I’m going to be honest. I only started watching horror films two weeks ago. I’ve gone through most of my life avoiding them simply because I hate being afraid. Now, the first horror film I sat and watched was It: Chapter One and I loved it. It didn’t even scare me.
I had the absolute privilege of attending a special screening of the hit sequel last night and I cannot wait to share my thoughts.
For those of you who are unfamiliar:
“Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, “IT CHAPTER TWO” brings the characters—who’ve long since gone their separate ways—back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film. James McAvoy stars as Bill, Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie, and Bill Skarsgård returning in the seminal role of Pennywise. Reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie.”
One of the things I admire most about It: Chapter Two is how brilliant it looks. The entire film, even when we’re in a very casual setting, looks amazing. The overall aesthetics look fantastic and the visual effects are brilliant. While I didn’t find the film that scary, there were plenty of visual moments that were just off-putting. The overall scale is much bigger and more ambitious compared to the first Chapter and it makes for a very exciting and chilling experience. The visuals do play a much bigger role. It: Chapter 2 is a film that needs to be enjoyed on the big screen. That way you can enjoy and cower at the amazing and disgusting things that Pennywise throws at you. If I survived, so can you.
After watching a few horror movies, I found that most typical horror movies move at a very slow rate with a full-on escalation at the end. IT: Chapter Two is not your typical horror movie. There are pros and cons to this. As a horror film I never really felt afraid, in fact I didn’t even jump. For some audiences, this might be an issue since a lot of the advertisement promised a scary and haunting ride. However, the film is consistently creepy. It doesn’t stop.
What’s more is that the sequel is so much more than a horror. IT: Chapter Two is a character driven story about growth that is full of action and humor. I’d even be tempted to say that this is one of the funniest films I have watched this year. Richie and Eddie deliver some hysterical lines that had the entire audience in stitches.
A lot happens in It: Chapter Two. It has been 27 years; we need to see what has become of the Losers club. But what the sequel does is uniquely tie the past and present together. We get to see the old cast that we fell in love with and the new cast in a way that puts a spin on the very typical flashback. Speaking of the new cast, they are all absolutely brilliant. While I would argue that Bill and Beverly are the central focus, each character gets their moment and they all contribute equally. As I have mentioned, Bill Hader’s Richie and James Ransone’s Eddie stole the show for me, along with Pennywise, of course.
You do get to see a lot more of Pennywise and you get to learn more about him. It definitely wasn’t an origin story but it was incredibly interesting to learn more about our favourite Clown. Bill Skarsgård delivers an outstanding performance that is absolutely captivating. He’s creepy, funny and sometimes hard to look at. He pushes the characters to their limit and he has fun while doing it. For me, he is a villain that I love to hate.
If I could really try to find one issue with It: Chapter Two it would its length. The overall experience was a delight; however, 2 hours and 40 minutes is a long time. The film isn’t boring in any capacity but it did feel long. Some audiences might be okay with the length, I personally felt it could have been rounded off a lot quicker.
It: Chapter Two is a fantastic spectacle that tells a very interesting story. Not only does it focus on the personal growth of each character but it also dives into a mythology that was left shrouded in mystery after the first Chapter. It’s very funny, very eerie and very creepy. This is a film that needs to be seen on the big screen in order to fully appreciate its scale and its epic nature. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the characters all over again, the cast do a fantastic job and despite them being 27 years older it seems as though they haven’t aged a day.
While it isn’t the scariest film on the planet, I do think that both horror fans and more casual audiences, perhaps individuals who are new to the horror genre like myself, can still have an amazing time watching IT: Chapter Two. However, it’s overall length and inability to truly strike fear into the heart of the audience may give fans a some-what mixed experience.
IT: Chapter Two arrives in theaters on September 6th. Make sure to book your ticket and prepare to return to Derry. Check out the trailer right here.
James Lister is a University student in the UK, currently undertaking his Masters degree in Media & Communication. He has a strong passion for everything Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and Anime related.