Two years ago, Stephen King’s “It” hit the big screen for the first time since its 1990 two-part mini-series adaptation with “It: Chapter One.”
It was incredible. One of the best movies of 2017 and, perhaps, one of the best adaptations of King’s work.
So, when the sequel was announced for this year, I absolutely couldn’t wait to get back in the theater and see how the second half of the story came to life.
“It: Chapter Two” picks up in 2016, 27 years after the events of the first film and follows the same cast of characters, the Losers, as they return to Derry, Maine to finally face Pennywise the Dancing Clown for the last time.
Directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman, “It: Chapter Two” remains faithful to the novel.
Just like the first one, “It: Chapter Two” was creepy and unsettling, choosing to rely on the deeper themes of King’s novel than throwing jump scare after jump scare at the viewer.
The film had a lot going for it. From a perfect cast to some of the best creature and set designs I’ve seen for a long time, “It: Chapter Two” delivered with a captivating story. The transitions between the young Losers and the adult Losers were absolutely flawless and I couldn’t think of a better cast.
Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean were remarkable as the adult cast of the Losers.
One casting gem in particular was Hader as Richie Tozier.
Hader was amazing as the loudmouthed and sarcastic Tozier, whose quick wit and humor brought just enough levity and comic relief into the film, much like Finn Wolfhard did as the younger Richie in the first film.
Bill Skarsgard returns as Pennywise, and his performance is as talented and effective as it was in the first film. With the laugh, the dance, and the overall mannerisms of the creepy clown, Skarsgard delivers as Pennywise.
Though the film has a longer-than-average run time of nearly three hours, the film does feel like it’s lacking or missing scenes. With over 1,000 pages of source material in the novel, it’s understandable, albeit disappointing, that some things would have to be cut.
So, while King superfans may be a little bit disappointed that “It: Chapter Two” doesn’t capture every detail of one of King’s most prominent works, it still captures the essence of King’s themes of childhood innocence and trauma, the power of memory, and overcoming evil through trust and sacrifice.
Overall, “It: Chapter Two” is a great companion piece and sequel to a horror favorite.
Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected]