“IT Chapter 2” Dual Reviews

Sabereh Saleh

A&E Editor

With special guest writer, Gina Bonomonte

Sabereh’s Review: “It Chapter 2”

   “IT Chapter 2” successfully drew both die hard fans struck with nostalgia and people that barely knew much about the Steven King franchise. The release of the film created a large buzz, but did it live up to the expectations put forth by its predecessor that came out in 2017.

   The movie follows the “Losers’ Club” twenty-seven years after the first movie. Now, the adult version of the Losers’ Club faces Pennywise, an otherworldly being that feeds off of human fear, for the final time. 

   As interesting as the premise sounds, honestly, I found myself checking the time to see how much longer the movie was going to last. The scenes meant to be “scary” weren’t as tension-filled as the movie’s predecessor, and considering the movie was two hours and 50 minutes long, it should have been.

   The subtleness of the first movie’s horror doesn’t really continue with this one, but the casting still shines with input from the child versions of the characters. Finn Wolfhard’s suggestion of Bill Hader to the aged up version of Richie Tozier was the most interesting of all of the characters.

   The homages paid to the first movie in 2017 and other iconic, influential movies are also important to note, as they played a part in both the film’s making and inspirations. 

   The movie’s strengths were its actors and the focus on its plot rather than the thriller aspect. The scenes where Pennywise should have instilled fear and discomfort in the audience simply lacked and felt like a weird filler, but not to actor Bill Skarsgård’s fault.

   The first act, dare say the first portion of the movie, was one of the only times actual fear was conveyed. The portrayal of real life homophobia truly shook up the viewer, and was treated with respect, not simply used for a shock factor. However, the ending did not satisfy, as everyone but the only canonically queer character gets to enjoy a happy ending filled with sunshine and rainbows. 

Gina’s Review: “IT Chapter 2”

   “IT Chapter 2” was way better than the first.

   It was clear that it was not trying to be a horror film anymore; it instead focused on the characters and developing the story. Watching the growth of characters such as Ben and his path to self-love and acceptance was portrayed better than the first “IT.”

   However, the lack of attention to sensitive issues made it difficult to watch. Even going into the movie with a forewarning, the extreme use of homophobia still caught me off guard. 

   The reliance on these themes was extremely insensitive and made it difficult for me to digest. Watching the writers’ dependence on these horrific themes made a lot of the aspects of the movie seem lazy, the dragging out of these sequences of graphic (and frankly unnecessary) scenes made the movie lose a lot of momentum that it had developed in the story. The beginning sequence showed the horrific beating of to two gay men with no forewarning. The disregard for the reactions of audience members to such a sensitive subject was disturbing. 

   On another note, I loved the main characters even more than I did in the first movie. I thought the character development was a lot more mature and it made more sense than the first movie did. Watching as relationships developed made me have an appreciation for this sequel. The friendships became stronger and romantic relationships became more clear. Instead of forcing me to “rewatch” the first movie like a lot of sequels do, I felt like this movie placed on emphasis on how the characters developed through the years, a refreshing new take.

   Most of the character development made sense and it made for a better story than the first one ever told. The stories introduced in the first movie fall into play in this chapter.

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