The first remake of the Stephen King classic novel “It” was received with critical acclaim as a faithful adaptation and cemented itself as a modern horror classic. The sequel to the 2017 remake to the first adaptation to Stephen King’s “It,” “It Chapter 2,” shows a similar sense of the themes explored in the original, but lacks the character and story development to fully pull it to the finish line when compared to the cinematic creativity of the first. The film won’t bring audience members the tense feelings they experienced in the first movie, but it will be the shock comedy movie that they want to see.
First, “It Chapter 2” is a horror movie like “Ash vs Evil Dead” or “Cabin in the Woods.” The intention is not to terrify or inhibit an uneasiness. The purpose is to entertain audiences with shock, activating their adrenaline, to its detriment. However, the sequel to 2017’s horror film is a change of pace from the movies perversing airwaves in the present because it uses something other horror films seem to be afraid to show: comedy.
A few laughs have popped into horror films, but “It Chapter 2” utilizes those laughs to further the story. Bill Hader’s performance as the older, wise-cracking Richie Tozier was much more than the Saturday Night Live alum showing off. Hader, coupled with his character having good writing, lifted otherwise bland scenes into some of the best moments. Also, the casting choice for all of the Loser Clubs’ members were perfect. On each member’s adult version, the viewer could easily see how the younger actors grew into the older ones. (James Ransone (older Eddie) and Jack Dylan Grazer (younger Eddie) look nearly identical.) However, it does not give the characters immunity from shaky writing.
In the nearly three hour runtime of “It Chapter 2,” the backstories of all of the characters were never fleshed out. There was no time given to understand or explore the reasonings for the characters to disband in the first place. The worst of which is just short of a character assasination on Mike Hanlon. He serves as the catalyst for the Losers’ Club congregating back in Derry, but his character was the least-fleshed out, even compared to other characters with the least amount of screen time.
If you want to understand the themes of fear and the importance of youth, “It Chapter 2” is your movie. However, there wasn’t any fear-inducement terror littered throughout the first film. The movie had moments that were full of laughs with very few moments falling flat of hitting the mark, thanks to Hader’s stellar performance. Yet, the lack of backstory on some of the characters were a turn-off, especially in a sequel set 27 years later than the last.