IT Chapter Two Spoiler 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. 


A warning that this article DOES contain spoilers for both IT Chapter One and IT Chapter Two. 


It would be disingenuous to say that I didn’t enjoy this movie. It was a lot of fun, some of my favourite actors were in it, and in the moments that it worked; it really worked. Bill Hader was a perfect choice to play a grown-up Richie Tozier (the younger Richie is played by Finn Wolfhard in both movies). He’s well-known as a comedic actor but of late has been showing off his more serious dramatic talents. In a movie where I mostly felt detached from the characters, Bill Hader did a great job making me feel very, very sad. 


Other standouts for acting were James Ransome, who has mastered Eddie Kaspbrak’s expression of wide-eyed terror. Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon was also exceptional, despite his character being given only scraps of development and personality. 


The relationships within the Losers Club (what the kids call themselves) were more fleshed out in this movie through flashbacks and adult interactions. Particularly sweet and soft was the bourgeoning love between Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain) and Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan). Their climactic moment of love and realization, hands reaching out to save each other from drowning, warmed my heart. Side-note: I might be in love with Jay Ryan? 


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


Another surprise friendship developed was that of Richie and Stan, whose relationship became a major focus of the movie. Following Stan’s death, we see Richie remembering him in flashbacks and it’s Richie that is most disturbed by the Spider-Stan monster that attacks them in Neibolt House. Meshed with Richie’s story of repressed romantic feelings for one of his friends, although that friend turns out to be Eddie, I started thinking that his feelings were for Stan. But… more on that later. 


One thing that carried over from the first movie is the comedy. The jokes kept rolling in from act 1 to act 3, leaving the audience practically gasping for air. The dialogue was fresh and silly like Chapter One, and it took lots of chances with visual comedy. Fast zooms, a lot of vomiting and fantastic comedic acting (especially from James Ransome) made the movie a lighter watch than expected. 


Image description: young Eddie Kaspbrak’s (Jack Dylan Glazer) cast, which reads “LOVER”. The V is written over an S. 


While the movie was hilarious —I hate to say this— it was too funny. Similar to a Marvel movie, serious moments were continually undercut by jokes and self-awareness. This was particularly noticeable in most of Eddie’s scenes. His death is foreshadowed in multiple scenes through jokes about him dying or being sacrificed. Foreshadowing is good and I can’t fault it for using that tool, but even his dying words to Richie were a joke!


 “I have something to tell you.” Eddie said, literally about to die, “I f*cked your mom.” 


The movie needed more serious and dramatic moments to balance the comedy. Superfluous scenes ate up precious time. Bill buying his old bike from the thrift store served no purpose to the story other than giving Stephen King a very long cameo and continuing the running joke (and dig at King) that Bill’s books have bad endings.


As with the first movie, certain characters remained neglected. Despite having a larger role and more dialogue, Mike Hanlon’s character still felt flat. We get hints at a deeper story with him. He wanted to escape their hometown of Derry but had to stay so he could reunite his friends 27 years later. His parents died horrifically in a tragic fire in front of him, an experience that Pennywise uses against him. We’re given hints and shown these things briefly, but we never really get to know Mike and his deeper feelings on what’s happening to him.


Image description: Richie, Beverly, Bill, Eddie, Mike, and Ben stand in the forest while looking very serious.


The focus was given to Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy), whose arc was virtually the same as it was in the first movie, and felt unnecessary to the story. Although some of his scenes were the best in the movie, we’ve already seen Bill deal with Georgie’s death. Please, can we move on?


It was also unclear at times what relationships were important and which weren’t. The Losers Club members are introduced as adults, most being in serious relationships, but those partners don’t actually feature in the rest of the movie. In fact, they are forgotten. Relationships between the Losers aren’t dealt with much better. The loss of memory from leaving Derry that the characters contend with only complicated things that were resolved in the first movie. The Beverly and Bill kiss was spurred by Bev forgetting that Bill didn’t write her a  love poem. All it did was rehash the worst part of the first movie. Love triangles are so passé!


The topic of Richie’s love interest was particularly confusing. Having seen some spoilers, I knew that he was interested in Eddie as a child, but the movie focused on his grief over Stan’s death. We see him at Stan’s Bar Mitzvah, the boy he flirts with at the arcade looks similar to Stan, and the Stan-Spider attack scene is mostly focused on Richie. It would have been very helpful to have some more serious scenes to establish Richie and Eddie’s friendship and possible bourgeoning love.


Image description: Bill Skarsgård as a very human-looking Pennywise. He has patchy white theatre makeup on his face and streaks of blood running down his face.


Finally, and most noticeably on a visual level, the CGI did not improve. Like the first film, Pennywise’s embodiments of their fears looked fake at best and downright silly at worst. The flashbacks were also influenced by this since the child actors had grown since filming Chapter One and had to be de-aged for their scenes. It wasn’t too horrific, but it was noticeable and might have been better to just leave them looking older and let the audience suspend their disbelief a bit more. 


Overall, I didn’t hate this movie. I had a fun time and probably will watch it when it comes out on Netflix, but it just can’t compare to the magic of the first movie. I would be interested to see an extended version that included cut scenes because ultimately this movie had too much to do with not enough time. 


Have you seen It Chapter Two? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments!\

Sources: 1/2/3