It: Chapter Two (2019)

it chapter two poster 2019 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Cleans up some of the novel's problems, scarier than the first entry

Goes for easy scares, too long, kids are still more interesting than adults

Movie Info

Movie Name: It:  Chapter Two

Studio: New Line Cinema

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s):  August 26, 2019 (Premiere)/September 6, 2019 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

it chapter 2 pennywise the clown bill skarsgard hate crime

Pennywise always welcomes guests to Derry

In 1989, the Losers Club thought they had ended the horror in Derry once and for all.  It and It’s embodiment Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård) were defeated…but in Derry, the dead don’t stay dead.  When new murders begin occurring Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) realizes he must call back the Losers to honor the promise they made as children.  Now, Richie Tozier (Bill Hader), Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone), Stanley Uris (Andy Bean), Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan), Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy), and Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain) are receiving a call they never expected and remembering something they hoped to forget.  It is waiting for the Losers and the Losers will face danger again!

Directed by Andy Muschietti, It:  Chapter 2 is a sequel to the hit 2017 horror film It.  The movie adapts the second part of Stephen King’s 1986 bestselling novel.  The film was met with mixed to positive reviews.

it chapter fire beverly

My heart burns there too!

It was a big, big book.  Not only in size, but it was one of those “growing up” books.  The first movie was seeped in nostalgia especially since I was the same age of the kids in the movie in 1989…so I knew where they were and where they were coming from.  I always had a problem with the second half of the novel It.  It was problematic and didn’t flow like the first part.  It:  Chapter 2 has some of the same problems but does some things to alleviate the issues raised by the film.  A bit of a ******spoiler alert******* exists for the rest of the review (though it is hard to spoil a thirty year old story).

For the most part, the movie keeps to the spirit of the novel.  Like the first film there are tweaks to modernize it, and there are aspects that don’t work as well on screen as they do on the page.  The movie has the problem of working toward the rather lame giant-spider ending and even that is played with a lot (criticism of how Bill’s books “end” is a running joke in the film…a lot like Stephen King’s books).  The movie is by far more horrific than the first film and loaded (if not overloaded) with jumps.  It still runs almost three hours and feels like it at points.  The core elements of the story (minus the part I always thought was tragic…that they forget everyone again) are the same.

it chapter stanley head monster thing john carpenter

Nice Thing homage

The problem is the problem with the novel.  The kids’ story is so much more compelling than the dull adults that the movie struggles to keep it spiced up (I do love some of the monsters), and the story also has a bunch of frustrating hanging plotlines that the book tapped into a bit more like Beverly’s abusive husband and Bill’s wife Audra.  Here they almost should have been left behind.  You also have the whole Henry Bower (played by Teach Grant) debauchal that really goes nowhere with the character.  He shows up and essentially gets killed (rather easily at that).  It just seems like it should have been tied in more.

The cast is strong.  Since they are the best known, a lot of focus was on James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader (who all do a good job).  Isaiah Mustafa is a bit bland (and his character is more deceitful which makes him a bit less likable).  I wish that the movie tried to make Jay Ryan less of a hunky Ben Hanscom and more of an everyday guy who turned his life around.  James Ransone is decent as Eddie, but his energy rivals Bill Hader and I never found that to be the case in the book.  There is a long scene with Stephen King and a small role with Peter Bogdanovich.  The movie has a cameo by the original “young” Ben (from the 1990 version) played by Brandon Crane (who I immediately recognized since he still looks like he did in the film and The Wonder Years).

it chapter 2 ending final pennywise

The ending still sucks…but it is better than the TV ending

The movie is much heavier on jumps and scares.  There are a lot of allusions to other Stephen King works like The Shining and other classic horror.  I love the horrific elongated naked old woman monster and the sticky situation with the ending spider was solved by having Bill Skarsgård create a humanoid spider.  I did enjoy the homage to John Carpenter’s The Thing when the head of Stanley Urich sprouts legs and begins running around (complete with Hader saying “You’ve gotta be kidding me”).

While I still prefer It to It:  Chapter Two, I do feel that it did tweak stuff to improve on that portion of the novel.  It is by no means a perfect movie, and it is a continuation (not a sequel) so you can’t go in to it without seeing the first film.  It could have been cut down, and it could have gone for some more complex scares instead of the easy jumps.  Fans of horror will like all the references to other films from King’s works to The Evil Dead, but I still feel that there is just something slightly missing that could have taken this film from an average or good film to a very good film or a great film.

Related Links:

It (2017)

It (1990)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response