IT Chapter Two (2019): ‘The Long Haul’ – A Film Review

IT Chapter 2 Still

 

Introduction

IT was a film based upon the Stephen King novel, IT. It’s success was quite extraordinary, as in many ways it was a bit of a confused film. Rather than an outright horror, as it was intending to be, it mixed a teen comedy into the mix and seemed to succeed more there. This did at least mean it was successful in performances and characters. It was no secret that IT was going to be followed by another: IT Chapter Two. The novel is long and spans events at least a generation apart. We only saw what was covered for the teens back in the 80s. With IT Chapter Two, eyes were primed to see how events would unfold.

IT Chapter 2 Still

 

All the Cast

Fortunately, the tone is a lot more better balanced. There is comedy but the comedy doesn’t undermine the Horror this time. It is a long film and there are many characters that each have a chance to shine, develop and say their piece. As such IT Chapter Two boasts its main cast and revels in the set-up of the original. Though events drag from time to time, as its hard to fill a 169 minute runtime, it never feels too superfluous. Therefore you may still enjoy the narrative despite feeling the moments a bit much. It is nice to see the child cast return to add more to their version of the events and this nicely connects both films together. Sometimes the child actors perform better than their adult counterparts and at other times they are eerily precise.

IT Chapter 2 Still

 

The Horror and Fear

The problematic ‘Horror versus Comedy’ issue that was a large part of IT, was largely involved with Pennywise. Here, though managed better, it is still an issue, but it feels like an accepted evil. Bill Skarsgård is clearly having fun, but his design just holds him back somewhat. The reliance on deformity to help him to be scary is an unfortunate reliance that IT Chapter Two would have done better to be without. Despite that, the danger and threat that Pennywise causes the heroes is powerful enough to drive the film. It almost feels like an A Nightmare on Elm Street film. SPOILERS. Though the theme is a powerful and important idea: growing up and overcoming your fears and traumas. The idea that if we’re brave enough we can minimise any fear is an unfortunate reductionist idea. Though it’d be difficult to depict this in any other way for mainstream audiences. END OF SPOILERS.

IT Chapter 2 Still

 

Conclusion

IT Chapter Two is long and it is flawed, but it boasts the success of its predecessor with its characters. Knowing when to draw upon this to expand and develop and when to leave ideas behind. The flaws of the novel may have largely caused some restrictions in the development of the film; and there are many differences for those who would be disappointed in the lack of consistency. But in a thrilling Horror, IT Chapter Two manages to be unique and interesting, whilst being mildly scary and with interesting enough characters or performances to carry its weight. Though it is a long haul.

 

Synopsis

27 years after the events of IT, the losers have their respective jobs and lives apart, but are drawn back together as Pennywise returns.

 

Ratings

Entertainment:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Performances:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Predictability:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Technical:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

 

A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.

 

Films Mentioned

A Nightmare on Elm Street (d. Wes Craven USA 1984)

IT (d. Andy Muschietti USA/Canada 2017)

IT Chapter Two (d. Andy Muschietti USA/Canada 2019)

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Director Interview

Cast Interview

Second Cast Interview

Behind the Scenes

Bloopers

Easter Eggs

IT Recap

 

If you liked this

IT (2017): ‘Horror or Comedy, Pennywise?’ – A Film Review

Pet Semetary (2019): ‘We’re Looking at Remakes’ – A Film Review

Child’s Play (2019): ‘Updating Toys’ – A Film Review

 

This was an analytical review of….

 

IT Chapter Two (d. Andy Muschietti USA/Canada 2019)

IT Chapter 2 Still



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