It has been a long summer with our accidental hiatus! Therefore, let’s waste no time and get into our review of It: Chapter Two. As always, I will go through the good, the bad, a few tidbits from the book, and my overall score!
Opening: Something I’ve mentioned on the podcast, back when the last trailer for this film dropped, was my hope that they would adapt the opening sequence (from the present day) with the gay couple. I know they are two mediums (prose and film) that shouldn’t be compared but, for anyone interested, the book is much scarier and horrific with this scene. I highly recommend.
I wanted this scene in the movie because it is one of the moments in the 1200 page novel that communicates the book’s consistent ideas throughout; It is a monster and does not discriminate, and It may be the literal beast but there is evil in humanity that too creates horrors.
Something the movie didn’t touch at ALL was the issue of race and It’s attack on the Black Spot. I have to say it is probably the most horrifying scene from the book. I completely understand why the scene was omitted from the film, but some kind of touch on it would have been great as it would have shown, from that angle as well, the horrors humans create and that It treats everything as fair game.
Ritchie: People complain about Hollywood pushing the “gay agenda,” however, we have to be aware that decades ago stories like this just weren’t allowed! There could be many characters in iconic tales where someone certainly could have been LGBT, but there just wasn’t a space to do it. From the novel I can see how Ritchie and Eddie’s relationship could have be interpreted this way; they are the two characters CONSTANTLY teasing each other, constantly getting hands-on, and constantly shooting gay/sexual jokes at each other… It makes sense!
It gave the loss of Eddie an extra layer and really drove home Hader’s performance. However, Is he the only one that didn’t get a hopeful ending?! Another lonely gay tragedy? Come on!
Horror/ Humor Balance: Something that made the first film so special was its ability to freak you the f*** out and then have you laugh ten seconds later. A great example of this movie following suit is when they throwback to the three doors of fear with Ritchie and Eddie. Behind one of the doors is the dog that Ritchie referenced in a joke earlier. You’re anxious for the jump-scare, but at the same time Bill Hader (Ritchie) is making you laugh. Bill Hader, by the way, is the MVP of the movie. He steals the emotional beats, he brings the humor, and he even gets some kickass moments.
The film does a great job of playing with the “horror movie tension” that even after It was defeated I was still tense and sweating expecting it to jump back out.
Ending: I hate horror ya’ll. I committed to this movie because Stephen King is a genius and I’m a sucker for the power of friendship. The ending of this movie didn’t disappoint. Seeing them come together (to basically execute the same plan from the first film?) was well done.
Henry Bowers Go Home: Pointless. Added nothing extra or anything of benefit. I didn’t need him a movie that’s already about a killer monster clown. We’re covered in the threat department.
Where is It?: With flashbacks to the OG cast, getting to know the modern versions, and the need to progress through the plot it felt like It took more of a backseat compared to the first film?
Don’t get me wrong- when the clown DID return he came with a statement (bleachers and mirrors). Overall the connection with him and the losers was just different. Rightfully so- it’s been 27 years. I just have to say I preferred the chemistry with the clown and the children.
Just Doesn’t Match the First: That being said, I just prefer the first film. It’s just my opinion! For me, both book and film, the children part of the story is just more special. Maybe it’s the Harry Potter fan in me, I don’t know.
Three Parts?: Overall I feel that the movies would have benefited from being shot in three parts instead of two. I think it would have given more weight to the adult versions, would have anchored the younger versions heavier with the audiences when the conclusion came, would have given a bigger punch for Ben and Bev finally getting together, and would have given Eddie and Ritchie’s conclusion more of an impact as well. For me, part 2 felt like such a wrap-up, and involved such a great amount of flashback to the younger versions that I couldn’t invest completely in the adults. Yet, I digress.
Guys, I have to give It: Chapter 2 a three out of five potatoes. It’s a great night at the movies, it get’s it’s job done, and pays respect to the gigantic novel. I think this would have done bigger and better if it had released closer to Halloween but, what can you do!