It Chapter Two
|It Chapter Two|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andy Muschietti|
|Screenplay by||Gary Dauberman|
by Stephen King
|Music by||Benjamin Wallfisch|
|Edited by||Jason Ballantine|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
It Chapter Two is a 2019 American supernatural horror film and the sequel to the 2017 film It, both based on the 1986 novel It by Stephen King. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman. Set in 2016, 27 years after the events depicted in the first film, it stars James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean as the adult versions of the Losers Club. Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff reprise their roles as the younger Losers, while Bill Skarsgård also returns as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Talks for an IT sequel began in February 2016. By September 2017, New Line Cinema announced the sequel would be released in September 2019, with Dauberman writing the script and Muschietti expected to direct. Principal photography began in June 2018, at Pinewood Toronto Studios and on locations in and around Port Hope, Oshawa, and Toronto, Ontario, and wrapped on October 31, 2018. The film was produced by New Line Cinema and Vertigo Entertainment.
It Chapter Two premiered at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on August 26, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 6, 2019. Much like its predecessor, It Chapter Two received praise from critics for its acting (particularly Hader and Skarsgård), themes, and faithfulness to the novel, though criticism was aimed at its runtime and lack of scares compared to its predecessor.
Plot ***SPOILER ALERT***
In the late summer, in Derry, Maine, Adrian Mellon wins a stuffed toy at the local carnival. After seeing a little girl who lost to him look upset, he gives it to her before reuniting with his boyfriend, Don Hagarty. Their kiss is interrupted by a gang consisting of John “Webby” Garton, Steve Dubay, and Christopher Unwin, who shout homophobic slurs, causing Adrian and Don to walk out of the carnival. Adrian and Don are later ambushed by the gang, and are severely beaten, Adrian to near death, before he is thrown off of the bridge into the water below. While he is gasping for air, he notices Pennywise the Dancing Clown near the edge offering help. Don catches up to Adrian, but not before he witnesses Pennywise brutally murder Adrian. Mike Hanlon, the only member of the Losers’ Club to have stayed in Derry, overhears on the police scanner and rushes to the scene. Upon realizing that It has returned to their old town, he calls the members of the Club and invites them back to town.
Bill Denbrough is a successful author and screenwriter but often gets criticism for his stories’ endings. Beverly Marsh lives a glamorous life as a fashion designer but endures an abusive relationship with her husband. Ben Hanscom has become fit and is a successful architect. Richie Tozier has become a stand-up comedian and has had several failed relationships. Eddie Kaspbrak is a risk assessor and has married a woman similar to that of his mother. Stanley Uris is a partner in a large accounting firm. All find the call from Mike to bring up bad memories, but ultimately agree to come, save for Stanley, who later commits suicide.
The remaining members of the Losers’ Club meet at a local Chinese restaurant and bond over old memories, while sharing stories of their new lives. When the time comes to open fortune cookies, they reveal a cryptic phrase that reads “Guess Stanley Could Not Cut It”. Soon after, the remaining fortune cookies begin moving on their own and opening, revealing disturbing monstrosities inside including a spider with a baby’s head, a one-winged bat, and a pre-birth bird covered in blood. Richie smashes a chair on the table and, after Mike reveals the real reason why he called them back to Derry, Richie and Eddie decide to leave. Bill comes with Mike back to his house, who drugs Bill’s water with special properties that help Mike explain what he has learned about Derry over the years. He reveals that he met with a Native American tribe and showed him the Ritual of Chüd, a way of destroying It once and for all. They return to the group’s hotel, and convince Richie and Eddie to stay and finish what they started.
Mike says that in order for the ritual to work, each Loser must have an artifact from their past to place in the ancient pottery. Beverly goes back to her old house and finds an old pack of cigarettes she hid, in addition to Ben’s love letter, before being attacked by a grotesque naked monster who masqueraded as Mrs. Kersh, a woman who lives there. Bill goes to the sewer where Georgie was killed and recovers his paper boat before having a run-in with a boy from the restaurant named Dean who happens to live in his old house. He tells the boy to get out of Derry and never come back, but the boy says he’s going to the carnival. Ben goes back to their high school and finds his yearbook page, which Beverly was the only person to sign. Eddie goes to the pharmacy and recovers an inhaler. Richie goes to the abandoned arcade and finds a game token, where he remembers a bad memory of him being taunted for his sexuality before being attacked by a giant Paul Bunyan statue. They use a shower cap from their clubhouse as a placement for Stan, and Mike finds the rock that started their rock fight against Henry Bowers and his gang.
Meanwhile, Henry Bowers is visited by Pennywise in the mental hospital where he has resided since the Losers’ attack nearly 30 years prior. He kills a guard and escapes, later ambushing the Losers at their hotel and stabbing Eddie in the side of the face. Eddie takes it out and stabs Henry back, but he escapes before Ben and Beverly can catch him. Bill finds a message from Pennywise alluding to the little boy from earlier, and realizes that Pennywise is going to the carnival. Bill arrives and chases Dean into the mirror maze, but is too late, as he watches Pennywise break a mirror and violently kill him. Bill, traumatized by his failure to save both Georgie and Dean, returns with a mission to murder It himself. The rest of the Losers, after killing Henry, follow Bill to the abandoned Neibolt house.
They climb into the sewers and make their way into a chasm where Mike sets up the steps necessary for the Ritual of Chüd, including burning the artifacts they gathered from their old memories. He instructs the others to chant a phrase, during which It’s “deadlights” appear and make their way into the ancient pottery. He seems to trap them, but a red balloon grows under the lid and out from the pottery, getting larger and larger in size until it pops and reveals a giant version of Pennywise with spider-like legs and blades on the ends of them. The Losers are thrust into nightmarish scenarios in which they are forced to escape from, resembling memories from old places in Derry they spent time in. Bill is forced to confront the fact that he pretended to be sick the day of Georgie’s death, inadvertently causing it, while Beverly finally realizes it was Ben who wrote her that letter years ago. Richie is caught in the deadlights, but Eddie saves him; however, Eddie is impaled and killed by Pennywise shortly after.
The Losers regroup and realize Pennywise can be killed if they make him feel smaller than he really is. They insult him and make him physically grow smaller and weaker, until they are able to tear his heart out and crush it together. Richie tearfully tries to save Eddie, but the group tells him that they have to go as the chasm crumbles around them. They return to the quarry where they once swam together, and Beverly and Ben share a kiss.
After these events, Bill is beginning to write a new book while Mike is moving out of Derry to start a new chapter of his life. Bill is told by Mike about a letter from Stan that he wrote to every member of the Losers’ Club before killing himself, explaining why he did it. Meanwhile, Ben and Beverly are in a relationship and Richie returns to the bridge where he had once carved the initials of him and another person, now revealed to be Eddie. He re-carves them before tearfully leaving.
The Losers’ Club
- James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough:
The stuttering yet resourcefully determined former leader of the Losers’ Club who, out of revenge for the demise of his younger brother Georgie, fights his killer, Pennywise, during the summer of 1989. He promises that he and the other losers will return to Derry if It comes back. As an adult, Bill is a successful mystery novelist, and is married to a successful actress named Audra Phillips.
- Jaeden Martell as young Bill Denbrough
- Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh:
The only female member of the Losers’ Club, who was abused physically and sexually by her father, was bullied at school over false rumors of promiscuity, and was Bill and Ben’s love interest. As an adult, she has become a successful fashion designer in Chicago while enduring several abusive relationships that include her marriage to Tom Rogan.
- Sophia Lillis as young Beverly Marsh
- Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom:
A member of the Losers’ Club who fought against It and was bullied as a child because of being overweight. As an adult, he is fit and a successful architect living in Nebraska.
- Jeremy Ray Taylor as young Ben Hanscom
- Bill Hader as Richie Tozier:
Bill’s bespectacled best friend and fellow member of the Losers’ Club, whose loud mouth and foul language often get him into trouble. As an adult, Richie becomes a successful stand-up comic in Los Angeles, contrary to his occupation as a disc jockey from the novel.
- Finn Wolfhard as young Richie Tozier
- Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon:
A member of the Losers’ Club who fought against It. As an adult, Mike is the only one to stay behind in Derry and becomes the town librarian and summons the other Losers back to Derry when It resurfaces. Mike also has a serious substance abuse problem stemming from being traumatized by the events in his childhood.
- Chosen Jacobs as young Mike Hanlon
- James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak:
A member of the Losers’ Club who is the epitome of a hypochondriac, overly exaggerated by the immense number of objects in his medicine cabinet. As an adult, Eddie is a successful risk assessor living in New York City and is married to Myra, who is very similar to his Munchausen syndrome by proxy-stricken mother Sonia.
- Jack Dylan Grazer as young Eddie Kaspbrak
- Andy Bean as Stanley Uris:
A member of the Losers’ Club who fought against It. As an adult, Stan becomes a partner in a large Atlanta-based accounting firm and is married to Patty Blum, a teacher.
- Wyatt Oleff as young Stanley Uris
While I love the book, and like the first film version, I also liked this one well enough to review it. Stephen King has his usual cameo appearance, but in this one he states he didn’t like the ending (of a character’s book) thus hinting this ending will be different, and I was glad it was. There are some cool “shock” scares, and some creepy effects, so it was worth the cost of a ticket. 3.5 stars – MR