IT: Chapter 2 successfully provides audiences with a truly deserving and necessary sequel, rather than serving as a typical money grab attempt. The story of the Loser’s Club and Pennywise continues and reaches a largely satisfying ending. While the horror elements feel slightly toned down compared to the first movie, IT: Chapter 2 serves as the more meaningful side of the story, exploring serious themes and making the delivering a much more interesting narrative than the first time round.
A Tale Worth Telling:
While Chapter 1 establishes and introduces Pennywise and shines in its brutal horror elements, the second film feels a lot less scarier. Despite the constant reminders, we know what’s at stake, we know death is right around the corner and we know what Pennywise wants. That’s why the second film takes less of a focus on a dancing demon clown from outer space and this time spends nearly all its time focusing on serious themes like childhood trauma, grief, death, sexuality, and mental health. Most of all it’s a movie about facing your past and moving on.
The main premise of the story follows the characters from the first movie being forced to return to their hometown of Derry in which they moved away from many years ago. They remember very little from the past and what they do remember they have been running from since a young age. All until the return of Pennywise forces each one of them to leave their new lives, resurface their past and this time stand together as one and face their demons (and a literal one) all in a final attempt to truly move on for good.
The main focus wasn’t solely on the adults in Chapter 2, there was a lot of content in the form of flashbacks from the children’s experience which ties the two movies nicely together. However, the focus largely seems to be on more experiences the kids had with Pennywise that we didn’t see in the first movie rather than pushing the narrative set in the present. So in short it basically it feels like we’re watching a load of deleted scenes from the first movie crammed into a second one. Nether-less, IT: Chapter 2 is definitely the more emotional side of the two part story and you’ll fall in love with the characters even more than you did before.
Characters With Meaning:
Both IT Chapter One and Two purely shine because it raises itself higher than most typical horror movies, doing what most fail to do. We’re introduced to characters who have distinct personalities and flaws, they then take the main focus of the entire movie on purely the characters and how they deal with the situation. So yes, there’s plenty of jump scares, children being eaten and of course a lot of heart racing action but overall the main focus of both of these movies are their characters. You grown with them, you believe in them and you care for them. Making the stakes much higher and leaving the audiences ten times more engaged. IT: Chapter 2 really serves the characters justice and gives them a heart-breaking yet hopeful ending that makes sense.
It will be wrong to not mention the performances from the cast. While the entire cast as a whole didn’t exactly give the most memorable and outstanding performances you’ll see today, there were above all, believable. Despite James McAvoy being the golden boy, he really seemed quite bland most of the time, which is a real shame. Jessica Chastain and the rest really connected with their characters and their experiences and gave great performances but the real stand-out was Bill Hader. He seemed to have went the extra mile, giving the audiences an extremely heart-breaking yet hilarious performance, audiences loved him and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing A LOT more of him being given more meaningful and demanding roles in the future.
Should You See It?
IT: Chapter 2 is not as thrilling as the first chapter as the big ‘scary Pennywise’ routine seemed to have rubbed off on most audience members by now. However the movie floats to new heights by setting it’s focal point to the characters and their specific arcs. Despite a long run-time, odd moments and less Pennywise, the drama is better than ever. It’s a horror full of heart with many lessons to be learnt, making it a story truly worth it’s time telling. If you’re fine with getting scared and want a horror movie with more substance than cheap jump scares, this is the movie for you.