IT: Chapter 2 (2019)

Andy Muschietti directs Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader in this “27 years later…” horror sequel where The Losers have grown-up and forgotten all about the killer clown beast that terrorised them… until Mike calls them all up and reminds them.

We rewatched Chapter One in the build up to this being released. A solidly entertaining prestige horror motored by a strong child cast. Here the bigger name adults don’t hit the same Stand By Me / Stranger Things vibe. So we get flashbacks (unused editing room trims) to the previous ensemble padding out the middle hour. It forces the plot to bloat, bogging IT 2 into a bum numbing bore. I kinda knew it was never going to be nimble, never pacy, but this is self-indulgent and self-important to deathly levels. For example Muschietti reaches a neato final punctuation shot of the survivors staring at a reflection of their younger selves in a Derry shop window. Then adds four more codas. None of which are particularly cathartic, crowd pleasing or iconic. The two best scare sequences (a genuinely unsettling hate crime and a sadly brutal child murder) do not involve any of the main cast. There are good King inspired moments dotted in and around all this hubris but they get lost in an ocean of spoilt storytelling largesse. And there just doesn’t feel like enough Pennywise… The same ground covered without the charm, the scares diluted and uninvolving, the key brand monster relegated to measly support in his own movie. An overlong, if at least ambitious, misfire. We all bloat down here.

5

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