The movie doesn't insist on being horror for horror's sake
The Bad Clown
The length can be a bit of a drag in the final act
Even at almost 3 hours, the movie feels a little chopped up
It Chapter Two is going to do well owing to the legacy of Stephen King, and I’m glad, because this is a great movie that would otherwise not make as much because of how unconventionally well it fits within the grand, tropey, constantly redefining genre of horror.
The sequel of It, which takes place 27 years later is amongst the most sensible, functional sequels that the horror genre has seen, demanding credit beyond what it will receive for not adhering as typically as one would expect.
It Chapter Two, in fact points a giant middle finger to what has become of the horror industry: where cheap screams or a prevailing factor of unsettlement dictates how justifiable the price that you paid for your ticket is. This movie is less about you clinging on to the way that the immensely talented Bill Skarsgard says the word “it”, (it’s absolutely perfect), but rather is more about concluding the journey that the characters we’ve come to know collectively as ‘The Losers Club’ in a very horrific setting.
While this may seem like a justifiable complaint to some, the fact of the matter is that It IS a literary property, and it is a literary property of Stephen King, who–while is hailed to be a horror writer of the legends–is also known by readers to intrinsically world-build with MONSTROUS creations and macabre moments that are ultimately meant to be reflective of the human condition. This movie is not like Kubrick’s not-novel but fantastic adaptation of The Shining. This movie is the It with storytelling form that embodies Stephen King, and that Stephen King would not have disowned.
It’s an Ambitious Plot That Delivers
With that to lay the premise, the plot of ‘It Chapter Two’ takes shape when The Losers Club decide to live up to a promise that they’d made 27 years prior, that they’d reunite to defeat It if the child-killing monstrosity was ever to recur. The sequel is to give each and every one of the characters an ending, forcing them to overcome what plagues their lives.
The true execution of this is what makes this story three hours long, and is also what makes it a horror adventure movie rather than a clear-cut horror movie. What results is a sobering message that simplistic problems are realistic, challenging, and completely okay to have, albeit jarring when belonging to adults on a big screen. The plot’s adherance is definitely aided by characters who remain memorable.
The cast of this film is very fitting and mostly resemble grown-up versions of the kids in the first movie, though special mentions surely go to Bill Hader (taking over Finn Wolfhardt as the lovably uncouth Richie) and Jay Ryan (taking over Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben). James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain also helm the movie, playing lovers Bill and Beverly. The sexy Isaiah Mustafa plays Mike, who assembles the group back together.
The returning direction of Mama director Andy Muschietti proves eminent, with the film holding itself together notably well despite practically almost bursting at its seams with varied elements. The pacing of the film is mostly impressive and unyielding, though the third act will have you fidgeting at its necessity.
It, the monster clown (Pennywise) creature also sees some exposition here, although serving a primary purpose of revealing humanity’s cruxes. While less terrifying and unsettling as in the first movie, this iteration of It truly feels like a literary monster come to life, complete with random less horror-appealling appearance choices, at least visually. With that said, there are still moments where you’ll find yourself squealing or irked by It’s actions. It‘s perfect.
Now, this is what you call a sequel. Whoever said horror films couldn’t still be fully functional movies if they were stripped of their scare tactics?