It: Chapter Two–What They Say, What to Expect

I am attending the Venice Film Fest and thus unable to write about the new movies this week.

The reviews are in for Andy Muschietti’s It: Chapter Two, which will be released in theaters on September 6.

The sequel takes place 27 years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgard) in the 2017 film.

Now adults, the friends have gone their separate ways. When kids begin to disappear again, Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only one of the group to remain in their hometown of Derry, Maine, calls the others home to take down Pennywise.

James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James Ransone, Jay Ryan and Andy Bean also star.

Hollywood Reporter:

The story should have been told in a miniseries format due to its episodic structure. The series grows monotonous and fails to generate an escalating dread. While Hader renders scene-stealing performance, the older cast lacked the chemistry of the younger cast from the first film (the original cast appears in flashbacks in the sequel). Director Muschietti occasionally finds lovely filmic ways to transition from one to the next, but the stories don’t get to resonate with each other in a meaningful or emotional way, as they might in a series of well crafted hour-long episodes.”

New York Times:

The critic A.O. Scott wrote that the sequel features a similar ending to the original film, “which is a lot like every other climactic, big-budget action-movie battle.” He added, “It’s not scary or surprising to watch a movie’s heart and imagination being devoured by the same old thing, but it is dispiriting.” He also wrote that the film doesn’t teach the audience much new information about the adult versions of the characters. Scott also thought that the film was too long. “An 1,100-page novel like It can be a breathless page-turner. But this 2-hour-49-minute movie drags more than it jumps, wearing out its premise and possibly also your patience as it lumbers toward the final showdown.”

USA Today

The film features enough scary moments to keep fans interested, but “it’s also an ambitious, thought-provoking work that aims for more.” The sequel is not as “tight or affecting as the original tale,” though it effectively tackles themes of memory and childhood trauma. Muschietti’s sparse use of Pennywise in the film is impressive, which “makes the villain’s appearances special.” Similar to other critics, the critic noted that the younger cast outshines the older characters.