“It” comes up short with its second act

September, 11, 2019 | Gunner Young | campus editor
Photos courtesy Brooke Palmer /Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.
Pennywise comes back to Derry to finish the Loser’s Club in the second chapter of the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “It,” directed by Andy Muschietti.


Derry, Maine: where everything is terrible and every house has a spooky basement. It is also the setting of “It Chapter Two,” which came out on Sept. 5 nearly two years after the previous movie.

The film adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name blends the horror and monster genres with the popular adventure genre. While the first film focuses on the main characters as children, “It Chapter Two” fast-forwards 27 years when the monster that embodies their greatest fears returns, Pennywise the clown.

Beverly, Bill, Richie, Eddie, Stanley, Ben and Mike reunite after decades apart to defeat the evil they promised they would all those years ago, and the journey they go on in the process is exciting, frightening, and most of all, bloody.

While this film is not as good as it could have been, there were many things that made its nearly three-hour runtime bearable.

For one, the action in this movie lasts from start to finish, with what seems like every other scene being one of high-adrenaline or graphic violence. The way that the film is structured makes it play out almost like a TV series, with a clear setup, middle section, and final action and resolution.

This film excels at the special effects and visuals. Nearly every creepy, terrible monster or villain in this film makes the viewer either uneasy or intrigued. The lighting, claustrophobic camera work and captivating scene transitions make this movie a joy to watch from a technical standpoint alone.

Beverly, portrayed by Jessica Chastain, cowers in fear from her past trauma. She joins the rest of the members of the Loser’s Club after 27 years to end what they began in the first film.

The main downfall of this film is the way in which the now-adult characters interact with each other. While most of the acting is passable, there are a few scenes that make the viewer question if the script was still written with the kids in mind.

The scene at the beginning of the film where the characters reform their old group, “The Losers,” where they are eating around a table at a restaurant. The idea of the scene was for them to drink and joke around just like they used to. It works until the second part of the scene tries to shift the tone from a drunken roundtable discussion to the first challenge the group faces and fails to shift the maturity level along with it.

The “fortune cookie” scene that follows is laughably awkward and sets the tone for the dichotomy between the blend of seriousness and humor that the film relies on.

The film assumes the audience is incapable of following a complex plot. Part of the film’s massive runtime are constant flashbacks to the first film. While a few of these are necessary to keep the plot intact, the decision to use so many flashback scenes makes watching the two-part film back-to-back, as was seemingly intended, a bit of a laborious task.

Overall this movie is campy, gory, action-packed and humorous. If viewers can get past the immaturity and the corniness, then this movie is a fun experience. Even for the casual movie-goer, there is more to remember than to forget.