Movie Review: ‘It Chapter Two’

Senses Syahirah Mokhtazar 04-Sep-2019

Back in 2017, director Andy Muschietti took us on a boogie-scare filled adventure as we followed a bunch of middle-school kids in the town of Derry, Maine come together to defeat a homicidal clown called Pennywise.

Now 27 years later, ‘It’ magically returns to that same town.

The kids we all grew to love and empathise from the Loser’s Club – Beverly, Richie, Eddie, Bill, Stanely, Ben and Mike- are now leading lives as normal adults, far from small town Derry except for Mike who chooses to stay behind and works in a library.

We get introduced to the other kids as adults one by one. Bev, played by Jessica Chastain is now a well-off professional who, behind closed doors, have troubles with her private life that chillingly mirrors her abusive past. Ben (Jay Ryan) went from that shy and plump new kid to serious hottie who works as an architect, Bill (James McAvoy) is now a bestselling author whose work gets adapted for the cinema, Richie (Bill Hader) is a wisecracking standup comic, Eddie is now leading a career in risk assessment, and then Stanley (Andy Bean) is still that sensitive, and complex boy, just in an adult body.

In the opening scene (which was based on a real-life event), a couple walking home from a carnival gets attacked by a group of teenagers. One of them gets hurled one of them from a bridge into a river. As the body floats, Pennywise appears and drags the man out of the water before he bites into him.

Next thing you know, the words ‘Come Home’ was seen scrawled in blood under the bridge. Mike, who went to the scene after the murder took place, was convinced Pennywise has returned.

He then summoned the rest of the gang to Derry. Despite their suppressed memory of the supernatural experience as teens, they all return to the small town as they swore a blood oath to confront the psychotic clown again if it ever comes back. So here we are in chapter two of this narrative.

Once the gang has reassembled, the plot takes its course from here. Memories from the summer of 1989 start to unfold. Would they be willing to kill ‘It’ again, once and for all?

Beyond the chills and the creepy jump-scares there are far more hidden messages about battling personal demons, abuse and depression. We get to see this when the Losers split up and are sent to conquer their deepest fears in the past, before regrouping again to perform a Native American banishing ceremony known as the ‘Ritual of ‘Chud’.

Frankly, it’s a lot to wrangle because we delve into flashbacks of seven Losers over two timelines, the past and now. Halfway into the movie, it felt just so pointlessly long – like when are they ever going to come face to face with Pennywise?

Of course, Muschietti did his best in compressing Stephen King’s 1100 pages of the original novel, but at one point the film felt like it might wear itself out.

But on another note, Muschietti’s visuals are greatly enhanced with the talented Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise again. He is disturbingly creepy and outrageously insane as the filmmakers transform him into ungodly images of various horrifying ghouls.

The cast is so spot on, and thumbs up should be given to the hair and wardrobe team for impressively matching the kids’ earlier look. The way they battle with Pennywise as adults is not very different from the way they fought him as teens, but without a doubt it’s much more intense.

Despite the dark tone and horror, there is little brightness here and there with some jokes. But still, it’s that sinister smile by Pennywise that keeps you up at night.

A 270-DEGREE THEATRE EXPERIENCE

SalamToday had the opportunity to watch It: Chapter Two in an incredible 270-degree cinema called ScreenX, launched by Golden Screen Cinemas, one of Malaysia’s cinema exhibitor.

What is a 270-degree cinema experience like? Well ScreenX utilises proprietary system to expand key scenes throughout the movie onto the left and ride-side walls of the auditorium. This enhances the atmospheric tones of films, like the chilling scenes from It: Chapter Two.

Besides that, the cinema hall also features eco-leather seating that is plusher and more comfortable than the regular hall.

It: Chapter Two is now out in cinemas.