Movie Review: It–Chapter II

Jeremy Crabb, Reporter

 One of the biggest disappointments in cinematic history, “It: Chapter Two” is little more than 169 minutes of filler to reach an emotionally manipulative and unearned reminiscent finale. Whereas the first film was a charming, albeit disturbing R-rated throwback to old adventure films of the 80’s (namely “The Goonies”), its sequel is a cluster of repetitive events that amounts to little.

       The film isn’t without its positives, however; the first act is actually very strong, with a simultaneously heartbreaking and disturbing opening scene, taken right from the pages of Stephen King’s novel and is adapted brilliantly here. It sets the tone incredibly well and is a very effective and memorable opening. The introductions to all of the adult members of the Losers Club also showed a lot of promise, with the casting for most of the leads is pitch perfect, particularly Bill Hader as adult Richie Tozier, who has a very satisfying arc and is by far the best aspect of the film. The actors have fine chemistry but are surprisingly not on screen together a whole lot, as pretty much the entire second act of the film is dedicated to the individual Losers Club members on their own personal journeys. 

       For about an hour of the film’s monstrous runtime, each of the leads gets a scene where they reminisce about their past lives in the fictional town of Derry, Maine as they search for a certain artifact, each being specific to their character. This is actually not a bad idea, but each of these scenes that make up a big chunk of the film’s runtime has the same structure to it. The character will go to a place they valued as a child, find the item that is specific to them, then a CGI creature will pop out and try to kill them. That’s every scene for the entire second act, and it gets incredibly tiresome and repetitive after a while.

       The film’s main antagonist, Pennywise, is also not given much screen time, and Bill Skarsgard is not given as much to chew on here as the terrifying demonic clown as he did in the previous film. I often forgot that he was even in the film because there would be long stretches where he was nowhere to be seen. That being said, he is given one of the best scenes in the film, and the one of the few genuinely creepy scenes in the entire film.

       By the end of “It: Chapter Two,” I was in genuine anguish. The first film is one of the best mainstream horror films of the decade, and this half of Stephen King’s novel has the potential to make a great film, but writer Gary Dauberman (writer of many of the “Conjuring Universe” films) squanders almost any potential that the film has with a poorly plotted and scatterbrained script that throws so much at you but with little payoff.

      While “It: Chapter Two” does have some positive aspects for sure, particularly in that first act, the film is an overall mess that should have been so much better than it was.

GRADE: 2/5