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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Hopefully this is IT: Rashid Irani reviews ...Chapter Two

The horror sequel based on Stephen King’s book is more gory than part one, and not half as good.

movie-reviews Updated: Sep 06, 2019 15:50 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise has returned to haunt the kids from the first film, who are now all grown up. Their adult lives are nicely detailed, but the horror bits — and that’s most of the film — are dreadful rather than dread-inducing
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise has returned to haunt the kids from the first film, who are now all grown up. Their adult lives are nicely detailed, but the horror bits — and that’s most of the film — are dreadful rather than dread-inducing
         
IT: CHAPTER TWO
  • Direction: Andy Muschietti
  • Actors: Jessica Chastain, Bill Skarsgard

A demonic entity unleashes an evil curse on the residents of a small American town every 27 years. Not quite vanquished at the end of the first big-screen installment of Stephen King’s 1986 magnum opus, the monstrous clown named Pennywise returns to wreak havoc on the now-grown-up kids from the first iteration.

A sense of déjà vu permeates the narrative from the get-go. IT: Chapter Two opens with a hate crime involving an asthmatic young man (portrayed by the celebrated Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan) who meets his death by clowning. Returning director Andy Muschietti is clearly determined to raise the fright factor, but seems to be under the impression that all it takes is extra gore. 

On the plus side, the script adroitly integrates the adolescent characters terrorised in the 2017 original with their adult counterparts in the (hopefully) concluding chapter. The fresh-faced newcomers from the first outing are replaced by stalwarts such as Jessica Chastain (now an abused housewife), James McAvoy (a best-selling novelist) and Bill Hader (a stand-up comedian). In the manner of the late, great Stan Lee, King fetches up for a cameo in the role of the proprietor of a local general store.

But, reprising his role of the shape-shifting Pennywise, Bill Skarsgard is dreadful rather than dread-inducing. And even scarier than the nearly-three-hour runtime of this frightmare, is the possibility that It: Chapter Two might rake in gazillions at the box office.

First Published: Sep 06, 2019 15:50 IST