IT Chapter Two

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IT Chapter Two

PHOTO BY PIKAWIL/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO BY PIKAWIL/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO BY PIKAWIL/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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A film worth the screams but lacking in the audience experience

“Beep Beep Losers, Time to Float.” If you watched the box office success “IT,” then those words will raise the hairs on the back of your neck and cause you to break out in a cold sweat. These are the last words most people here before they are brutally murdered by none other than the infamous Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Two years later, the sequel “IT Chapter Two” has been released and the terror which Pennywise has instilled in us has returned, albeit a bit lacking. Was this a sequel worthy of its predecessor? Do people deserve to have to face Pennywise and watch their biggest fears come to life on screen again? The answer to both of these questions should really be are you willing to face Pennywise again in a film that will lack in the surprise factor but still have the story to keep you enticed.
“IT Chapter Two” continues to establish the story of “The Losers Club,” a group of middle school kids living in the fictional town of Derry, Maine who are continuously terrorized by Pennywise also known to the losers as “IT.”
In the first film, the kids destroy the monstrous Pennywise in a battle of wits — and with the helpful use of a baseball bat. However, the work was not over, after the kids “kill” IT they all go their separate ways and do not see one another for twenty-seven years but not before making a blood pact swearing to come back to Derry if IT should ever return.
Now “IT” is back and he is thirsty for revenge primarily in the form of the Losers Club, and when the madness starts happening again in Derry. The Losers know it is up to them and only them to stop Pennywise from releasing his continuous terror on their town.
The film stars James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isiah Mustafa, James Ransome, Jay Ryan, Andy Bean, and Bill Skarsgård returning as the infamous Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Much like its predecessor, the cast of this film killed it in their truly phenomenal and career-making performances. The unity and wholesomeness of the group did not feel forced, and the actors’ chemistry played off one another naturally.
Hader and Ransome’s performances were show-stealers in itself, leaving many wondering why the two have not worked on more movies together. This film also allowed Hader to explore a darker side while still sticking to his comedic routes, which could benefit his career greatly.
McAvoy and Chastain also gave stellar performances in their leading roles, however, it felt as if each actor was holding back. Not to say that the performances lacked talent, but they seemed to lack a wholesomeness. Those two actors have the biggest names and largest resumes in the film and it was almost like they sensed that and decided to give the spotlight to their supporting cast, which was equally a disappointment and an ingenious idea.
However, my hat yet again goes off to Bill Skarsgård, who managed to scare us and bring a whole new dynamic and performance to horror films. Skarsgård brings Pennywise’s hunger and animal instincts out in the open, while also showing us the more cunning and devious Penny we have all come to know and love. Skarsgård’s performance as Pennywise was so iconic that it belongs alongside the other horror icons like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, and Jason Vorhees.
This film is a sequel and like most sequels, unfortunately, it did not surpass the first film. While the film in its entirety will keep you entertained and will constantly keep you looking over your shoulder, it does lack the surprise factor of the first film. If a film can make red balloons an internet phenomenon fueled by fear, it must have done something right.
In the first film, you had no idea who or what Pennywise is, how he operates, when will he show up, when will he not show up, and what he will do when he does show up. This time around it is known that Pennywise is an evil monster who is lurking around the corner and going to frighten the audience with a jumpscare. The scares felt like they lacked what made them frightening and so I wasn’t at the edge of my seat like the first film. The scares themselves were truly horrifying and I did jump many times while watching it but part of what made the first film so iconic was the overuse of the surprise factor.
It felt like they had used all the surprises on the audience and that they could not use anymore to frighten them but then low and behold they find a new way to do just that. This was what the film lacked and overdid as a whole. The surprise factor just did not live up the first one, which was a disappointment because some of the best parts of watching a horror film is the experience.
As I said before “IT Chapter Two” is a sequel so while I would not say it lived up to its predecessor, I would say it did it justice to the best of “IT’s” ability with the story it was given. Overall due to the casting, premise, and performances, this film would rate at an eight out of 10. Primarily due to the feeling of being cheated out of the entire IT experience. While the film coerced an audience with the promise of fear, “IT Chapter Two” had a less prominent “surprise” factor when compared to the original.