By JULIA MAY
As a huge fan of both horror movies and Stephen King, it was no surprise that I immensely enjoyed the film adaptation of King’s novel “It,” directed by Andy Muschietti. Despite the original film setting high expectations, the sequel to “It,” which premiered on Sept. 6 was another worthy addition to the growing series.
“It” (2017), the highest grossing horror film of all time, told the story of the terrifying experiences of “The Losers Club,” a group of seven kids from Derry, Maine, who were being stalked by a sadistic killer clown named Pennywise.
The sequel, “It Chapter Two,” is set 27 years after the events of the first film, when Pennywise has returned once again to terrorize the town of Derry. Picking up after the first film, “The Losers Club” reunites as they promised each other they would in order to defeat Pennywise once and for all.
Although I found that some of the childhood charm from the first film was lost in the sequel, the actors who were cast to play “The Losers Club” as adults truly carried on the looks and behaviors of their child characters, and that was one of the best parts of the film.
Bill Skarsgård was again an exceptionally scary Pennywise. The film itself had multiple unsettling scenes with great jumpscares, as well as an overwhelming amount of blood— lots and lots of blood.
However, this film relied on the use of CGI much more than the first film. Due to this, I felt that the impact of certain horror scenes was lessened and it left me wishing for the bone-chilling scares that I had hoped to see on the big screen.
King, the author of the 1986 novel, had a cameo in the film playing the proprietor of a secondhand store. This was his first onscreen role in years. Although King didn’t appear in the first movie, he is good friends with Muschietti, who directed both films. In his cameo, King adds some humor to the horror film with some self-referential jokes.
Bill Hader, who plays Richie, also brought some much needed comic relief to the film. Underneath all the jokes, however, the film delved deep into a secret Richie has hidden from the rest of the characters.
The film focused heavily on the past, switching from past to present to show childhood moments that coincide with the characters’ current situations. While this did extend the running time which totaled 169 minutes, and could also leave some viewers bored, for me, it worked due to the fact that the casts of both films were so strong.
I loved the nostalgic focus of this film, which was something that you wouldn’t find much in the first one. There was even one point when I was so touched by a scene that I actually had tears in my eyes, which is a reaction you really wouldn’t expect from a horror movie.
Overall, I found this movie to be a worthy sequel to the original, despite receiving much harsher reviews from critics than its predecessor. As with most sequels, it didn’t have quite the same strength as the first, yet the cast is fantastic and makes the film a must-watch for those who loved the original.