It: Chapter 2 (2019) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

It: Chapter 2 (2019) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on September 07th, 2019 | Movie Review | Supernatural, Phobia, Psychological, Clown

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It’s about a group of childhood friends who travel back to their hometown to fight off an ancient alien who has returned after terrorizing them 27 years prior.

It: Chapter 2 was directed by Andy Muschietti (who also directed It: Chapter 1 and Mama) and stars James McAvoy (from Split and Swimming Pool), Jessica Chastain (from Crimson Peak), James Ransone (from Sinister, Sinister 2 and Family Blood) and Bill Hader in his horror debut.

It Ends.

It Chapter 2

The original It miniseries from 1990 was split into two parts, one where The Losers Club were kids and the other when they're all grown up. It (2017) was about the kids and It 2 (2019) is about the grown ups. This sequel shows the grown up group of friends reluctantly reuniting in Derry, Maine to battle Pennywise once and for (hopefully) all.

It 2 follows the original storyline pretty closely, including a brutally disturbing hate crime to kick things off. It rushes through the first part of the story, trying to get the gang back to Derry as quickly as possible, before settling into the near 3 hour runtime.

It 2 is very Hollywood. That's not necessarily a bad thing of course, there's quite a few Hollywood horror movies that I like, Including the previous It from 2017. But this one really doubles down on the Hollywood vibe. It was clearly produced to appeal to as many people as possible. Again, not a bad thing, but this time around it was to the detriment of horror fans. It 2 felt more like a Sci-Fi adventure movie than a horror. There were easily more comic relief than jump scares. A good half hour near the end felt a lot like The Goonies. It also sent out some major Nightmare on Elm Street vibes. Swap out Pennywise for Freddy and it could have been a NoES reboot. There was even a scene with a bloody skateboard and a little boy in danger that nearly mirrored a scene in the original Nightmare on Elm Street of a bloody tricycle and a little girl in danger. There were also some intended references to other movies, such as The Shining and The Thing, which were fun.

The adult casting was spot on, Bill Hader (grown up Richie) made the movie for me. The cinematography was stunning, as expected, especially some of the early transitions. There was a great cameo by Stephen King as well, complete with him taking part in a running joke about how people didn't like the ending to his original It story.

Now, all that being said, It 2 was very underwhelming. It was actually pretty boring. It devotes way too much runtime trying to appeal to everyone (there's more comedy, drama and adventure than actual horror). It's very formulaic, very repetitive (Pennywise running at the camera shaking his head gets old after the 17th time), has a generic score and the effects were mostly ridiculous, more funny than scary. Some people will like this one. I'm just not one of them.

Worth Watching?

Unless you're a hardcore It or Stephen King fan, I don't think so. If I were watching at home instead of a theater I would have probably fast-forwarded through maybe two hours of it.

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