REVIEW: ‘It Chapter Two’ saved by great acting and humor

Humor shouldn’t be the saving grace of a horror movie


Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Members of The Losers Club as they appear in "It Chapter Two." The movie released on Friday, Sept. 6.

Derek Catron

The 2017 “It” remake grossed an astounding $700 million worldwide, taking the No.1 record for box office sales in the horror genre. The sequel, “It Chapter Two,” released Friday and currently holds the second spot for first weekend sales for the horror genre at $91 million

While we didn’t have to wait 27 years for the sequel, the story jumps that far in the future.

The Losers Club reunites in adulthood to conquer their greatest fear, ‘It,’ who has returned to the fictional town of Derry, Maine as promised. The club must also return to their hometown to uphold their promise: “if ‘It’ ever comes back, we’ll come back too.”

The story was good. It’s Stephen King’s after all, but the expertly cast club was the most enjoyable aspect of the film. The humor that ensues, as a result, was outstanding.

The new set of actors tasked with portraying the kids, now grown up, were easily identifiable. Bill Hader, for example, perfectly replicated the mannerisms and personality of his character Richie, previously played by 16-year-old Finn Wolfhard in the previous film. That can be said for each of the seven actors playing members of the Losers Club. It’s hard to believe that Jessica Chastain, who played Beverly Marsh in “Chapter Two,” is not related to Sophia Lillis, who played a teenaged Marsh.

The grown-up Losers Club, comprised of actors Chastain and Hader, as well as James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Andy Bean, perfectly replicated the quirks of their youth counterparts. This was the highlight of the movie.

There were some interesting surprises that kept the movie intriguing, but the delivery of the horror was lacking.

More than once, it relied on cheap jump scares – something the previous film didn’t have to do. I appreciated the portrayal of the characters, but the horror felt dry. The only thing new about that was the increase in jump scares, which are detrimental to the rewatchability of any horror movie.

It’s not reasonable to expect much originality from a sequel to a movie based on a novel, but the horror could have used some refreshing.

The humor was excellent though. And I’m not suggesting humor should be avoided in horror, but when the humor is superior, it almost makes you forget you’re watching a horror movie.

So far, impressions of “It Chapter Two” have been inconsistent. It’s easy to see why. Some people will love this movie for the reasons I’ve stated; others will hate it for those same reasons.

Overall, it’s not bad. It’s worth a watch. Maybe even a second, but probably not more than that. Hopefully, you’re all as lucky I was in having a hilarious and engaged crowd to watch it with. It certainly made the movie better.