IT Chapter Two…
After the massive success of IT Chapter One, the pressure was on to finish the story off and make a good film whilst doing it. Chapter Two is a far different film in tone than Chapter One and it should be. Chapter One was about childhood fears and Chapter Two is all about adult fears mainly regret & repression and the issues those two things brings with them.
After a horrendous and rough opening involving the bashing and attempted murder of a gay couple, which heralds Pennywise’s return, Mike (Mustafa) calls all the ‘losers club’ no longer in Derry, to come home. It is back and wants to bring on a final battle with the people that defeated it 27 years ago. It’s up to the group to individually conquer their fears and then come together as a group to try and vanquish the evil once and for all.
Part of what made Chapter One so good was the cast and in Chapter Two every adult actor does so well, bringing the kids’ tics and traits along into their adult selves. It a feat of acting that will probably be over looked in the context of this film but it really is remarkable. All of them do a great job, Ransome, McAvoy and Chastain are excellent but it’s Hader that surprises with his range, in an emotional role.
The set pieces in Chapter Two are well done, but barring a few scary scenes there isn’t the amount nor do they carry the impact of scares from Chapter One. The other thing that the film doesn’t have enough of is Pennywise. I know they are trying to be more faithful to the book, but it certainly isn’t an exact page for page adaptation and his absence is noticed. When he is on screen it is a treat and when he is off screen, you’re waiting for your next taste.
The film uses a lot of flashbacks, which works in some circumstances but in others like when the secret bunker they made is revisited (or visited for the first time in either film), which was never shown or even mentioned in the first film it seems like a device used to create another area that the losers can hang out in. However, when these flashbacks work it adds an extra layer to the film.
More of a horror drama than an outright horror film. IT Chapter Two has a real focus on childhood trauma and how people deal with regret, guilt and ultimately self forgiveness. A good film that will be even better shown straight after Chapter One (as you would expect) and one that will be appreciated more in the coming years.
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
Images: Warner Bros