It: Chapter 2 movie review: Eerie, eventful horror film experience that will linger in your mind for long after

It: Chapter 2 is a textbook case of making everything bigger in response to immense preceding reception.

Mihir Fadnavis September 06, 2019 08:19:21 IST

3/5

It: Chapter 2 is a textbook case of making everything bigger in response to immense preceding reception. It’s got a bigger budget, a massive star cast, and far more expansive special effects – but it also comes with the baggage of the eternal cliché: bigger doesn’t always mean better. It: Chapter 2 is great fun, but it is a step down from the inventiveness of the first movie. If you dig horror and you were invested in the first film’s characters, you will find yourselves entertained, but also disappointed by the repetitive nature of the scares.

Also read on Firstpost:  'It' is not just a highly entertaining horror film, you'll be craving a sequel too

The film picks up twenty seven years after the original film and the Losers are now all grown up into recognisable names such as Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransome and Jay Ryan. The gang has moved on in their lives but is lured back to the town of Derry after the menacing Pennywise makes a grand return and begins to chomp down on more children. The Losers decide to end Pennywise’s threat once and for all, but obviously realise that the nightmares they face are only going to get worse.

It Chapter 2 movie review Eerie eventful horror film experience that will linger in your mind for long after

A still from the trailer of It: Chapter Two

The film is handsomely directed by Andy Muschietti, whose flair for balancing emotional cords with horror-riffic moments — that we saw in Mama — remains intact. It is, in fact, quite delightful that we get to watch such a big scale horror film, and the filmmaker once again makes a strong case for why he was selected over Cary Fukunaga.

It: Chapter 2 is dripping with golden hour nostalgia juxtaposed with extreme trauma and monster action mayhem, making it an eerie, eventful watch, some of which lingers in your mind long after you’ve seen it. Fans of King’s book would be happy to see the slavish dedication to reproducing the source material with both intelligence and honor, even if one of the characters is a direct sendoff to Stephen King himself. The themes – like necessity of facing one’s fears, and holding on to the people who love you — may be simple but they’re effectively executed without pandering too much to the '80s pop culture facsimile that we’re seeing in cinema and TV lately.

Where Chapter 2 stumbles is the over indulgence in its runtime and the recurring nature of the character dynamics. The entire second half is essentially jump scare central featuring individual scenes of every character in different ages facing the same threat – it works for Chastain’s character as it features a truly memorable ghoul (some of which you’ve probably seen in the trailer) but gets stale real fast as the element of surprise is lost when we jump from one creepy setting to the next and await the loud growl. The moments become shriek-ier with every subsequent camera pan but they don’t add anything substantial to the narrative.

Barring Hader’s, the characters are also very poorly written as they come across as cardboard cutout versions of their younger selves from the first movie. Bill Skarsgard has less to do this time around as the CGI finally overpowers the simple joys of his exquisite cross eyed performance.

None of those problems should deter you from watching the film, because this is a landmark moment in modern horror cinema, which proves that horror doesn’t need to be a shoe string costing tale set within the confines of a house. It’s probably the biggest scale genre movie since 1999’s The Mummy, and because it is no doubt going to be successful, we’ll probably see more of these in the near future. Not such a bad deal after all for a film that falls under the sequel curse.

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