By Andrew Montano,
Pennywise has returned to Derry 27 years later in Andrés Muschietti’s “It 2,” a sequel to the adaption of the novel by Stephen King. The story unfolds as the gang returns to the small town to take down the killer clown for good.
Spoiler alert: it’s not as good as the first one.
The film opens with a scene showing the assault of a gay couple by a group of small-town jerks. To the untrained eye, this scene might appear random; however, it’s meant to depict the same murder described in King’s novel that occurred in Maine during the summer of 1984.
This scene proves that the film features both supernatural horrors and highlights real-world terrors as well.
After the opening, we’re introduced to the adult versions of Bill, Mike, Eddy, Rich, Ben, Stanley and Bev—the original clown-busting squad. Mike, the only one left in Derry, calls them frantically, begging for them to come back and help fight against Pennywise.
The catch— something bad happens to each of them when Mike calls.
As far as symbolism goes, this decision is pretty weak. It barely contributes to the intensity of the plot and doesn’t express any significant information to the audience.
The film also features periodic moments of humor where characters tell jokes. Many of these are either tacky or create a stark contrast in the middle of an intense moment, which ruins the mood and makes for an uncomfortable situation—as if the movie isn’t uncomfortable enough already.
Muschietti also decided to include a voice-over that features a narrator, intending to help move the story along. Although voice-overs can be an asset in providing the audience with additional key information, it seemed redundant. The narration occurs very infrequently: only a couple times at the beginning of the film.
One great stylistic choice was the frequent flashbacks to the characters’ childhoods. It was a creative move, and allowed the audience to draw parallels between the times. The flashbacks helped show how much each character changed from their youth, while highlighting the specific traits that stayed the same.
Unfortunately, the ending of the movie is way too dragged out. It continues for so long that the intensity of the climax is barely felt. Furthermore, the gang’s plan to kill Pennywise ends up failing in the end, essentially trashing the entire build-up.
The movie is tolerable at best. It is extremely predictable— so much so that one could predict the very lines coming from Billy’s mouth.
There’s a few twists and turns that make it periodically interesting, but overall it doesn’t come across as anything but an ordinary horror film.