“You lied and I died, YOU LIED AND I DIED!!”Review by Lewis Goodall
Taking a trip down Derry lane was a trip I’ve been waiting for ever seen seeing the first IT film. The first film was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in cinema with it being a film I was dreading and getting read for it to suck but it was the opposite and is one of my favourite horrors films. So naturally I was super, mega excited when ‘chapter one’ came up at the end of the film to symbolise the hint of the second one. Ever since then I’ve been twiddling my thumbs waiting for Chapter 2. The moment finally arrived and I am not disappointed in the slightest.
Chapter 2 takes place 27 years after the events of the first film and I guess pretty much anything I say here is going to be spoilers for the first film so just have a look at the score at the end if you haven’t seen the first one. If you haven’t seen the first one then you really need to get on that, come on, you’ve had two years, what have you been doing?! Directed by Andy Muschetti once more, chapter 2 carries on from a pact that the main characters of the first film make to meet 27 years after the events of the first film if pennywise comes back (Spoilers, in the first film they attempt to kill pennywise and he disappears). we are greeted with a carnival, weaving in and out of the residents of Derry, we find ourselves with a happy gay couple enjoying shooting into a plastic clowns mouth. A few thugs don’t take kindly to having a couple of homosexuals in Derry to which they proceed to beat the gay out of them and tosses one over the side of a bridge into water. As his man friend comes to her him out the water, we find ourselves with everyone’s favourite clown, pennywise (Bill skarsgärd) dun dun duuuuuuuun, he’s back!! Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) is the only remaining member of the group of friends that still lives in Derry. He contacts the rest of the losers gang to come back to Derry to keep to the promise of ridding the world of Pennywise.
As its 27 years since the last time they were together, naturally all the characters are 27 years older then they were. They’ve all grown up and become thinner and very successful. We have Bill (James McAvoy), a semi successful writer. Ritchie (Bill Hader) and stand up comic. Eddie (James Ransone), a business man. Ben (Jay Ryan), a more successful business man. Stanely (Andy Bean), a weak pussy and Bev (Jessica Chastain), a ginger. The casting for their their young counterparts from the first film is spot on, I could not fault the casting for looking like perfect older doppelgangers. All of them perfectly mimic their younger selves, especially James McAvoy for getting the stutter spot on but honestly I didn’t expect anything less from someone who has 28 split personalities.
We meet the team and their reunion as they all meet up at a restaurant inside Derry. Most of them have forgotten their past and why they were summoned back by Mike. As he spills the beans and remembers, we get our first glimpse into the horrors that are to come when the fortune cookies start to crack open to hatch a plethora of mutant insects with baby heads. In case you haven’t seen the first film, the concept of Pennywise is that he plays and prays on fear.
No more of the story as I do recommend you do see both films, preferably one after the other and with no lights on for the perfect experience. Obviously we watch these films to give us a good ole scare, make us shit out pants a bit, and does this film deliver with that….. mooost of the time, actually I’d say around 50/50, I say half because a lot of the moments that are meant to be scary came off as being rather goofy. A then that seems to of hit the horror scene in Hollywood, instead of making the creature/demon/old lady move creepily, they somehow manage to make the movement laughable. To get a perfect idea of what I mean, watch the trailer below and just watch how the old lady moves from one side of the doorway to the other, it’s become a go to dance move for me. There are plenty of laughs sprinkled within the film that I will get onto but a fair bit of the comedy comes from the ‘scary’ moments. At points the whole cinema was laughing when it was meant to be a serious moment of terror and it loses all effect. Now this is 50/50 as there are some genuinely terrific moments of horror thrown in to which Bill skarsgard deserves a round of applause of depicting a deranged clown so well. Although there was one moment right at the end which was insanely hilarious and unknowing if it was meant to be, I still cant get the image out of my head and having a giggle about it.
Taking all the horror aspects with all the other parts of the film that doesn’t Include scares, the film is shot incredibly well. Again one of the reasons I was so excited from the first film is because chapter 1 had some beautiful cinematography which was breathtaking at moments so I was expecting this to continue in chapter 2 and it certainly is consistent. From the filming to the music and perfectly timed sound effects. I cannot fault this film on a technical stand point (apart from one scene with horrifically bad CGI but we can ignore that).
In terms of writing, there are some narrative choices that I would go as far as to say don’t make sense and don’t add anything to the story. There was just some branches that could’ve been cut off and it wouldst of changed the appearance of the tree. Knowing that this film is based off the Steven King novel, I’m assuming that these choices are from the book but at the same time it seems just so randomly thrown in that they don’t add anything to the experience and could’ve cut that run time down a bit. Not that I had a problem with the run time, I just desperately needed the toilet for the last hour of the film.
In terms of writing from a screenplay point of view, the dialogue felt great and just as solid as the first film, sprinkling in the moments of comedy genius that the first one had was a great way to split the experience.
Overall I would say that the sequel doesn’t have as much character as the first film but that doesn’t distract from being one of the better sequels out there. Considering that sequels are notorious for being awful, especially horror sequels. This film stays true to the original film and punches the same amount of punch to the guts for any horror fan to appreciate. Aside from some goofy visuals, this is sure to satisfy the stomach of anything looking to fill their horror hole.
7.5 ‘The Thing’ References out of 10
Spoilers for the end of the film because I have to talk about it. So the gang come together in an underground nest where pennywise has been staying for the past 27 years. They all come together to defeat him and realise that because he can shape shift, they need to male him small in order to crush him like a moth. Where they cant lire him into a small cavity, they realise that they need to make him feel small and in turn he will turn small physically. The gang then begins to hurl very juvenile Insults at pennywise. “You’re a clown”, “you’re just a bully”. Having this be the way they kill him felt very underwhelming, its just a very childish way to kill this shape shifting creature that can RIP people in half, suddenly just because they hurt his feelings they were able to kill him. I get the overall message of standing up to your fears but it just wasn’t how I expected to kill him. There wasn’t enough rockets in my opinion.