IT Chapter Two Spoiler-Free Review

Clad in red and having watched the IT Chapter One movie as a refresher days earlier, I entered the theatre ready to be frightened. For a 9 p.m. show, the seats were nearly full. The opening credits began and I took small sips of my drink to ensure I could make it through the film’s nearly three-hour runtime. It started off dark, gritty… and became a comedy with horror and dramatic elements that ultimately missed the mark. The first movie was better. 


I can’t say that I totally hated the movie, so in the interest of fairness, I’ll start with the positives. The cast was phenomenal. An obvious standout in the movie was Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, who showed off his skills as both a comic and a dramatic actor. The surprise star of the movie (and genius casting decision) was James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak. His portrayal of the character was uncannily similar to that of IT Chapter One actor Jack Dylan Glazer. His wide-eyed reactions to the story unfolding around him and his endearing nature made him an audience favourite. 


Image description: Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, holding a postcard.


This movie expanded upon relationships that were sparked in the first film in ways that gave insight to and mostly satisfying conclusions to. The friendships were sweet to revisit and the relationships were very soft and lovely.


Just like Chapter One, this movie had excellent comedic moments. It maintained the friendly banter and shocking dialogue that made the first movie shine, while also taking more chances with visual and physical comedy. The audience was in stitches the entire show. It was genuinely a hilarious movie. 


As much as this comedy was a highlight, it was to the detriment of the film as a whole. This was a scary movie for people who hate scary movies. The tone was completely inconsistent with the first movie, which used jokes to lift audiences out of dark and frightening scenes. Chapter Two piled joke after joke until the scary bits just didn’t hold any more power. A movie that’s afraid to take itself seriously, however silly the things happening might be, is telling the audience to not take it seriously. 


Image description: Bill Hader as a grown-up Richie Tozier, looking at something off-screen in shock.


This movie was also afraid of letting the audience figure things out on their own. Watching this movie directly after IT Chapter One would tire someone out because any callback to the first movie was followed by some kind of “remember when this happened in the first movie?” flashback or line. In doing this it lost time that could have been spent explaining new concepts that only book-readers would understand right away. 


A few problems from the first movie carried over to this one. Certain underdeveloped characters remained neglected or went through no meaningful change, particularly Isaiah Mustafa’s Mike Hanlon. Mustafa did an excellent job with what he was given, but his arc felt incomplete. There were ideas there that seem to have been left on the cutting room floor. 


Another continued issue is CGI animation, which often had the audience laughing rather than shuddering. The best parts of the movie were those rare moments of practical effects. 


Image description: Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown


One minor qualm that I think needs to be brought up was the movie’s insistence on making fatphobic jokes at the expense of the few women in the movie and Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan). In a movie that had too much to do in too little time, it’s frustrating that these digs were kept in the movie rather than scenes that would have added to the story. 


Overall, the movie was fun and had an excellent cast that made the movie elevated the overall quality of it. The humour was mostly spot-on, though overdone, and could have been cut down to make room for dramatic moments. IT Chapter One used humour to add levity to an otherwise dark and stressful coming of age movie. IT Chapter Two exists solely to tie up loose ends, fill in some gaps, and tell the majority of a thousand-page book in under three hours. 


Sources: 1/2/3