“IT: Chapter Two” (2019): 4/5
Full of nightmarish imagery and startling horror sequences, IT: Chapter Two certainly feels like the more mature and eerie sequel to its 2017 predecessor. The casting is utterly perfect as every adult perfectly personifies and captures their younger counterparts. Bill Skarsgård once again is the soul of the film with his demonic presentation as Pennywise, and the additional screen time only further cements his perfect grasp of the role. The film certainly feels like the novel as well, and while it shies away from some of the more obscure cosmic elements (RIP my giant space turtle dreams), there are just enough of them there to give the story that unmistakable Stephen King flair. It does feel bogged down and sluggish in moments with its nearly three-hour run time, but it is true to its source material in that sense, as the novel suffers from some of the same pacing issues. Additionally, the strength of the story is the narrative surrounding the Losers Club as children, so focusing on the adult narrative leaves the film with less of an identity. That nostalgic feeling of a classic children adventure story is what makes the book (and first film) so memorable. So while the decision to split the films this way on paper makes sense, it does lose a bit of that magic. Overall though, Chapter Two more than satisfies, and is a worthy adaptation and sequel.
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