Let’s talk about It.
Or… It 2. No, not it as well, I mean It: Chapter 2.
Because Halloween is my favorite holiday, I’ll be reviewing scary and Halloween-themed movies until, well, until Francke tells me to stop.
So, let’s start with it.
I like It 2, quite a bit. That is to say, I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as the first movie. But, that’s not that big a deal for me.
See, I loved It: Chapter 1. It’s my favorite horror movie, hands down. I saw it three times in theaters, and then a couple more times with friends last Halloween.
It is scary, very scary, it has heart, the good guys (kinda) win in the end, and it tows the line of comedy and fear that make for great pacing.
So coming into the second film, I tried to lower my expectations. Because sequels always suck. But It: Chapter 2 doesn’t suck, far from it. It‘s actually pretty good.
We catch up with the Losers Club, the group of kids from the first movie, as they have grown in 27 years and and moved on with their lives. When they each get an ominous call from Mike, the one person in their group that stayed in their home town of Derry, they all work through a fog of forgotten memories to reconvene.
After a terrifying reunion, the group then spends the next couple hours of the film flipping back and forth on staying or leaving, all while reconnecting with each other, their childhood and, you know, the interdimensional demonic entity that parades as a clown.
Each character gets a chance to shine and grow in this movie, and we get a few good spooks along the way. We also see a good amount of laughs. Of cours,e when you have a comedy heavy hitter like Bill Hader playing fast-talking smart-aleck Richie, the story is bound to be grounded by sarcasm.
This movie does a good job of pointing back to the first, and to the source material, as well as paving a new way for encounters in the horror genre. But I think where it fails to live up to the first, is the fact that it spends so much time pushing the past in our face.
We are along for a ride with the characters as they go through the roller coaster of their past. The terror should be there,but we know they live through it, cause, they had to grow up.
The few times that the adults themselves are in danger before the final climax, we are left with bad feeling, but not dread. We jump at the quick scares Pennywise gives us, but we don’t sit on the edge of the seat waiting for one of them to be taken. We know they have to make to the end, or else why spend so much time building the character?
The actors in this film did a masterful job playing the adult versions of the kids we met in the first movie. And I think, ultimately, this IS a good movie with plenty of good scares to make it a good horror movie. I just don’t think is surpasses the first one.
That being said, I would recommend It: Chapter 2 to anyone who is looking for a gory, scary, adult themed movie to give them a good chill this Halloween season. I would also go a step further and say, go watch It: Chapter 1, and then go to the theater to see It: Chapter 2.
Also, a quick word of wisdom, if a clown talks to you from inside a water drain, make sure to see It before letting him help you “float.” You’re definitely going to want to get an idea of what you’re in for.
Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures.
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