“It: Chapter 2” is once again directed by Andy Muschietti who did the previous film as well as 2013’s “Mama”. Based on Stephen King’s 1984 novel of the same name, the film has all the child actors return as well as Bill Skarasgard as “Pennywise”. The child actors grow and with that comes their adult counterparts including James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, Andy Bean & James Ransone. After the success of the first film, New Line Cinema announce plans for sequel with a big names already attached to play the adult characters.
27 years after the events of the first film, Derry, Maine is once again plagued by Pennywise (Skarsgard) after a man is murdered outside of the Derry carnival. Mike (Mustafa) finds out and calls the Loser Club to return to Derry and finish off It before he kills again. Beverly (Chastain), Bill (McAvoy), Ritchie (Hader), Eddie (Ransone) and Ben (Ryan) all return back home. As they all reunite one night at together, the moment turns dark as the soon realize that their friend Stan (Bean) has tragically committed suicide due to Pennywise. The Loser must retrace their step from their youth to stop Pennywise. As each member goes through their own trials, Mike figures a way to send Pennywise back to where he came and forever rid Derry of his psychotic ways by an ancient Native American ritual. The Losers have returned home for another round against this evil clown but with the past not at rest and old wounds still not healed, will it be enough to destroy Pennywise once and for all?
This film had a lot riding on it after the success of the previous film. Once the cast was announced for the film, my interest immediately peaked and they didn’t disappoint. The cast and acting were fantastic. Each actor had great moments as individuals and as group in the Chinese restaurant scene. McAvoy, Hader & Chastain all had great character moments while the rest of the cast held their own. Skarsgard is also great as Pennywise. Not as terrifying as he was in the previous film but much more menacing and darker at times. While the acting was great, the film does have its problems such as pacing. At over 2.5 hours, there are parts of the film that drag. The great acting almost over shadows the horror movie aspects. Nothing really stood out as a horror movie tropes outside of Skarsgard’s guard performances.
Overall, this was one of the very few horror movie that legitimately carried by the performances alone. The previous film as well as “The Conjuring”, “The Babadook”, “Goodnight Mommy” & “Split” are among those that have strong performances. While the acting and writing is great, the pacing stalls the movie and cause some what of a fatigue as far as timing. Some scenes could’ve been cut short or even removed altogether and wouldn’t take anything away from the movie as a whole. One thing I will say about these movies is that they are without a doubt a lot better than the original 1990 films.