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IT Chapter Two relies on comic relief to overcome its lack of horror

Joel Bautista | The Ticker

The return of the Losers Club as adults in IT Chapter Two demonstrates what many people enjoyed about the first film: the characters. Both films are driven by character development; however, Chapter Two shows maturity. At two hours and 50 minutes long, IT Chapter Two packs in scares, comedy, emotion and more Pennywise.

Bill Skarsgård’s performance as the demonic clown is such a pleasure to see, especially in light of the poor big-screen adaption of the gunslinger.

Although Tim Curry’s performance left a whole generation terrified of clowns, it is extremely outdated. Skarsgård’s performance leaves its own unique mark on the character. It’s almost as if Bill Skarsgård was made for this role. The laugh, the voices, the deception, the look — it is all there.

Similar to how the first film got the casting so right with the kids, the adults are a perfect representation of the characters. Bill Hader does an incredible job in the entire film. 

Not only does he bring comedic relief to the film, he also displays serious acting at times, almost to the point where Hader steals the show.

Although Pennywise is the star of the entire film, the cast does a magnificent job in stealing the spotlight.

The other standout performances are James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain. In the first films, their characters have story arcs that continue into the sequel and they are both fantastic extensions of their younger selves. 

The story of Bill and his acceptance of what happened to Georgie are finally resolved throughout the film, as well as Beverly’s struggle with the people who abuse her in life, which eventually leads her back to the person who wrote her the poem that she holds near her heart.

In fact, all the characters have their sagas completed by the film’s end. 

The only exception to this is Stan, although he still gets his moment to shine by the film’s ending scene.

Even then, Stan’s purpose in the film is very minimal and the way the writers tried to give his character some significance ultimately falls flat and does not make much sense. It also deviates a bit from the source material.

Like previous adaptions of IT, the story is slightly different from the novel.

If the film followed the book exactly, it wouldn’t be a horror film; instead it would be some long drawn out science fiction film.

The writers did a good job taking what they needed from the original story for a movie adaption.

These two films are the best screen adaption of the book we are going to get. The only criticism that one might make is how the film leaves some things unanswered.

A good example of this is Ritchie’s secret, which is always alluded to but never revealed.

A problem that some saw with the first film was that although it was entertaining, it was not all that scary.

Chapter Two bumps into some of the same issues, however, it does seem to step it up when it comes to the scare department.

What the first film lacked in fear, the second makes up for in a lot more suspense.

The biggest letdown, however, is the showdown with the killer clown in the movie’s final act. The movie builds up so much, yet its climax does not feel climatic.

The movie decides that friendship is enough to stop evil. For an intergalactic evil space clown who caused so much trouble for millions of years to be stopped by a couple of mean-spirited words by a bunch of angry adults is pretty lame.

Some might end up laughing more than jumping from their seats in fear. Throughout the entire film there is always something to pay attention to, whether that be looking out for Pennywise, looking for Easter eggs, or both.

The film does something right by holding an audience’s attention for almost three hours yet still establishing itself as one of the most anticipated horror films of the year. That being said, it still somewhat falls a little short of being a scary film.

The film ultimately shines with the performances of the entire cast. The interactions that
the Losers have are always entertaining to watch.

To see Pennywise terrorizing children and fooling around in the town of Derry in the background of some scenes is also fantastic. However, the film’s final act does not reflect the intense roller-coaster it took to get there.

In the end, IT Chapter Two does a good job at being an entertaining film; however, some may find more amusement than fear in watching. Time will tell whether or not this film has a place in the hearts of horror fans.

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