Director: Andy Muschietti
Writers: Gary Dauberman (screenplay by), Stephen King (based on the novel by)
Stars: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader
Moviie Couple here! Well, sort of anyway. You see Mrs Moviie Couple nearly always refuses to watch horror films. The sight of Pennywise or the name of Stephen King in the trailers had her diverting her eyes, shaking her head and just saying No, No, and No Way, over and over again in my direction. No matter what I did or promised, she simply would not go see this film with me. With that in mind, We will be having a guest reviewer this week. Keeping things in the family, we welcome Moviie Couple Son! Yes, Moviie Couple Son and myself went to see It Chapter Two this weekend! Never fear (Wow! How appropriate is that statement to this weeks film? ) Mrs. Moviie Couple will return! Here is a quick reminder of our scoring system. We’re here to tell you if we liked it. Film experts we are not! Just a quick reminder of our rating system. We rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out. we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system. 1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money! 3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent! 5-6 Bills equal Wow! Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter! Please take our money again!
It Chapter Two continues the story from It (2017), naturally, as the now adult Losers Club return to Derry, Maine. Pennywise the Clown has returned twenty seven years later, to murder victims in the friends home town. As promised at the conclusion of IT, the Club fulfills their vow, in an attempt to end Pennywise once and for all, and return to face their childhood nightmare for a final time. Directed once again by Andy Muschietti, the adult Losers are portrayed by Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan (who Warner Brothers/DC should be looking at to replace Henry Cavill as Superman if you ask me), James Ransone and Andy Bean. Once again, starring as Pennywise, is Bill Skarsgard.
This well known and beloved book truly needs no recap other than what we already gave. Fans of the King classic know what they are getting here and even if you don’t have a well worn copy in your paperback collection or a newly downloaded edition in your Kindle, filmgoers that watched the first chapter should be more than eager to see the Losers Club return to Derry. I will say that if you have not seen IT (2017) it will behoove you to watch that film in order to truly appreciate the entire saga presented here. Can you watch just Chapter Two alone? Sure, flashbacks and exposition catch you up, but a viewing of the first film will only enrich the experience. At the very least, if you’ve read the book or seen the original mini series you will be fine, but trust me, this is best seen in conjunction with the first film. Fine, is not enough. Seeing this as a whole story is a much better experience.
Will the now adult friends be able to duplicate the experience from that past summer when they first faced Pennywise? (No Spoilers) Will the adult versions be able or even willing to face their fears a second time? Has adulthood and the world outside Derry, changed them in a way to make matters worse? Will they still connect or has the years apart damaged a once close knit group of friends? Will Pennywise even remember them or be ready in waiting for the old gangs return?
Does this film’s conclusion live up to the original book or even the well known mini series? How does it measure up as a horror film in general? Let’s put on our yellow slickers, head out to play in the rain, all hold hands, jump in some puddles and try not to look into any sewer drains! it’s time to find out!
Mr. Moviie Couple: I went into this expecting a genuine horror film, but I got so much more. This movie deals with much more than just horror elements. King’s work often delves into deeper subjects using the horror story as a backdrop. Director Muschietti understands this perfectly! Each of these adult members of the Loser’s Club are dealing with issues from either their past or their current lives and must find ways to deal with or overcome their own challenges in order to not just face Pennywise, but to be happy in life as a whole. The film opens with a very harsh scene of violence in the real world. The scene portrays a very jarring and visceral hate crime. A gay couple enjoying a night of fun at the Derry Fair get brutally attacked. It’s hard to watch and at first began to pull me from the movie, but I believe it was a directorial decision to demonstrate just how LITTLE a creature like Pennywise has to push people to commit evil. Either that or to remind us that there are monsters roaming free in our world and Pennywise needs to do very little to find fear to feed off of. We simply provide him a buffet each and every day with our actions toward each other. He really needs to only let us be ourselves and he can feast from the fear we create forever. It left a powerful impact on me as to the nature of evil.
The cast was amazing! If you’ve seen the 2017 IT, you will be impressed with just how well cast the adult actors are in conjunction with the young actors that came before them. It’s uncanny how perfect they look in my opinion. A standout for me was Bill Hader, usually known for his comedic performances, he does provide a few laughs, but also does a fantastic job of playing adult Richie dramatically. He is certainly on the rise in Hollywood. Beside Hader, Chastain does good work as adult Beverly and Jay Ryan in a subtle portrayal, really captures his young acting counterpart’s essence without resembling him in the least. He needs to be noted for accomplishing something that perfectly, it can’t be easy. Skarsgard really shines even more in this sequel as the LegenDerry (see what I did there?) Pennywise. His portrayal will now live on as the definitive Pennywise in my opinion. He is both sinister, creepy and likable all at once. Something necessary for a killer clown capable of seducing children from the safety of their parents. What he accomplishes behind clown makeup and prosthetics is in award winning caliber.
In reference to the horror aspect of the film, it succeeds, but its not trying to be a gore fest (although there is a lot of blood). It probably has one too many jump scares for true horror fans and the FX isn’t going to change the industry,but it works. Pennywise’s lair and it’s entrance, in a classic haunted house setting, is creepy as hell and well done. I can perfectly see it as a maze at Universal Horror Nights for sure!
The film is nearly three hours long BUT unlike Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I never noticed it. The film soared by and kept me engaged at every level. This was one of my favorite movies of the year to be honest. The actors playing the adult Losers had me believing in them the entire ride! It felt more like a modern times version of an epic adventure film rather than a horror film to me. Of course there is a horror aspect to Pennywise, he is a child killing, fear consuming clown I get it, but it felt like a Lord of the Rings quest type story set in our times (no swords or horses) with Pennywise being a dragon to be slayed if you see where I’m coming from. We do not spoil here at Moviie Couple, so I can’t give away the details, but suffice to say the themes of love and friendship, good vs evil are presented in a scary, entertaining and timely way! It was great! The original story’s influence can be seen everywhere from the Goonies, The Lost Boys and all the way to today’s Stranger Things mania. But even a classic template can be messed up if not handled with care. Muscietti and a top notch cast present the classic tale in a (while not being a page for page retelling) loving and exciting way for a new generation!
King at his best! (Keep eyes peeled for a great cameo!) I enjoyed this film far more than I expected to heading in. Not only a fine conclusion or sequel, but just a really good film. Thanks to some sharp directing (highlighted by scenes with Pennywise under the bleachers and in a mirrored funhouse!) and excellent performances all over the cast, I give It Chapter Two 5 Bills! Wow! Take my money! I want to see it again! I’d follow this film down a sewer drain any time!
Moviie Couple Son: So my Mom can’t stand to watch horror movies, well lucky for us they are a favorite of mine! So I will be covering for my mum. Dad writes these things up, so I’m going to hand him the bullet points to my reaction to It Chapter Two and he can type it all up, like he does for Mom. I may be back for any future horror movies, since Mom is such a chicken when it comes to those. Hope you enjoy!
-Perfect Casting! Bill Skarsgard was better than ever as Pennywise! He now stands alongside Freddy, Jason and Leatherface!
-Great cinematography! All the scare scenes were framed and shot in dynamic fashion!
-The film could have taken the “scary”to a higher level. I was hoping for more terror, but it was still unnerving thanks to the differing camera angles and an intense score!
-The film is as good an adaptation of the book as fans could hope for! Long time book fans will not be disappointed
-If you are a fan of the first one you will absolutely love this one.
-Great classic horror movie to kick off the fall season.
-Not as violent as expected. So fans of a more supernatural horror and those not into torure and gore will be able to enjoy it more than some horror films of late.
-Very good storytelling here. Lots of exposition about Pennywise’s past, but that is to be expected. It did not bog down the runtime at all. It was all told in a natural and necessary way.
-The dialogue was excellent, as in the first film. Very well balanced between humor (natural flow between childhood friends) and the anxiety driven fear filled serious scenes. Maybe not as natural and fun as the first film’s interaction between the kids, but still solid.
-I give It Chapter Two 5.5 Bills! It was such a good sequel and final chapter to the first film. I would have given it 6 Bills had it ratcheted up scares a lot more, but as is its still a great movie that I will recommend to any King fan and to horror fans in general! Thanks for allowing me to sub for my horror allergic Mom. Hopefully I’ll be back again soon!
On the way home, We spoke of the book (which we both read) and how some weirder aspects were left out or only hinted at in Easter Eggs (see if you spot turtles anywhere? Book fans will get it). How great the acting and directing are in this one. How Skarsgard’s Pennywise was so awesome! The themes of the film, how love and forgiveness can overcome fear and evil. We both couldn’t have enjoyed it more! I thought it was perfect, Moviie Couple Son thought it held back a bit and could have been scarier, but still loved it! My 5 Bills with his 5.5 Bills gives It Chapter Two get an average of a solid 5 Bills! Not too shabby!
So until next time, Call your old friends and reconnect, stay away from open sewer grates and if you see one lone red balloon floating around, turn and run the other way! Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review! Mr. Moviie Couple and Son out!