It’s the End

Warner Bros. Pictures

Stephen King’s It has returned and died with It Chapter 2. The final chapter of Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of It was released to fans after two years since the successful remake. Set in the current time 27 years after the first movie endsthe new adult characters return to Derry Maine, including Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie, and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the clown. The group of teenagers from the first movie is reunited in this sequel to keep their promise to kill Pennywise. With so much potential built up from the first filmthis movie fell surprisingly shortFor fans it was a slight disappointment, and for casual watchers it was a grating, threehour bore.  

Set both in the past and present, the film attempted to elaborate on the individual characters backstories with flashbacks. Instead presenting their personalities and fears, the elaborations of almost every character, and even Pennywise himself, feels choppy and forced. These constant sub plots and revisiting of the past is constructive at first, successfully tying the second movie to the first. However, as the flashbacks continue throughout the three-hour movie, they became slow and tiring. Things that should have been elaborated on werent, and the things that were added to the movie’s length in the worst wayThis repetition in the first half drives the themes of getting over your fears into the ground.  

As the plot blunders on, there were more ups and downs with minimal buildup and a heavy reliance on CGI gore and jump scares. With so many possibilities as a shape-shifting clown, only a few scenes were creatively written. To the fault of the writers, the struggles of running out of source material and making a horror film in the present were very clear. Originally, Stephen King’s novel went back and forth between the 1950’s and 80’s, but writer Gary Dauberman and director Andy Muschietti changed the timeline to a linear story from the 80’s to 2019. This film’s presentday scares were poorly written, and the shock value fades extremely quickly.  

The first remake was the highest grossing horror film of all time and for good reason. 2017’s It was a period piece and a coming of age film without being traditionally scary. The characters and atmosphere made it a truly good movie. However, the continuation of the characters into modern times could have been handled better. Because of the modernization, the spiritual aspect of defeating the clown, and a character’s psychic abilities were both completely out of contextThe execution of switching from a teenage perspective to a modern adult centered movie wasn’t executed true to the book or fan’s expectations. 

However, despite these shortcomings, fans of the first movie and horror fans should check this sequel outbecause it’s probably better than the average horror movie. With October just starting, it makes a nicely gory kickoff to spooky month. And after a miniseries, a movie, and two modern remakes made from Stephen King’s book, this is the last we will see of Pennywise and the Losers club for a while.   


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