When the first chapter of IT invaded theaters only two years ago the conversation that flowed after the film went one of two ways. The first was a debate as to who was better as the titular villain, classic Tim Curry or Bill Skarsgard. To be fair, Curry’s time period had fair less media surrounding him. Meaning he was able to scare an entire generation and make a more lasting impression. Though, tables could turn more in Skarsgard’s favor after the release of Chapter Two. Personally, there are traits from both that I’m a fan of. They both feel like their own variations on the character, almost like the different actors which have portrayed the Joker over the years. No one take is the same.
The second portion of that conversation consistently focused on the fan casting of the Losers Club as adults. Well, here we are now, 27 years later in the mythology with the adult counterparts of the Losers Club being filled out by James MacAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Andy Bean. The Losers return to Derry to finish Pennywise (Skarsgard) off once and for all. With its’ predecessor, the constant compliant came from the film’s use of CGI. A low budget doesn’t always swing in the favor of fantastic visuals, sadly that trait carries over to this film. Though, not in the way that you would expect it too.
Obviously some of the Losers’ younger counterparts have found success past Derry. Jack Dylan Grazer starred earlier this year in Shazam. While Finn Wolfhard is no stranger to the spotlight thanks to his time on the Netflix smash, Stranger Things. If you’ve seen the latest season of Stranger Things or Shazam – you know that both young actors have experienced puberty. Deeping their voices and growing into their adulthood. Earlier this year, it was announced that the filmmakers of Chapter Two would de-age their younger counterparts and it was a massive mistake. The flashback sequences, not used from the first IT, are legitimately some of the hardest scenes to get through. The CGI is painfully obviously and the final mixing on the de-aged vocal chords of their young counterparts sounds forced and unnecessary. Crafting some of the cringiest sequences within Derry.
Though, when the film does focus its’ narrative on the Losers’ something magical happens. Chapter Two boasts strong chemistry from its central cast. Equally fleshing each one out, in terms of fears, and even careers. The introduction to the modern-day version of the Losers is very quick and often times repetitive in its’ delivery. Though, it doesn’t last long. The chemistry between the actors allots for some truly endearing moments. While also ushering in smart, witty comedy. Perhaps, though, the star of the film is Hader. Hader in a lot of ways ultimately becomes the emotional backbone to the movie. Delivering one of his career’s best and most vulnerable performances.
Of course, then there is also Skarsgard. Skarsgard is guaranteed to give viewers nightmares. Chapter Two completely unleashes Skarsgard to go bigger and bolder. His performance and interaction this time with the Losers feels more personal. Brilliantly crafting emotional moments and ushering in terrifying nightmares. Skarsgard could in every way be the villain of the year. His performance is absolutely flawless and terrifying.
Overall, IT: Chapter Two, is a satisfying conclusion to the duology from Andy Mushietti. A strong cast create a foundation of horror, heart and humor. Though, it’s Bill Hader, that delivers the depth and backbone of the film. Hader turns in one of the best performances of his career. The chemistry between the cast is a thing of wonder and glory. However, no glory within the frames exists as bright as Bill Skarsgard’s return as Pennywise. Skarsgard manages to double down on the terror and deliver an absolutely flawless nightmare with every frame he’s in. CGI is this film’s biggest nightmare. De-aging their younger cast to painful murals of their former selves. These scenes add for some of the film’s most awkward and uncomfortable moments. Stare directly into the deadlights for this one, IT: Chapter Two is not to be missed.
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Credits: IT: Chapter Two is property of Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema. We do not own nor claim any rights. Music by Beggars.