This is not IT: Chapter Two resides in the sewers

The second half of Stephen King’s dark and twisty thriller revisits the nightmare that is stalking Derry, Maine. Director Andrés Muschietti, features many frights as well as emotional scenes we weren’t expecting. 

Being a big fan of horror and the first IT movie, I was so excited to see the sequel. I had high hopes that the movie would live up to the hype. I had a friend and a large tub of popcorn, ready for the jump scares to come, but we both felt cold (from air conditioning, not fear) throughout the movie. The deadlights failed to draw me to Pennywise. I left the movie without being under the trance.

The movie is great for those who are big fans of IT and have seen the first movie or read the book. It’s not like the Harry Potter series where you could start on any movie and have a decent idea of what is happening. There is so much from the first movie that is incorporated in the sequel that it is necessary to have seen or read IT: the movie references a letter that Ben wrote for Beverly confessing his love, the way Pennywise appears to each member of “The Losers Club,” and deaths and backstories of main characters.

One of the bigger downsides to the movie is the crazy number of time jumps there are. Understanding that Stephen King was experimenting with cocaine in the 1980’s while writing Chapter Two of the book, I guess made up for the plethora of time hopping a little more reasonable. Almost every scene has at least one time hop. It got to the point where I could not look away or I’d miss a key detail, which was frustrating.

To recap what happened in the first movie: The movie starts with the first known Pennywise attack and time hops to a year later where we see Pennywise start terrorizing a group of young teens of Derry, Maine, Beverly, Mike, Ben, Eddie, Stanley, Richie, and Bill, who come to form what is known as “The Losers Club”. They join forces to defeat Pennywise, ultimately in the end they succeed. To read a more in depth analysis read Nicolas Stephen’s review of It.

Chapter Two is set 27 years later in today’s time, but that does not align with the book and the original movie (the movie starts in the 60’s and then later takes place in the 80’s while the new movie takes place in the 80’s and then takes place later in current time). Most of the original club disbands until Pennywise returns to Derry and begins terrorizing the town again. “The Losers Club” must reunite to defend their hometown from the rain of terror and bring Pennywise to his demise.

The original cast returns as well as many new additions to portray the adult versions of each character. Jessica Chastain: Beverly, James McCavoy: Bill, Bill Hader: Richie, Isaiah Musafta: Mike, Jay Ryan: Ben, James Ranson: Eddie, Andy Bean: Stanley. Of course the infamous Bill Skarsgård, revisits the role of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

Bill Skarsgård’s revival of Pennywise is absolutely phenomenal. There is another side to Pennywise that we didn’t exactly see in the first movie. In this movie, we see the human form of Pennywise and his “origins.” Bill Hader as Richie is kind of interesting, not particularly in a good way. It feels as if they threw him into the movie for comedic relief up until the end. Even the dramatic scene they gave Hader felt like it had to be there, but in all it was a great scene.

The only actors that remain slightly close to their characters are Jessica Chastain, James McCavoy, to an extent, and James Ranson.

There are a few scenes in the movie that are very different or out of place. The movie begins with the ending scene of the first movie just to tie it together, which is something we usually never see in film and I thought this is such a great addition to the film. Then the movie suddenly gets severely gruesome and violent, which is somewhat understandable since the aim of Pennywise is to terrify the adults an not the kids, but it was still felt very fast and abrupt. It showed some pretty dark backstories to the characters. To lighten the mood they throw in this fantastic scene where “The Losers Club”. It really allowed us to see the characters interact and understand what happened in the 27 years, which again is such a great scene.

The film style is absolutely amazing. The simple flow style really draws the viewers into the movie, it makes us feel like we live in Maine.. It was really different than any Netflix original or movies that are out now. The movie score was also really well written, it helped increase the scare factor. The score was noticeable but not overpowering to any action that was taking place on screen.

If you want to see this movie you have to see the first IT for the sequel to make any sense. The movie is very long and you have to pay attention to what is happening.The movie itself is well put together besides the few storyline flaws.

I would recommend this movie to those who are fans of Stephen King, but those trying to find the brilliance of the first movie will be disappointed.