Culture, Film, Review

Review: IT Chapter Two

0 153

By Ben Thompson


The sequel to 2017’s IT is not as effective as it’s predecessor. While it’s a good film by most measurements, it’s problems were about as obvious as…well, a killer clown.

The film continues the story of the Loser’s Club – Beverly, Bill, Ben, Mike, Eddie, Richie and Stanley – in their fight against IT, a shape-shifting human eating monster, that often takes the form of a sadistic clown called Pennywise. Having initially defeated the monster in the first film, the now adult  protagonists return to their hometown in Maine to finish what they started twenty-seven years prior.

I haven’t read the book – which is over 1,000 pages long – so I won’t be comparing the film to the book at all.

Much has been made of the film’s portrayal of it’s gay characters. In fact, the opening scene sees a gay couple being assaulted by a gang of teenagers. I’ve seen a lot of criticism of this, but I personally don’t see it as particularly vindictive. Horror movies are generally equal opportunity offenders when it comes to who they kill off, so I didn’t personally see this scene as distasteful. In fact, without giving too much away, I think this film has a lot of gay sub-text that would make for a interesting article.

I mentioned this film has a few problems, so I’ll address them before moving onto the good stuff.

There are a few tonal problems in the film, as it fluctuates between comedy and grotesque horror. There was probably only one or two times where I felt it ruined a scene, but it’s still distracting nonetheless.

Portions of the film feel like a pile-on. The film is throwing so much at the audience, and when it’s in the form of jump scares, it gets tiring really quickly.

Did the jump scares make me jump? Well…yeah, but it’s not much of an achievement surely? I knew they were coming, and after a while, it felt a little redundant.

Without spoiling anything for those who haven’t seen the film, the ending felt kind of lame. It seemed the film was acknowledging this, as they constantly made jokes at the expense of Bill (James McAvoy), who’s a writer and an obvious Stephen King stand-in. Practically every character he meets remarks that the endings to his novels suck – a humourous if not obvious nod to how fans respond to King’s endings.

But the film had plenty to praise, and I still think it’s worth a watch – if you’re a Stephen King fan or a fan of horror movies in general.

The film is very atmospheric, and continues the unsettling tone established in the first film. Everything about the town of Derry, Maine is off-kilter. The townspeople are probably more gruesome than Pennywise, and this raises the suspense – the audience is left feeling uncertain about which characters are human.

The casting is perfect, and every member of the Loser’s Club is suited to their role. Bill Skarsgård is pitch-perfect as Pennywise, and brings a creepy child-like quality to the character. This is particularly effective in scenes where Pennywise needs to entice a child victim – one such scene involving a young girl is especially unnerving.

Overall, I’m glad I went to see ‘IT Chapter Two’. I would recommend this film, but with a couple words of caution –

  • Don’t get bogged down in comparing it to the book or the 1990 miniseries with Tim Curry
  • If you have little tolerance for long running times, I’d say wait for the Blu-Ray – this film is nearly three hours long.
  • Anticipate a lot of jump scares. A LOT.

About the author / 

Ben Thompson

Modern History student. Mostly writes about politics and social issues.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Opinion: “Our real legacy at university is the friends we make along the way”

    We all prioritise different things in life: our relationships, academic achievement, and financial success. While these can be great catalysts for short and long-term goals, making us resilient,  fixating on these goals can become overwhelming, even detrimental. Focusing on what we feel we have to achieve can make it easy to lose sight of the…

  • Reading and Leeds Festival 2024: The best bands to see this year

    Featured image: Georgina Hurdsfield Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of choice on offer at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. We’ve trawled the lineups to bring you a cluster of acts to watch on the August bank holiday weekend. From jungle to riotous punk, there’s a bounty of brilliant bands…

  • Film Review: The Idea of You – A sappy feel-good rom-com

    Featured image: PA Media In this sappy, heart-warming rom-com, two lovers meet at Coachella as Solène (Anne Hathaway) takes her daughter to a meet and greet at the Californian music festival. Known for her iconic roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and The Princess Diaries (2001), Hathaway plays the role of a 40-year-old divorcee…

  • Travel: Tips for multi-country trips abroad while keeping your bank account happy

    Featured image: Georgia Pearson The summer break from university is approaching and conversations about travel plans can be heard across campus. But with the cost of living at a high, students and young people are looking for cheaper ways to travel this summer. Travelling to multiple countries during one trip can be a budget-friendly way…