In 2017, when director, Andy Muschietti, unleashed his vision of the Stephen King opus, “IT”, upon the world, no one could have guessed it would have been an instant hit; much less the highest grossing horror film of all time. Now with two years under it’s belt, the film has yet to be dethroned as number one. After the early screening I attended, I can say that in my opinion, if any movie deserves to take the crown, it’s “IT: Chapter 2”.
Like most King fans, I had my doubts about this film, seeing as in the novel and 1990 miniseries, the adult half of this tale was definitely not the most interesting thing. Especially when following what many would agree is some of King’s best work. Unlike the Tim Curry series and the Muschietti films, the novel has the benefit of bouncing back and forth between the kids and their adult counterparts, so there’s never really a chance to lose interest. With that said, I am happy to say that all my worries were washed, one by one, with each passing scene, in what I would say is one of the best films of the year, and possibly the best sequel I’ve ever seen.
I am very hesitant to call this film a sequel, as “IT (2017)” and “IT: Chapter 2 (2019)” function as one grand piece of work, much In the same vein as Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” series and Coppola’s first two “Godfather” films. So much so that even before the film’s official release date, the director has already announced he has begun work on a “supercut” of both films.
As far as the film itself goes, I won’t spoil anything for anyone, I will say what they deliver is probably the best possible way to finish what they started with the first chapter. This film has all of the best ingredients that the novel has: scares, action, drama, and a surprising amount of laughs. With this cast and crew onboard, they have successfully skirted the curse of most Stephen King book and movie endings. Deliberate choices were made (thankfully) to give fans and non fans alike, an ending that feels justified and just outright correct.
While Skarsgård and co. all do an amazing job, the true star is Bill Hader (in his first ever horror role) as “Richie Tozier”. Richie and Eddie (played by James Ransone from The Sinister series), have a bickering chemistry that evolves so naturally from the one shared by their younger counterparts, Finn Wolfhard (Richie) and Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie).
And for those of you who see 2h 51m run time and shut down, the film is paced so well that you never once feel the need to check your watch. Every scene and interaction has a purpose. There is no screen time was wasted, which is something most 90 minute movies can’t say, much less a nearly three hour film.
I hope this film gets the response it deserves, but as we all know, a lot of people don’t want to enjoy anything. It’s more fun for them to berate anything that’s popular than to admit we might not all be as different as we like to think. Horror fans have always been viewed as Losers, so I recommend you go out on September 6th and enjoy the conclusion to a story about a whole club of “Losers” just like you and me.
5 out of 5 stars.
“IT: Chapter 2” hits theaters on September 6th.