IT Chapter Two picks up from the scene in the previous film where Pennywise shows his Dead Lights to Beverly and has her under their spell. Reminding us that Pennywise’s origins are much more sinister than just a scary shape-shifting clown, and a strong indication that they’ll be explained later. I felt it was such an appropriate start to the film, and was incredibly thrilled about this aspect and was intrigued to see how they’d handle It’s true identity. IT Chapter Two is set in the present now, and the adult versions of the Losers Club have all gone on and started mostly grandeur lives except for Mike, who remained in Derry. After the gruesome murder of Adrian Mellon, Mike can’t dismiss Pennywise’s return, and phones each member of the losers club 27 years later. They slowly start to remember their childhoods, and Mike retained all his memories since he stayed there. He asks them to honor their blood pact and to return to Derry to help him. Each one of them has intense reactions on varying degrees when they talk to him. We also get a glimpse into the lives of each of these characters to this point, and how they make their way to reunite once again. Pennywise also enlists Henry Bowers again to start trouble for the Losers as they plan to take down the clown.
The Losers all meet again one by one at Jade of the Orient, the Chinese restaurant named in the novel. Mike and Ben are the first to reunite, and shortly joined by Richie, then Eddie. Outside the front of the restaurant, Ben is almost unrecognizable to Beverly as he’s grown from an overweight boy to a slender, handsome man. The six of them catch up on old times and pick up as if their friendship hadn’t had a 27 year gap. As they start to remember Pennywise more, he starts to terrorize each Loser with their fears and taunts them as a group. Most of them are so spooked from old childhood traumas they try to leave town again, but not before encountering Bowers after his escape from the mental asylum from killing his father from the first film. Mike also reveals IT’s secret to Bill, because he believes Bill is the only one to convince everyone else to stay, which was true. Everyone has always been so loyal and supportive to Bill, especially when they wanted to help him with Georgie. Hi-jink after hi-kink, the Losers finally resolve to honor the blood pact and go kill IT. The film takes you through so many laughs, scares, and tears.
The casting can sometimes make or break a movie. In this case, the casting was exactly on point for each member. First off, big thank you to Andrés Muschietti for doing an amazing job directing and hiring all the right people for the film, and doing justice to Stephen King. (Please re-make Pet Sematary) Jessica Chastain was the absolute best choice for Beverly Marsh and complements Sophia Turner beautifully. James McAvoy for Bill Denborough was probably the least believable, but he is still so compelling and embodies Bill’s personality. Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscome was such a smart decision since their facial features are similar and yet distinguishable. Bill Hader as Richie Tozier was highly anticipated ever since the interview with the younger cast as Finn Wolfhard ("Stranger Things") named him to be his successor in IT Chapter Two. He did superb in this role, and I highly respect him as not only a comedian now, but an actor and person as he’s so personable in smart in recent interviews. James Ransone not only looked exactly like you’d expect the older version of Eddie Kaspbrak to look like, but he really delivered with his wonderful scenes with Richie as he was the easiest to tease. Isaiah Mustafa nailed Mike’s frustrations, fears, and I feel added a lot to Mike’s character development wonderfully. They even went above and beyond I feel with Andy Bean as Stanley Uris to really honor the story. The star of the whole show was of course Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. The man was born to play this role. Aside from him needing less CGI than any other actor, he properly gives Pennywise the childlike, YET most terrifying qualities of this entity.
There was so much to love about the movie. It was so psychologically thrilling, so many circumstances that were just horrifying, and featured so many different horror scenes. All with having romance, drama, and comedy blended in. They did such a good job at combining horror and comedy, as that is Pennywise, a lot in unexpected places that just kept your mind going for the full 3 hours. They had a lot of footage of the kids where there were gaps from the first film, and they actually de-aged the actors since a lot of them hit puberty and drastically changed by the time filming started again. It was awesome to see more scenes with the kids, and I liked seeing the adults’ reactions to those memories, as they continue to keep remembering their childhoods. The Stephen King cameo scene was one of my favorite scenes because it was like Stephen King scolding his younger self. It’s also just brilliant to see King in one of his own movies, like a Stan Lee sighting in Marvel. I loved having a longer scene of Skarsgård talking to a child to really open more of his acting abilities. As long as both films are, I feel I need the extended version, and that super-cut Muschietti talked about in interviews about editing both films into the same format as the novel and the mini-series.