Review: It: Chapter 2

Set 27 years after the first instalment, IT: Chapter 2 continues the story of the Losers Club, who have all since left Derry and found relative success, except for Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa). After discovering that Pennywise has returned, Mike calls the rest of the Losers Club to bring them back to Derry and face the otherworldly creature, as they had done in their childhood. They are each met with depictions of their own fears and demons, as they attempt to fight against Pennywise yet again.

Each character had their own character traits in the first instalment of the film, and in terms of keeping consistent with established quirks, the casting choices for the second instalment were practically perfect. Bill Hader in particular has been praised for his role as Richie Hozier, providing an excellent continuation of the nervous, quippy personality previously portrayed by Finn Wolfhard. The scenes in which characters are simply interacting with one another are some of the best scenes in the movie’s runtime. Even when it seems that there isn’t really anything going in a scene at that point, the actors involved do a fantastic job at making it enjoyable, and it’s clear that all involved went above and beyond in applying themselves to the role. Such scenes really show the heart that went into making the movie.

Throughout scenes where the characters are separated, however, the charm that the Losers Club’s interactions brought is lost. The group are individually confronted by forms of their innermost fears and insecurities, and while it does an excellent job in conveying both the weaknesses of the group’s members, and the power that Pennywise still maintains over them in adulthood, this portion of the movie devolves into a simple jump-scare fest. This section is made up of sequences riddled with modern horror tropes; quiet, suspenseful build up capped off with a jump-scare, with no major development following it. This would usually be forgivable, given how well the remaining scenes are performed, but a large portion of time it takes is detrimental to the film over all.

IT: Chapter Two, despite a great introduction and ending, unfortunately suffers due to poor pacing and reliance on cheap and easy jump-scares, lessening it in quality as the film progresses. The soul that was so evident at the outset dissipates as the movie reaches its middle-point. It is a satisfying entry in the IT franchise, but had the horror scenes been executed a bit more carefully, the result would have been a much more accomplished film.