as their memories return and their friendship reaffirmed they realise they will have to band together to finally defeat the evil clown.

This film takes much more of a “horror” return with plenty of demons and blood splashed across the screen than the far more subtle first film. Rather than the more suspenseful “hear but don't show” here we see a lot more and, perhaps, the film is a lot less powerful for it (no pun intended). The effects are over-done and it is almost a “creature feature” that risks derision by the audience rather than the true shocks in part one. Though realistic they are so grotesque that they become ridiculous. In this case this reduces the horror rather than heightening it.

The characters have all grown up – You remember them from the first film a few years ago, right? No? Neither do I…perhaps one of the (many) problems here. Though the focus in this sequel is on horror there is still a bit of time to follow-up on their stories and all is certainly not well with many of them such as with Bev (Jessica Chastain) who is in an abusive relationship, only narrowly managing to return to Derry after escaping a beating. The others are not in much better shape with problems all around (though do not expect this to be all tidied up here). The mystery of Pennywise is rather quickly revealed and a method of attack quickly, and easily, put together. After horror the emphasis here is on a conclusion and at this it is quite successful though, some might argue, perhaps things are a bit too easily resolved. At almost three hours in length you would expect there would be a bit more too it but the last hour is basically an extended chase sequence.

Disappointing, though satisfying, conclusion to the first “IT” film.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-03-01

Directed by: Andy Muschietti

Studio: KatzSmith Productions

Year: 2019

Length: 169 minutes

Genre: Horror

Other reviewed films by Andy Muschietti: