Get in losers, we’re going to kill a psychotic clown
Everyone knows that growing up sucks. You have bills to pay, a job to go to and a shit ton of responsibilities. If being stressed from all of that wasn’t enough, tack on having to deal with all of your worst fears, and reliving your childhood drama all over again, in the form of a creepy clown that just wants to eat you alive. Well, truer words could not be spoken for the Losers Club. IT: Chapter 2 has finally arrived and our fellow losers are all grown up. It’s been 27 years, and Pennywise is back and terrorizing the town of Derry. No one can stop him except our heroes and after moving away and forgetting all about their eventful and traumatizing childhood, it’s not until a phone call from Mike Halon do they realize the oath that they made, and it’s time to finish IT once and for all.
IT: Chapter 1 was a bonafide success, a box-office juggernaut and helped launch the careers of some very talented young child actors. One of my personal favorite movies of 2017, I couldn’t wait for the next chapter. Growing up the TV Mini-Series really shook me to my core, and I became fascinated with the character of Pennywise. He truly is one of horrors best villains and such a unique and creepy character. When they tapped Bill Skarsgard to portray him I was intrigued. After he blew everyone away with his performance I couldn’t wait to see what he had in store next. With a runtime of just shy of 3 hours, we get plenty of Pennywise terrorizing not only the losers but the people of Derry as well. The body count is higher, the bloodshed has increased and the amount of scares goes through the roof, all things one would expect with the sequel. The sequel is bigger, bloodier and gets at times very weird. Remember, the book is insane, and sometimes that can be hard to translate onto the big screen, but what they managed to achieve and accomplish, with adding in their own little wrinkles, I felted that it worked to perfection. Yes, this movie is long, but I found myself invested the entire time, and it’s mainly due to the perfect casting choices used by director Andy Muschietti. It’s like the man built a time machine and went into the future and pluck the best possible candidates for our adult losers. Not just how they look, but how the act and interact with one another. I was blown away with how well the adult losers came across on the screen, and it’s the driving force.
So the losers are back in town, and this time around their goal is to stop IT for good. This is where things get a little complicated and a tad messy. The book is a mixed bag and has a ton of insane and weird elements, one of which involves a giant cosmic turtle. Thankfully, because it just wouldn’t have translated well onto the big screen, they bench the turtle. In order to defeat IT, the losers must perform the “Ritual of Chud” something that is powerful enough to defeat Pennywise. If the audience can get around this part of the movie because it’s never mentioned in Chapter 1, I do believe everyone will love this movie just as much. For me, it’s the only potential stumbling block for the entire movie.
What worked so well the last time? The camaraderie and chemistry between our seven losers. They felt like real-life best friends, it work so well, and the bond they shared on the screen made it truly special. It’s easier for kids to do that rather than a bunch of adults, but the way the adult losers are handled was so well crafted that you just have to respect everyone involved. Not only do these people look like their younger counterparts, but how they managed to learn and reenact their mannerisms was astonishing. What I like about the film is that we don’t need to build the chemistry between them, these people have an unbreakable bond, and when they are reunited, they are all transported spiritually back 27 years. They are all acting and behaving like they did when they were kids, and I think that’s what so endearing about the film. The second they are all in the same room together during the iconic Chinese restaurant scene, everything just clicks and goes from there.
Most notably James Ransone who plays adult Eddie Kaspbrak, who is arguably the least known adult cast member, but might have a done the best overall job at capturing his younger self. Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, and Jay Ryan are all great. Again the casting is so impeccable, read any review and that’s one thing every single reviewer will agree on. But the king, the man who steals the show, I’m sorry Pennywise, but this movie clearly belongs to Bill Hader. The amount of acting this man is doing is breathtaking. All the different things he’s doing, this is a horror movie, but my god, he’s so damn good. Even just the amount of acting he’s doing with his facial expressions alone. People online are going to start the Oscar push, but honestly, I think this is just another notch on his impressive belt already. Bill Hader blew me the fuck away in this movie. Especially in the third and final act of this movie.
Mike Halon towards the end of the film says that “Nothing lasts forever,” well, for me and I think countless others, these two movies will.
IT: Chapter 2 = 91/100 – even better the second time around