It Chapter Two picks up 27 years after the last film where the Losers Club are now all grown up. So, we think we should know the formula here. Demonic clown terrorises a group of school kids in a small town. Kids defeat clown. Bring on the happy ending… or not? When Pennywise returns to Derry, the small town in question, the seven ‘losers’ must return to face their fears to try to defeat the evil clown once more.
First off, the casting of the older versions of the first film’s young heroes is spot on with all delivering outstanding performances. James McAvoy plays the older version of Bill – the stuttering former leader of the Losers’ Club who made the whole gang pledge to fight again if the evil ever returned. McAvoy is floorless and consistently watchable even if the script doesn’t always give him as much as it should. Jessica Chastain as Beverley brings a scarily subtle performance very close to that of her younger counterpart. Lesser-known Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone and Andy Bean make up more of the misfits and our very own Kiwi, Jay Ryan, holds his own amongst the heavy hitters too. However, it is Bill Hader that is the standout here bringing a highly emotive yet comedic tone to the cocky now grown-up Richie.
Chapter Two digs deeper into the lore of the franchise and dives into the origins of Pennywise using multiple flashbacks to the young ‘losers’. Though I loved seeing more from the original seven kids, by packing so much into this sequel it does result in a loss of both rhythm and of the charm exuded from the first film.
Director Andy Muschietti has created a visually striking looking film that has some beautiful transitions from scene to scene. More importantly, he has constructed some truly gruesome, strange and disturbing set pieces that will have you grimacing at the least with only the bravest avoiding wanting to cover their eyes.
It Chapter Two is an ambitious sequel is a little bloated in parts but delivers plenty of creepy, gruesome, and disturbing cinema to keep everyone entertained/terrified and that’s sure to thrill and delight fans of the original.
Reviewed by Ian Wright.