FILM REVIEW: IT Chapter Two

It may have only been two years since IT was on cinema screens but, for the characters, it has been 27 years, and a lot has changed – namely, they’re adults. For those of you who are unaware, IT Chapter Two is a sequel to the 2017 film, and it is the second adaption of Stephen King’s 1986 book IT after the 1990 miniseries.

WARNING: If you have not watched the 2017 film IT, we highly suggest you watch that before reading on, as our film review of IT Chapter Two does contain spoilers about the first film.

IT Chapter Two has been directed by Andy Muschietti – who also directed the first film, whilst it has been produced by Barbara Muschietti, Dan Lin, and Roy Lee, and the screenplay was written by Gary Dauberman. The characters of the first film have all grown up in the 27 years that have passed and so new actors are brought in to play the characters, however, there are many flashback scenes throughout, which sees the children return in unseen scenes that expand from the first film.

Appearing as the main characters in IT Chapter Two are Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean; whilst the young versions of their characters are played by Sophia Lillis, Jaeden Martell, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff. Bill Skarsgård also returns as the scary clown, Pennywise who is also known as IT (which is where the title of the film comes from). On top of that, the sequel also saw the bully Henry Bowers return, the young version is played by Nicholas Hamilton and 27-years-later version is played by Teach Grant. On top of that, composer Benjamin Wallfisch returned to create the score, and Stephen King, himself, makes a cameo in the film.

The film starts off with a horrific scene that certainly sets the mood for the whole series of events, but this doesn’t even come from Pennywise instead it comes from another human being – much like the bullying scenes from Henry Bowers in the first film. We watch a gay couple, Don Hagarty and Adrian Mellon, played by Taylor Frey and Xavier Dolan respectively, are enjoying Derry’s carnival before being attacked by a homophobic group of young adults. After beating Adrian they decide to throw him over the bridge into the depths of the river. Distraught, Don runs down the side bank and hopes to help his partner out, but he has already been saved, on the other side of the river, by none-other-than Pennywise, who then slits Adrian’s throat. This scene leads to Mike Hanlon, now played by Isaiah Mustafa, to call The Losers group back to Derry after they all made a pact at the end of the first film that they would all return to kill Pennywise once and for all if they hadn’t succeeded the first time.

This is where the film splits from Derry and we catch up with where all the characters are now, 27 years on. They’re all leading somewhat successful lives away from their hometown, and they all return without knowing exactly why, as they had forgotten about what went on, but one person didn’t return, instead fear got a hold of Stanley Uris, now played by Andy Bean, who decides to commit suicide in the bath instead of facing IT all over again. (That is not a spoiler, this happens at the start of the film, and if you’re reading this you should already know as it happened in the book and in the original film/miniseries.) The rest of the Losers club meet up at a Chinese restaurant, as memories start to return, slowly and fearfully.

The Losers Club in IT Chapter Two

An event that occurs at the Chinese restaurant leaves the group in turmoil and wishing to return to their normal lives as even more memories return; but Mike Hanlon manages to convince Bill Denbrough, now played by James McAvoy, to stay and learn about how to get rid of IT, once and for all. We also find out that IT resurrected Henry Bowers not long after the events of the first film, he got locked up for killing his father, and 27 years on, he is still in prison, only he spots a balloon outside and IT helps him to escape, and in return, Henry Bowers attempts to help IT kill the Losers club.

Various events unfold, including a confrontation between Henry Bowers and Eddie Kasprak – now played by James Ransone, Beverly Marsh – now played by Jessica Chastain – revealing that she’s seen how everyone dies and that running away isn’t the answer, Pennywise revealing that it knows Richie Tozier’s secret – he is now played by Bill Hader, and that Beverly Marsh still has no clue who wrote her that postcard, but we all know it was Ben Hanscom – now played by Jay Ryan.

We also learn that Mike Hanlon stayed around to find out more about IT and how to defeat the monster. It involves a ritual, named Ritual of Chüd, from Shokopiwah Native American tribe, where each of the seven characters (six since Stanley Uris isn’t with them) must get personal items from their past to use as part of the ritual. They end up getting Stanley Uris’ personal item together, but they must find their own personal items themselves. IT knows this and attempts to stop them with a variety of challenges to scare them away, but they face fear head-on and manage to find each of their personal items.

The Young Losers Club in It Chapter Two

Several events follow on, making us jump throughout. We loved the flashbacks that continued on the story after the events of the first film, and we also loved how slight comedy ran through the movie. The scares were real and strong, they were truly unforgettable and a total step-up to the 1990 miniseries. There’s no denying how strong this film was and Bill Skarsgård is absolutely incredible as Pennywise.

If you have watched the 1990 miniseries and/or seen the first IT film and/or read the book, then we totally encourage you to watch IT Chapter Two. Be prepared to jump, to be frightened, to laugh at some of the ridiculous comedic/scary scenes, and to cringe at the harmful scenes. We also loved that Stephen King appeared in the film as a shop owner in one of the scenes.

Also appearing in the film was Javier Botet, Molly Atkinson, Joan Gregson, Stephen Bogaert, Luke Roessler, Peter Bogdanovich, Will Beinbrink, Jess Weixler, Martha Girvin, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Jackson Robert Scott, and many many more. The film was released in the first week of September in most countries and was mostly filmed in Canada.

Watch The Trailer To IT Chapter Two Here:

The film has almost finished it’s run in the cinemas, so grab the chance while you still have it, or wait for the DVD release – we are certain we’ll be getting it so that we can watch it again.

Have you seen IT Chapter Two? If so, let us know your thoughts on the film on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

26-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. In the past, I have written for Fox & Squirrel Photography and the Daily Star. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni