How much of a banger was IT CHAPTER ONE‘s ending?
At that stage, it was just IT and then the first film ended and that beautiful logo floated onto the screen and was suddenly joined by CHAPTER ONE, shaking that poop in your pants to its very core.
Implicit in its statement, we were going to see IT CHAPTER TWO soon.
And soon is now, as 2 years has passed and Andrés Muschietti delivers unto us IT CHAPTER TWO.
A story that may make you float too, but is also all about childhood trauma.
In the sleepy town of Derry, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to torment the grown-up members of the Losers’ Club, who have long since drifted apart from one another.
Did you know this sh*t is supposed to be super-cosmic?
Like…if they’d gone right back to the start of King’s universe and attempted to unify them all, you’d have an MCU-esque franchise where The Dark Tower could’ve been touched on in IT because of a turtle.
Also there’s some other weird sh*t that happens but yeah, that could’ve been a thing!
Instead we get Muschietti’s wonderful take on a(nother) beloved Stephen King story, that’s modernised and tweaked in ways to tighten it up but still suffers in parts due to the source-material.
NO IT’S NOT BAD.
I actually really loved it. Even more-so with its impressive 2 hour and 50 minute run-time, leaving my butt yearning for cool arctic winds to heal it.
Picking up with a jarring act of violence because you shouldn’t feel safe at any time during this film, IT CHAPTER TWO sees the return of sexy Bill Skarsgård as not-sexy Pennywise The Dancing Clown (though some might find him sexy idk) calling The Losers’ Club back to Derry.
Except it’s Mike who calls them and they’re all adults with mobile phones now.
James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, Andy Bean and New Zealand’s very own Jay Ryan are these adults.
Returning to their childhood and mostly the trauma, the losers are led through an adventure to beat IT because only they have the power to beat…IT. Horrific things occur along the way, that take on a bit more “UMPH” when compared to the likes of its former, something sorely needed to reinstate the genuine terror of a shape-shifting clown.
The middle section that forces you to relive their trauma is for the most part bloated, but its intent is good. As a consumer of anime, I enjoy filler so I had no fuss with the labors our losers and ourselves were faced with.
Its endeavor is grand, and something reminiscent of your typical Amblin-era films. Perhaps because it loses the innocence of childhood, it feels abrupt and steeped in turmoil, laborious in us having to relive this instead of admiring their terror-filled travels.
The cast are stunning, and spooky in their accurate representation of their youthful counterparts. Of course the story of Finn Wolfhard‘s and Sophia Lillis‘s dream casting requests is famed, with Hader standing out in his effort to embody this older Richie, delivering the ‘trash mouth’ with ease.
Muschietti delivers one of the finest modern takes on King’s work, and while it may sink for some, there’s enough to keep it afloat so ITs memory stays alive.
With some wonderful creature work, beautiful casting and fun times to be had, IT CHAPTER TWO is a fine follow-up.
While it may not surpass the former, it emboldens it; Taking the Losers' Club on a journey across time where maybe they end up embodying the saying that it isn't about the journey, but the friends we make along the way (oh, and dealing with your trauma).