But at least Muschietti is trying for something epic and intimidating, a story on a grand scale instead of the kind of minor, just-good-enough storytelling that’s marked so many King adaptations.
it chapter two trailer music – North Pointe Cinemas
Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, It Chapter Two” brings the characters—who’ve long since gone their separate ways—back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film. Two years after the first It” — and 27 years after the events depicted therein — the seven youngsters who faced down evil in the nightmare-ridden, postcard-pretty town of Derry, Me., reunite for another battle. Like a diabolical cicada, Pennywise the Clown — or rather the supernatural force whose principal avatar he is — has emerged from a period of dormancy, bringing his wheedling, lethal psychological manipulation to a new generation of victims.
Join Stephen King, the author of IT, as he explores the book?s themes, the inspirations behind his famous, fictional town of Derry and his unique cameo as the proprietor of the Secondhand Rose, Secondhand Clothes thrift shop.
The Argentinian filmmaker has repeatedly talked about his vision for how IT Chapter Two would play out, going back to when the first movie was still in production, and given the box office numbers that IT put up it was impossible to believe that Warner Bros. would bring on anybody else to make the follow-up. Thankfully, they made the right call , and Andres Muschietti will be able to fully complete his vision of Stephen King’s terrifying world.
I’m going to admit something right off the bat. While I am a big fan of Stephen King, due to the 1990 miniseries “It,” I was afraid the book wouldn’t be great. I thought it would be good, but not at that amazing level of storytelling that King is capable of. I was so wrong. “It,” the novel, is incredible.
Besides Mike, the old members of the Losers Club are losers no more: Stuttering Bill’s a successful writer now (even if he doesn’t quite know how to nail a book ending). One-time pudgy new kid Ben now has abs and a prospering architectural firm. Wiseguy Richie’s a standup comedian, hypochondriac Eddie is an insurance whiz. Sensitive Stanley’s a wealthy accountant, and Bev and her husband seem quite comfortable, too.
The film bounces back and forth in time between the losers club as kids and adults. The adults seem to forget about the events in their past but the memories are triggered once they are called back to Derry by Mike. As I’m writing this review I admit I am overwhelmed with a feeling to even quit typing and just say the movie is bad, don’t waste your time watching it, but I wont do that. I must press on.
Andy Bean as Stanley Uris: 8 A pragmatic member of the Losers Club who fought against It. As an adult, he becomes a founding partner of a large accounting firm in Atlanta and is married to a woman named Patty Blum. An article about today’s noon premiere of a new movie about architect Benjamin Marshall at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
While the other members of the Losers Club were making their fortunes, Mike stayed behind in Derry and did some research on the creature they know as Pennywise. Turns out, the thing had been in the Derry area long before there was a Derry, and the Native Americans who’d been in the area before had battled with it, too. They engaged in something called the Ritual of Chüd, and Mike suggests that the ritual is a good way for the Losers to go, too.
Pennywise, however, has stayed the same all this time—and Bill Skarsgård ‘s deeply creepy presence is sorely missed when he’s off screen. With a performance that’s as physical as it is verbal, he consistently manages to find that sweet spot between being terrifying and hilarious. He’s created an iconic horror villain for the ages. But the rules seem to be ever changing as to what Pennywise can achieve with his supernatural abilities. He knows what scares these characters, even as adults, which often manifests itself in strange, vivid ways. It’s the stuff of nightmares, even when they’re wide awake in broad daylight. But his omniscience and omnipresence tend to vacillate, and the collaborative power that ultimately challenges him isn’t too different from what we saw in the climax of the first movie.
Though this ceremony doesn’t seem to petition any particular god, it does involve totems from the characters’ past, a sacred vessel and lots of chanting. It also involves sacrifice,” Mike says—though when Ritchie jokingly suggests that Eddie might be a fitting human sacrifice, Mike tells him it’s not that sort of thing. Mike forces Bill to go on a shamanistic spirit quest of sorts, during which he sees seeing visions of the Native Americans’ battle with It from centuries ago.
Certain elements of It were left out of the children side of the story, including all mentions of the entity’s moral counterbalance, The Turtle , but Andres Muschietti has spoken about getting more into the existence of It and its nature in the upcoming sequel. This could lead the blockbuster into some truly trippy areas, so we can’t wait to see how the filmmaker goes about portraying It’s true form, the deadlights, and the macroverse.
When IT was released in 2016, Warner Bros. had ideas about a sequel, but they also weren’t confident enough in the possibility to carve out a release date for the project. That changed very fast when the the film had the biggest horror movie opening of all time, and now we know that IT Chapter Two will be hitting theaters everywhere on September 6, 2019.
Along the way there is some fun — some scares, some warm feelings, some inventive ickiness — to be found. One of the strengths of the first It” was its young cast, the members of which return here in flashbacks, preserved on the brink of puberty by sometimes unnerving digital effects Their pushing-40 selves, whose Losers’ Club reunion occupies most of the story, are played by Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Andy Bean.
At the same time, the movie starts to trip over itself. Charged by Mike with finding tokens from the past they can use in their fight against Pennywise, each character wanders Derry and experiences both a flashback to their younger selves and an encounter with Pennywise. Some of these scenes work, like Bev’s return to her childhood apartment. (Most of that scene was released as a teaser trailer) Some sequences don’t gel, like Richie’s middle-of-the-day encounter with a murderous Paul Bunyan statue, the most insubstantial CG effect in a film crawling with them — sometimes literally. But none of these face-offs push the plot forward or reveal much about the characters, in spite of some strong performances, particularly from Chastain and Hader.
Andy Muschietti’s first crack at King’s 1,100-page doorstop, 2017′s It,” dealt with the first half: the Losers Club, a band of Stranger Things”-like adolescent outcasts, battling the shape-shifting demon clown Pennywise (a wonderfully gangly Bill Skarsgard) in the Maine town of Derry. It Chapter Two” takes up the book’s second half when those kids, now grown, are called back 27 years later to Derry after Pennywise returns.
Maybe that’s why It Chapter Two keeps undercutting its creepiness with gags and one-liners that often feel wildly out of place, even when being delivered by a pro like Hader. One running gag does work, however. As an author of Stephen King-esque best-sellers, Bill keeps encountering people who are all too eager to mock his books’ lousy endings, a complaint often leveled at King’s novels as well. It’s too bad acknowledging a problem isn’t the same as solving it.
In adapting the second part of King’s nearly 1,200-page tome, returning writer Gary Dauberman is in a tricky spot: What to keep? What to cut? He does a bit of both while also incorporating moments from the first film as well as new scenes featuring the characters as kids to fill in some gaps. As in the original, It Chapter Two” works best when the members of the self-proclaimed Losers Club are bouncing off each other, their banter infused with a sparkling mix of hormones, humor, insecurity and camaraderie. Unfortunately, Muschietti and Dauberman spend a lot of their time keeping their perfectly picked actors apart on individual adventures, which drags out the drama and slows down the momentum.
The movie’s treatment of homosexuality is more nuanced since it concentrates on the genuine homophobia experienced verbally by Richie in childhood and violently by an incidental character in a scene intended to establish the resuscitation of Derry’s curse. Anything beyond the message that people with same-sex attraction ought to be treated with respect is, accordingly, only implicit.
If this movie came out in the ‘80s it would have got 1 to 2 stars MAX. The film uses every cheap opportunity it can for jump scares and regurgitated horror mechanics. Nothing original here and the story is totally implausible and stupid.
The remaining members of the Losers’ meet at Jade of the Orient, a local Chinese restaurant. When opening fortune cookies, they find a cryptic phrase that reads “Guess Stanley Could Not Cut It”. Soon after, the remaining fortune cookies begin opening, revealing disturbing monstrosities inside including a spider with a baby’s head, a one-winged bat, and an unborn bird covered in blood. During this time, a flashback occurs to show Henry Bowers escaping the sewers, however, upon arriving back at home, he is arrested for the murder of his father. Back in the present, Henry is in a psych ward and is being followed around by a Red Balloon, symbolizing It’s presence. Henry escapes and is on the move to murder the members of the Losers’ Club.
In 2016 Derry, Maine , Don Hagarty witnesses his boyfriend Adrian Mellon being murdered by Pennywise after a gang of homophobic teenagers beat them up and throw Adrian off a bridge while leaving the annual Derry carnival. Overhearing a police scanner, Mike Hanlon goes to investigate, discovering It has returned, and calls his childhood friends, Bill Denbrough , Ben Hanscom , Beverly Marsh , Richie Tozier , Eddie Kaspbrak , and Stanley Uris , back to Derry to honor the promise they made in 1989 to kill It if it came back. While the others travel to Derry with only hazy memories and a sense of dread, Stan slashes his wrists in the bathtub soon after getting the call. The Losers meet for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, where Mike refreshes their memories while they are tormented by hallucinations and learn of Stan’s death.
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. Inside the group is split up by Pennywise who takes the form of Stanley’s dismembered head to taunt the Losers Club, as well as a daunting message carved onto Ben’s stomach, reading “home at last”. The group ventures 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.
IT Chapter Two is available to buy as a digital download now, and on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD formats from 13 January. Bonus features on the two-disc Blu-ray include insightful commentary by director Andy Muschietti, lengthy two-part documentary “The Summers Of IT” (75 minutes), featurettes on casting the adult Losers and Pennywise’s monstrous transformations, and an interview with Stephen King.
How many pages does it take for seven kids to defeat a killer clown? And how many hours does that translate to when adapting the story to screen? For fans of Stephen King, the answer always seems to be never enough.” The pop pulp shiver-giver inspires in readers a kind of ravenous insatiability that has thwarted his false-alarm retirement and felled more trees than the fires blazing in the Amazon rainforest. That same appetite helped feed the excitement for director Andy Muschietti ‘s It” — a monster hit two years ago, earning more than $700 million — and ought to bring audiences back in even greater numbers for It: Chapter Two ,” an elaborate fun-house horror movie that springs pop-up gimmicks and boogie-boogie scares steadily enough to excuse its been-there story and self-important 169-minute running time.
Chapter Two’s writing doesn’t serve this goal, either. It frequently sends the adult cast on individual quests or splits them into smaller groups, even though they’re just not that interesting on their own. As the group’s ostensible leader, James McAvoy is hilariously uninspiring and hilariously unfunny. He seems incapable of appearing amused — even when he’s delivering lines that are supposed to show his sense of humor! — and there’s something kind of satisfying about watching him be bested by evil funhouse mirrors. That would be fine in a movie more tongue-in-cheek and less earnestly committed to getting us to root for this guy.
When residents in Derry disappear, Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) summons his childhood friends from the Losers Club from twenty-seven years ago. Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain), Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy), Richie Tozier (Bill Hader), Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan) and Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone) head to Derry while Stanley Uris (Andy Bean) commits suicide. They reunite at a Chinese Restaurant and soon they recall their oath and the evil Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). Meanwhile Mike tries to convince his friends to fight the clown again.
Bill finds his childhood bicycle “Silver” and recovers the paper boat from the storm drain where Georgie was killed while meeting a boy named Dean, who they saw earlier at the restaurant and lives at his old house and hears voices from the shower drain. Bill regroups with the others before running off to the carnival and into a funhouse after learning It is going after Dean, only to end up watching helplessly as It kills the boy in front of him. Henry unsuccessfully attempts to murder Eddie before attacking Mike, though Richie intervenes and kills him. The Losers join a traumatized Bill at the Neibolt house, talking him out of facing It alone out of guilt.
The biggest horror movie of the year is headed to home video and, fortunately, IT Chapter Two is arriving on 4K and Blu-ray with some special features worth checking out. Most importantly, a director’s commentary! Sadly, the Blu-ray commentary — aka, free film school — is a dying art these days, but if you want to know what goes into a big-budget studio horror, this should be a good one.
In 2016, when the body of a man is found in Derry—sliced and diced like stew meat—a now-adult Mike Hanlon knows that Pennywise is back. While the rest of the Losers’ Club moved away, Mike stayed behind to watch and wait. He remembers Pennywise well, and he remembers the oath that he and his friends took back in the day … to reunite if the murderous villain ever returned.
I loved the way this book was formatted. It’s not your typical straightforward timeline. The book is split up into 5 parts, alternating between childhood and adulthood in the perspective of every member of The Loser’s Club. Instead of starting out with the childhood perspective, you are thrown right into the perspective of the adults in present-time making you curious as to how each character got to that certain point in their lives. This was an effective writing style making it so you just couldn’t put the book down because you just had to know how everything would come together.
It Chapter Two isn’t that even-better film, though. It’s an appreciably less-engaging film in every way, suffering from lurching storytelling, wild vacillations in tone (even within scenes), and a strong cast that never fully gels as a group. Worst of all, it substitutes excess for suspense in a long middle section that finds one character after another having interchangeable encounters with Pennywise in which the self-proclaimed eater of worlds” never appears to be a real threat. Sure, he munches on a few minor characters, but the main cast appears to be off-limits. At worst, he seems like an eater of child actors and other characters who are much lower on the call sheet than the leads.
In many ways, Chapter Two — and really Muschietti’s It duology overall — is a loving, carefully considered adaptation of Stephen King’s novel that reproduces most of the important stuff. It successfully delivers the parts of It that gave King the reputation most people are familiar with today: He’s a maestro of scary horror imagery and a guardian of small-town America, and even of the past itself. But in its less successful moments, the problems often lie in the tension between past and present, between the appeal of King’s fantasy — with its timeless, visceral horror that feels directly piped to us from the Earth’s subconscious — and the hard-to-sidestep elements that feel mired in a 1986 worldview.