Movie Review: "It Chapter Two"
by Brooke Wolfenbarger | published Oct. 11th, 2019
“It Chapter Two,” directed by Andy Muschietti, is finally upon us after the long wait following “It,” which was released back in 2017. Bill Skarsgård reprises his role as the evil clown Pennywise in the sequel, based on the Stephen King novel. After much anticipation and hope that “It Chapter Two” would live up to the creepy, terrifying standards of the first film, I think it accomplished that very well. I would give it an 8/10 as the conclusion to Pennywise’s story.
The movie takes place 27 years after the Losers left their hometown of Derry to live out their lives as adults. The Losers consist of six friends — Ben, Beverly, Richie, Mike, Eddie and Stanley — who came together one summer to stop an evil clown named Pennywise. When Pennywise awakens from his hibernation and starts terrorizing the town of Derry once again, the gang is pulled back to finish what they had tried to do 27 years ago.
Coming back to Derry, the now grown-up characters must face the fears of their pasts. When they left Derry after the first movie, they started losing their childhood memories — so they decide to come back to Derry to revisit these memories, while also reminding themselves why they made the promise to each other. In the end, they learn more about themselves, what true friendship means and how to conquer their past fears.
What the Movie Did Well
Although the movie was almost three hours long, it flowed nicely together. One of the ways it did this was jumping to the past, when the characters were younger, then jumping back to the present. This gave the audience an inside look at parts of the kids' lives that we didn’t get to see in the first film. We got to see what happened to them before the big fight with Pennywise and what some of the kids’ greatest fears were. This allowed the audience to see the now-adult characters face and overcome those same fears again, but 27 years later.
Another standout was Bill Hader’s performance as Richie. Richie as a kid, and still as an adult, brings major comedic relief to the movie — especially in the very tense times. This lets the audience take a breath from the rest of the creepy and emotional moments in the movie. (Major spoilers ahead in this paragraph.) Bill Hader’s character was not only the comedic relief of the movie; Richie had incredibly impactful relationships with the other characters. There's a scene in the movie where we see Pennywise taunting him about a secret he has kept from his group of friends. This piques the audience's interest, involving the audience. We don’t find out until Eddie is killed in the final fight scene that Richie had feelings for him. Bill Hader did an incredible job portraying the emotion that Richie was feeling and it made the moment feel so real. He never specifically comes out as gay, but the subtle hints toward the end gives the audience all they need to leave with their hearts shattered.
Where the Movie Fell Short
Despite everything that the movie did well, there were a few aspects of the movie that fell short in my opinion. One of those spots was how they used Henry, 27 years later. Henry was a secondary villain in “It” that terrorized the kids and ended up being possessed by Pennywise. He's spent the last 27 years in an insane asylum, and when the gang comes back, he goes after them again. The reason this fell short was the storyline didn’t feel important anymore, as Henry didn’t have the same scare factor he did when they were kids. It just felt like a waste of storyline and nothing important or impactful came out of Henry being there.
Another part that didn’t live up to its potential was the end fight scene with Pennywise. When they were all underground, fighting, there wasn’t much action. The only action we really got was when the gang was split up and they were trying to get out of their own fears. There was so much anticipation for the final battle to defeat Pennywise that when the final battle actually occurred, it didn't live up to the audience's expectations and they were left short.
“It Chapter Two” had a lot of important themes throughout the film such as friendship and overcoming past fears. The movie teaches people that you cannot let your fears tie you down. Friendship can be one of those ways that you can overcome fears, just like how the six friends did in the movie. Sticking together and believing in each other is what true friendship is. The movie didn't just throw horror at you — it also pulled at your heartstrings. You really feel connected to the characters in the end and can even see yourself in in at least one of the characters.
For now, Pennywise is gone, and the people of Derry can live their lives in peace.