I have waited for this sequel for so long. It Chapter Two is one of those epic films that’s highly anticipated. I shuffled into the IMAX theater with my Stephen King loving friend and settled in for a thrill ride. And let me go ahead and tell you right now. It’s the best type of thrill ride though, one with great storytelling and characters you can’t help but fall in love with. I was so immensely satisfied with this sequel and I really hope everyone gets to experience it the way I did.
I was so taken with every one of these actors and the skilled way each of them were able to make me connect and fall in love with their characters. It’s so crucial to make the audience connect with these characters and they nailed it. Jessica Chastain is one of my favorite actresses. She just has this great range and I’ve never seen her give a poor performance. Chastain plays Beverly with a lot of dedication and care. I could definitely feel her embodiment of the role. James McAvoy is such a gifted actor, and is capable of giving really powerful performances. I mean anyone that saw Split should know that that much about him. I was really impressed with him here. He just throws himself into his role. Bill Hader is the one I was keeping a special eye out for because this is so far out of his wheelhouse. I mean he’s from SNL and the only thing I’ve ever seen him do is comedy.
Turns out, not only can Hader handle the dramatic/scary scenes but his comedic talent is used well here, too! His character provides some refreshing levity in scenes where the Losers are all together. It’s very fitting given what the young version of his character was like. James Ransone is so great as Eddie and is just a near perfect representation of his younger self. I think endearing is the correct word to describe him in this film You’ll understand WHEN not IF you go see this. I had never even heard of or seen Jay Ryan in anything before this, but I really loved his portrayal of Ben. Now yes he is of course very sexy, and yes that is a plus, but he’s also a talented actor and comes across as so sweet, just like his younger self. And we can’t forget about Mike, played by Isaiah Mustafa. I will say that of all the Losers, I was the least impressed by Mustafa. This is not to say he gives a bad performance, but all the others are so memorable and have more to do to be honest. And Bill Skarsgard is amazing as Pennywise, but I mean we already knew he was going to deliver after seeing him in the first film.
The story and the characters are really what sets It apart from other horror films. Getting to know each character is crucially important and this film does that so effectively. It gives ample time to everyone and highlights their friendships and even romance. None of it comes across as sappy either, I was so invested in all of these people and their bonds. That is a huge part of this whole thing. I also really love how the film is paced. I never once felt it was dragging or running out of steam. I never felt that way because everything included is important and there isn’t any “filler” that feels pointless. The visuals blew me away… there are several scenes where I just sat there mesmerized by the attention to detail and the grand feeling of it all. There’s a lot of quality creativity here, especially towards the end. The effects are just marvelous, there’s a few sequences in particular that I was amazed by, but I don’t want to spoil anything. I want you to go see and experience them without having anything spoiled.
I was fairly pleased overall with the scare factor. Now it wasn’t as scary as something like The Nun, but something you have to remember is that movie is purely a scary thrill ride. There is very little importance placed on storytelling or character development in horror films like that. And there’s nothing wrong with films like The Nun, Insidious, or Annabelle. I like all those films, but they have a different purpose and goal. There’s one scene in particular in this film that had me on edge and did scare me quite a bit….all I’ll say is it involves a little girl. So yeah, there are some good creepy scares here, but not as much as other horror films.
One of the very first scenes is extremely heartbreaking and actually had me getting emotional because of it’s nature. A hate crime is committed and while I’m glad it was included, it’s hard to watch. And I want to be clear… I’m glad it was included because we aren’t past things like that. It’s so sad to say but our world and society hasn’t completely expunged bigotry and having a scene like that raises some awareness and exposes the inherently evil nature of it all. There’s also another really great detail of the story that’s LGBTQ positive. I won’t reveal who or what is involved but it’s really sweet and I’m happy to see it. This film gets a good many LGBTQ points from me. There’s a very endearing romance here also, one that I just could not help but smile about because it’s handled so well. And the last thing amongst the heavier material is something I really can’t say much about due to spoilers but it’s something that occurs in the beginning and is referenced again in the very end. It’s very impactful and I actually teared up at the very end when it’s talked about.
It Chapter Two is a masterfully crafted film. It handles everything so well. The cast is superb, the storytelling is exceptional, the creep factor will have you tense as hell. The characters are so well developed and the friendships/connections between the Losers is genuinely touching. With a 2 hour and 50 minute runtime, I never felt bored or like it was dragging and was with it every minute. Please RUN to go see this and pop for the extra money to see it in IMAX because it’s so worth it!