We always knew we’d see Pennywise once more; it was only a matter of time when. The sequel to the wildly popular 2017 reboot (and I never thought I’d ever use “wildly,” “popular,” and “reboot” in the same sentence), It Chapter Two will have you sitting for a whomping 165 minutes (2 hours 45 minutes) as it focuses on the second half of Stephen King’s lengthy novel with our heroes of the Losers Club.
Our heroes, now adults, have their own lives but are still carrying the baggage of the events that took place 27 years ago. Bill (James McAvoy) is a novelist and screenwriter still mourning the loss of his brother Georgie, Beverly (Jessica Chastain) is married to a rich guy who occasionally abuses her, Richie (Bill Hader), who is now skinny, is a stand-up comedian, Eddie (James Ransone) does risk assessment for an insurance company, and Stanley (Andy Bean) is in a stable marriage. Apparently, there’s nothing else going on with Stanley that needs our attention.
The only member of the group who chose to stay in Derry, Maine–a picturesque little town sitting on top of a cursed carnival, is Mike (Isaiah Mustafa). After a freak accident, he calls the gang back together to honor their blood oath they made at the end of the first film, and that’s when things get worse.
While It Chapter 2 brings the story to a satisfying end, the film falls victim to the sequel curse. Excluding the running time, there’s too many stories, characters, and CGI. It’s not just about the Losers Club versus Pennywise anymore, which made its predecessor easy to follow and enjoyable, it’s now about everybody else. Director Andy Muschietti and his writers seem to believe that bigger and more of everything is better, so they throw in every single horror trope and cliche to progress this film and give the viewers a jump. And speaking of jumps, they do not stop. There are so many jumps in the movie that it stops being scary and starts becoming funny.
Hader ends up being the star of the film with his dry-wit commentary. He makes scenes funny that would’ve otherwise been boring. Bill Skarsgard, once again, does a phenomenal job playing the psychotic Pennywise.
In the world of horror, sometimes less is more. It’s very apparent as I fought to keep attention that the director didn’t believe that Pennywise could bring the fear on his own, which explains the old demonic lady, the human-faced spiders, the animated Paul Bunyans, and more blood than all the Saw movies combined apparently could.
No horror movie of any sub-genre needs to be nearly three hours long, and it’s because of this that the little issues that would probably be overlooked in a tight 90-minute feature, like Brian’s complete lack of personality throughout the whole film, becomes center stage, and begins ruining scenes.