3 stars out of five
Weird, quirky and strange, “IT Chapter 2” does not fail to surprise Stephen King fans as the second and final installment of the “IT” movies. Based on King’s horror novel set in the fictional town of Derry, ME, “IT” follows the return of seven friends to their hometown to kill Pennywise, a clown that lures children to the sewers of Derry to eat them, once and for all. Twenty-seven years have passed and Pennywise has returned to get revenge on the group and to wreak havoc on the town once again.
The movie’s running time is a whopping two hours and 50 minutes, which might be a factor that has been keeping some people from enjoying the flick. Although lengthy, the film includes enough interesting action and plot development that keeps you interested in the story. The last hour of “IT” is almost entirely dedicated to an elaborate and lengthy climax that drastically differs from any of Stephen King’s other horror films. This is the reason for such a long running-time.
The cast of “IT” includes many familiar horror film faces such as Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise and Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom. King himself makes an appearance as a secondary character in the film, playing an antique store owner who Bill bought his old bike, “Silver,” from.
Overall, the costumes and sets were the most well-done aspects of the film. Each character wore clothing that well reflected their personality and age, and there was quite a contrast between what each character wore in present-day versus when they were kids. Pennywise’s character was a mixture of funny, strange and horrific. This was reflected in his balloon-like 18th-century clown costume and his over-the-top head, lips, and red wig. His character looked cartoonish in the scariest way. This was done purposefully in order to create a child-like creature that would seem the ablest to lure in and scare children. Actor Bill Skarsgard also uses his lazy eye and bottom lip to create an even more interesting and terrifying look and sound.
The movie was overall a mixture of scary and creepy because of the jump scares and precarious situations that the seven friends found themselves in. A few parts of the movie that shocked me and other members of the audience were the more vulgar and R-rated scenes that involved a naked old woman, a spider with a human head and other King-inspired weird and awe-inspiring twists. I really enjoyed the fact that the movie included the characters as both kids growing up in the past, and as adults 27 years later in the present day.
I enjoyed the movie thoroughly up until the chaos at the end, but if you are looking for a horror movie that scares you to the bone throughout its entirety, this isn’t the flick for you. I found the jump scares usually more humorous than scary because of their weirdness and interesting looking characters, and I heard laughter in the audience instead of screams. I also recommend going to the bathroom before the movie starts, because it is in fact almost three hours long.