I have never been much of a horror movie fan and I usually avoid them in the theater. When I, along with everyone and their mother, signed up for MoviePass back in the summer of 2017, I wanted to take it for a spin after receiving my card in the mail. It felt too good to be true and I was skeptical about the service until I actually purchased a ticket with the service myself. I was at the Santa Anita mall with my ex-girlfriend and her friend and “It” happened to be playing right after we got done with Dave and Buster’s. Normally, I would have passed and chosen to see something different but my ex-girlfriend really wanted to see “It” and we both wanted to try out MoviePass for the first time. I went to the ticket kiosk, chose “It” and then slid the infamous MoviePass credit card. To my amazement, the tickets printed out and we went in to see the movie. “It” was more of a comedy to me rather than a horror movie. I remember laughing more than jumping from the predictable “jump scares.” “It” was a pleasant surprise for me because I had a ton of fun in the movie and it was well done.
Two years later, “It Chapter 2” arrives to complete the famous Stephen King novel and I was actually pretty excited to see the second part. I was expecting to laugh just as much as I did in the first film and maybe it might even spook me? Unfortunately, “It Chapter 2” was a pretty big let down. It did deliver a few laughs but not nearly on the level of the first movie. I also did not find it to be scary at all. A few people in the audience succumbed to the “jump scares” but I don’t think anyone was truly terrified at any given point. Some of the “scary” scenes with Pennywise and the zombie-like monsters in the film just came across as silly to me. With a runtime of two hours and forty nine minutes, the somewhat weak CGI and zombie-like monsters overstay their welcome. Admittedly, I have never read the book, but the whole thing just became silly after a while and I found myself looking at my watch a few times.
“It Chapter 2” takes place twenty-seven years after the first movie and the kids are all grown up and get called back to Derry, Maine due to a blood oath. Should Pennywise ever start his shenanigans again, the gang would all assemble in Derry again to kill the clown once and for all to protect the people of Derry.
Even though, the movie does a pretty good job of weaving in flashbacks of the kids in Chapter 2 and the fact that the adult acting is well done across the board, I still felt the story with the characters as kids was better. The first movie had more of a “Stranger Things” vibe to it that I enjoyed significantly more.
Bill Skarsgård reprises his role as Pennywise and for the brief moments he appears in the film, he does an excellent job. He does not get much screen time compared to the rest of the cast. Jessica Chastain (portraying Beverly Marsh), James McAvoy (portraying Bill Denbrough), and Bill Hader (portraying Richie Tozier) lead the adult cast in the fight against Pennywise. Hader naturally brings some comedy to the table but this role is a bit more serious due to the darker nature of the film.
Visually, “It Chapter 2” is impressive for the most part. At times, some of the CGI looked a bit silly but all the scenery in Derry looked great. Derry is a cute and charming fictional town that just looks amazing!
In the sound department, “It Chapter 2” is a treat for your ears. While I was watching the film in a Dolby Cinema theater, some loud noises and moving audio did actually give me chills. To remain spoiler free, at various parts of the movie, you can hear creatures off screen quickly run on screen to their targets and you would know exactly where they came from.
I would recommend seeing “It Chapter 2” ONLY if you saw the first movie from two years ago. Otherwise, it might seem overly long to you and there is a great possibility you would be lost. It is also worth noting that horror fans looking for a good spook might walk away disappointed due to a lack of truly scary scenes. “It Chapter 2” is a decent way to finish off the classic Stephen King story but I much preferred the 2017 film.