It Chapter Two - Review
by Sian Wallace
As someone who has been terrified of clowns since the age of two, I admit I had doubts for my sanity when I booked my ticket to a three-hour movie about a killer clown. There were two occasions where I almost threw up out of sheer nerves from the suspense and gore. At one point I even considered leaving the cinema. However, I found Bill Skarskard’s Pennywise just the right combination of horrifying and charming to keep me in my seat. Director Andy Muschietti is not shy of respecting Stephen King’s reputation as a master of horror, leading his viewers into the dark from the very beginning with a scene of brutal murder in agonizing detail. Although the story is set around childhood, there is very little sense of innocence. However, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis and the other young Losers, who reprise their roles from the 2017’s original, often appear at the perfect times to provide an endearing human touch.
Despite my usual aversion to horror, two things drew me to this film. I am fascinated by Stephen King’s storytelling, as every tale is based on a fundamental truth. For It, this truth is the transition from childhood to adulthood all of us go through. Secondly, I adored the casting choices for the six adult leads; especially James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain; who is a spitting image of young Bev. However, neither of these familiar faces kept my attention as well as Bill Hader, who brought an emotional complexity to Ritchie Tozier, which ultimately moved me to tears.
Muschietti manages to stay true to the original text of It, whilst adding his own flourish, including some clever connections to other stories by King, and even some fun homages to the great Tim Curry’s Pennywise from 1990.
While It: Chapter Two is disconcerting in every way a good a horror should be, the film offers an intriguing statement about change, with every detail seemingly having been chosen to provoke questions on how we glorify our childhood memories.