Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Bigger is not necessary better is probably what I wanted to say about the latest eagerly awaited “IT Chapter 2”. Whilst the first film set the totally creepy tone and deeper psychological horror / thriller perfectly, “Chapter 2” goes over the top in all aspects, it’s louder, more ambitious and definitely more outrageous. It’s not exactly a bad thing, but some moments are easily better than others and clocking at 170 minutes, there will be sleep induced moments. Director Andy Muschietti smartly allows the actors to play out their characters and the film works best when the group interacts and plays off each other and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise steals the screen.
The ensemble cast of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustada, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Andy Bean makes a brilliant group of grownups prying their trades and almost forgetting what happened 27 years ago (also known as first film). It’s the flashbacks and then the reality they are facing that makes the film all the more interesting. As usual, Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise grace the film with an extra layer of depth, whilst not allowed the full range of emotions to showcase in the first film, Pennywise still manages to impresses and the film is generally better when he is on than off it.
All in all, “IT Chapter 2” is impressive in its visual and its ambition to create something overdressed and equally over the top. It fails in some moments and excels in other occasions. As with these kind of closure sequels within this Stephen King’s genre, it’s almost 1200 pages long and to totally adapt it will be almost a bore fest on screen. We get something here and there, but the central themes of childhood, facing our worst fears and psychological remains there. It could be better, but it could also be a lot worse.
I rated it 7.5/10