In 2017, Stephen King’s It took the world by storm. Everybody was talking about It, even people that weren’t into horror movies in the first place. It was critically well received and a huge financial hit. At the end of the film, a title card appeared that read “It Chapter 1.” And so, almost immediately after the release, people began to anticipate It Chapter 2. This time around, the “Losers Club” from the first movie returns twenty-seven years later to finish what they started as children. Predictably, many were skeptical of the second installment of the horror film as the all-grown-up narrative of Stephen King’s novel is often considered less interesting and generally weaker than the child section. Unfortunately, I feel that this is the case with the movie as well. However, there’s still plenty to enjoy in It Chapter 2, even if it doesn’t completely live up to the original.
First and foremost, this is a horror movie. The scares here are pretty on par with the ones in the first movie. They’re very well done, especially in the final hour. After the first movie, the same type of scares could have become easily predictable. Thankfully, it seems the filmmakers were aware of this and crafted them so they relied much more on suspense. One of the best sequences in the movie takes place in a mirror maze where a child is trapped between two glass panels. One of the characters has to break the glass and get to the child before Pennywise does, and it’s incredibly suspenseful and thrilling.
The strongest aspect of this film is the casting. After the first movie introduced memorable characters that resonated with audiences, many were scared that seeing them as adults would be too jarring and unconvincing. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every one of the adult cast members looks exactly like you would imagine an older version of their character to look like. They all give amazing performances. When combining the casting with the script, the older Losers Club is perfectly believable.
If there’s any one major problem with It Chapter 2, it’s without a doubt the pacing. This film is almost three hours long, and some of the scenes, especially in the first hour, can feel superfluous and bloated. The first hour is so barren of interesting scenes that I could hear the people behind me asking when the real movie was going to start. The plot here isn’t nearly as engaging or entertaining as the first movie, which makes the pacing even worse compared to the brisk pace of the original.
While It Chapter 2 falls short of its predecessor due to poor pacing and a generally less interesting plot, the scares are still fresh, the characters are still amazing, and it ends on a satisfying note. Overall, I’m glad that I saw the conclusion to the story, and I’ll give it a 7/10.