“It Chapter Two” is the follow up to the massively successful first film which I thought was a great horror movie and Stephen King adaptation on every level. This sequel attempts to recreate the mood and atmosphere of the original, but to a less satisfying effect.
This sequel once again takes place 27 years later and the demonic clown known as Pennywise (Bill Skaarsgard) is back to his old tricks of killing people and making them “float.”
The Losers Club have all grown up and moved away from the small town of Derry, Maine and made livings elsewhere:
Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain) is a fashion designer in Chicago with an abusive husband; Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy) is a novelist and still has a stuttering habit; Richie Tozier (Bill Hader) is a stand-up comedian; Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan) is no longer overweight and is an architect; and Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone) is still a hypochondriac and a risk analyst.
They’re brought back together by their remaining member Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) who still lives in Derry as a librarian and keeps a close eye on Pennywise’s return. Naturally, he does and chaos ensues.
One of the joys of the first It was the camaraderie created by its young cast and they return in flashbacks to provide some more focus on why Pennywise is back, but most of those offer more detail than clarity.
The movie does offer some highly creative sequences especially once The Losers reunite at a Chinese restaurant and they’re given their fortune cookies. It’s an ingenious sequence that’s just as kooky and offbeat as anything this side of “Doctor Strange.”
“It Chapter Two” suffers on two fronts: Its runtime of 169 minutes and too many subplots that bounce around and take up too much time in their own right.
The movie is certainly a technical tour de force with a climax that is overstuffed but sensational and the older actors have just as much chemistry and screen presence.
I liked the movie despite not being as effective or terrifying as the first one, but I have a feeling some King fans may believe something has been lost along the way.
(Rated R for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material.)