Since 2017, horror junkies have been waiting for the sequel to the first part of IT. The reimagining of Stephen King’s classic novel certainly didn’t disappoint viewers with its terrifying villain Pennywise and quirky humour brought to life by its excellent cast. So, two years later viewers are faced with deciding whether or not the sequel lives up to the wait and if it will be a horror to remember.
To get the negatives out of the way, this film is certainly less frightening than its older sibling. It was always going to be an issue, what with the cast of characters no longer being children and adults being harder to frighten, however even to this degree the scares still feel less threatening or gruesome. This problem can certainly be boiled down to the film’s less than stellar CGI, where rather than have Bill Skarsgård terrify audiences with his naturally chilling performance as Pennywise, they are left to watch giant animated monsters that can only be laughed at in their ridiculous appearances. Said CGI is, strangely enough, somehow worse than that of the first chapter released two years ago when used on Pennywise, yet the work done on making the puberty-stricken child cast look younger is serviceable. The inconsistency is noticeable and only takes viewers out of the experience.
Another area that could be seen as problematic is the monstrous length of the film, though unlike the CGI problem the length feels somewhat appropriate for the story they are telling. Most of the film’s moments add to what is happening so that this length makes sense to the development of the plot, not to mention with scares paced decently throughout and character moments being used efficiently. The length would be acceptable to some degree, though just short of three hours will surely test an audience’s patience.
Where the film truly shines is in its cast. Skarsgård once again expertly portrays the terrifying clown in horrific style, and we enjoy scenes with the charismatic kids from the previous outing. With the adult cast however, the ante is upped to the highest degree. Not only do the older counterparts look just like their youngers, but they behave just as one would expect them to all grown up. Watching Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy perform as Beverly and Bill feels perfectly natural, yet when Bill Hader and James Ransone reprise their roles as Ritchie and Eddie respectively, audiences would be forgiven to believe Finn Wolfhard and Jack Dylan Grazer somehow aged to adulthood to reprise their childhood roles.
Along with the cast fitting perfectly, the chemistry and comedy of their acting works excellently. The banter between characters fits perfectly for old friends reconnecting and enjoying themselves in the grim situation they find themselves in. The comedy found unintentionally from the poor CGI is replaced with the entertaining jabs and intentionally charming scenes that bring the characters to life.
IT: Chapter Two is not quite as frightening as its predecessor and suffers slightly as a result, especially for filmgoers expecting frights to keep them up at night with the lights on. This stated however when the film gets its scares right, it gets them great. This along with the fun of these characters portrayed by an excellent allows for an experience that stands out among the horror genre.
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