(A spoiler free review, because let’s face it, it’s still new)
Before delving headfirst into the review for IT: Chapter Two it must be mentioned that there are significant and impacting issues in this film that were distressing, difficult and painful to watch and may be triggers for some viewers.
In the hype of the film’s release the presence of domestic violence, extreme homophobic attitudes and violence and suicide has largely gone unmentioned. In relation to the scenes which depict these deeply emotional and affecting issues I will say these issues are used as story devices and are largely devoid of the emotion, sensitivities and consequences attached to them, which is disappointing in a film that explores the lasting affects of childhood trauma and trauma in general.
If at any point you feel like emotions and issues have arisen for you please reach out and talk to someone, a friend, a doctor, a helpline (which is Lifeline in Australia on 13 11 14)and know that you are not alone and you are of value.
The film itself follows the seven members of the Losers Club 27 years after first defeating PennyWise the Dancing Clown. Returning to the town of Derry, Maine, the Losers Club must recall their memories, which have faded after leaving the town, and essentially learn to rebuild their bravery and strength to once again beat PennyWise. Throw in some questionable rituals, CGI fuelled monsters and a whole bunch of King based Easter Eggs and you have yourself It: Chapter Two – a movie with a mega 2 hours and 50 minutes running time. Despite the shear length of this film the time passed surprisingly quickly which really speaks to the intrigue and pace of the film.
The cast involved is a combination of highly successful actors with a few fresh faces, which largely matches the writing and directing team with experienced horror writer Gary Dauberman (Annabelle Creation, Annabelle Comes Home, The Nun), and the director Andy Muschetti (Mama), feeling a little more like a newbie. What they offered was a movie that certainly contained a greater degree of humour, I actually laughed out loud largely due to ‘Trashmouth’s’ Bill Hader (The Mindy Project, Bob’s Burgers, Trainwreck, Barry, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 1 & 2) which made this movie feel more like a story than the out and out horror that the first It offered. This fact alone is largely dividing.
The movie also features more CGI monsters and slightly less PennyWise which I must admit I quite enjoyed. By the end of this movie, however, I was left confused. There were aspects of this movie that were deeply grating for me, the story was convoluted and at times confusing, there were other aspects that were enjoyable and playful, including some of the horror aspects which I found to be quite fun but overall I certainly wasn’t terrified.
The ending was so-so but it is one of those stories that is difficult to end without deeply dark or metaphorical meanings, with each adaptation and the original story all providing different offerings.
To this end, and keeping it spoiler free, I give It: Chapter Two: 3 birds out of 5 – Erin
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