Movie Review: IT: Chapter Two


The second chapter of the highly anticipated IT saga has hit theaters, and it definitely did not disappoint.

Melissa May, Arts Writer

The thrilling conclusion of the IT saga hit theaters on September 6, and it is safe to say that IT: Chapter Two did not disappoint. Since the first chapter of the horror story’s release in September of 2017, I have been highly anticipating the continuation of the story line. The film, although containing some issues, was a scary, yet still somewhat lighthearted companion to its predecessor and I walked away with a majority of positive opinions.

The nearly three hour long movie opens with reintroductions to the main characters from the first film, which shows the audience what happened to the protagonists once they went their separate ways after the events of the first movie. The self-proclaimed “Losers’ Club,” consisting of Bill Denbrough, Ben Hanscom, Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Mike Hanlon, and Stanley Uris, are called back to the small town of Derry, Maine after twenty-seven years to help officially get rid of Pennywise the clown. The group has to each find an “artifact” from when they were younger in order to perform an ancient ritual and rid Pennywise from the town. Although the movie seemed to focus slightly less on the horror aspects and more on the aftereffects of the first fight with Pennywise, the film features some memorable scares and amazingly portrayed scenes.

As with a large number of films, its characters and how they were represented on screen played a huge role in immersing the audience in the movie. Despite the twenty-seven year gap between the happenings in the first movie and its sequel, the personality of the characters from the first film carried over seamlessly into the sequel and made for a perfect transition into the next portion of the story. My favorite character throughout both movies was Richie, and I felt he really stole the spotlight in IT: Chapter Two, with some of the most notable writing and scenes. He managed to bring a lighthearted funniness to the film, even in some of the most serious scenes, and I felt his humor and relationships with the other Losers really made his character shine. Despite my favoritism for Richie, I felt that each character was showcased well and they all had individual and important moments throughout the film.

Furthermore, the characters were executed so well because of the actors and actresses that played their roles so accurately. I think the casting was nearly perfect, and every actor hired to portray the older Losers looked almost exactly like the teenagers would in the future. Besides just the look of the characters, each person portrayed their emotions wonderfully, especially in moments of panic or anguish. For me, Bill Hader as Richie especially stood out, and I think he deserves much praise for his work in the film. He captured the witty, comedic personality of Richie perfectly, but also showed off a more emotional side of the character. It was obvious to me that each actor researched their roles extensively before filming began, and their hard work really came through.

The older actors were not the only ones to deliver amazing performances throughout the movie, though. The actors and actresses that played the teenage characters in the first chapter returned to the big screen to reprise their roles in flashback scenes which showed off their incredible acting and knowledge of the characters. Something that I felt was especially shown off during these flashbacks was the connection the Losers’ Club has with one another. Any two of the characters in the movie have a unique and strong bond and I loved getting to see how the younger Losers interacted and behaved once again in the newer film.

In my opinion, though the overall movie was well done, I feel the CGI used in the film was not at all near the level I am used to seeing in usual box office hits. At times, it felt too fake and would almost take me out of my focus on the movie. In one specific scene, the editors made it look like a statue had come to life and was disgusting and rotted. When it was moving around though, it nearly made me laugh because the movements felt so stiff and odd that it just did not feel realistic at all. Well, obviously a statue coming to life is not realistic in the first place, but it felt especially out of place. Despite my problems with the CGI in the movie, I thought the visuals were done very well overall.

Obviously, any film sequel has the added pressure of trying to reach the bar in which the first film set. With the first IT grossing over seven-hundred million dollars during its time in theaters, the second chapter had a lot to live up to. I feel the movie was just as good as the first film, just in a slightly different way. The movie focused much more on the development of the characters and how they were dealing with the aftermath of their first encounters with Pennywise. It definitely felt much more heavy in that way, but I found it fitting with the new adult cast. Rather than a story revolving around middle school age children and their lives in the midst of chaos, it takes a darker tone to show that the characters are not children anymore and it displays how they grapple with their trauma in their adult lives.

I also felt the film seemed to focus less on the horror and jump scares, but more so on each character, their fears, and what haunts them everyday. I enjoyed the added depth to what could have been a typical horror movie, and I felt it helped the audience connect with and grow attached to the characters. As I mentioned before, the movie does feature some memorable scares and visuals that are done very well, but it is not the main focus of the film. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see what truly terrifies each of the Losers and how they deal with their fears throughout the film.

Even with some of the editing effects failing to deliver the horror factor they could have had, I felt IT: Chapter Two delivered in many different ways besides just the horror. It was a good ending to the saga, and I felt it was well-done and interesting. Although it was nearly three hours long, I never lost my focus or thought about how much time was left in the movie, which, to be honest, is a rarity for me, especially in a movie with such a long run time. I loved most aspects of the film and I think it is definitely a horror movie to remember.

I do not think the IT franchise could have found a better way to end the storyline, despite its miscellaneous odd moments. I give IT: Chapter Two a four out of five stars. It continued to develop the characters that I grew to love in the first chapter, and was an amazing horror movie through and through. I definitely think it is worth watching at least once, even if you are not a huge fan of horror movies. Overall, the film did not disappoint and I recommend watching the conclusion of the IT saga.