IT Chapter Two movie cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Bill Skarsgård
IT Chapter Two movie director: Andy Muschietti
IT Chapter Two movie rating: 1.5 stars
In film world, it has been 27 years since six children fought back a scary clown in the small town of Derry in the US. In our world, it’s just about two years since the first IT, from Stephen King’s quill, did roaring business. The second may be a better explanation for why we need to revisit that pasty-white ghost with a sneering smile, just ahead of Joaquin Phoenix’s much-anticipated The Joker hits theaters.
Never mind the reason, IT Chapter Two, also taking off from the King bestseller, is completely unnecessary. Repeating the same scares, falling back on the same people, taking recourse even to extended flashbacks of the six as children, it advertises its own superfluousness. As the horror trick tropes pile on and Native American lores are invoked, and the film stretches into a painful three hours, you wonder what got actors like Chastain and McAvoy to attach themselves to this material. King himself lends a shoulder with a cameo.
In 2017’s IT, what worked the best was that it was children, mostly quite wonderful in their roles, who were in harm’s way. It’s not as easy to empathise with middle-aged people, who are not as nice in their older avatars, like any of us. Chastain has the heaviest burden of taking on from Sophia Lillis as Beverley, the scared but remarkably brave girl who was the heart of IT. Chapter Two has no one to breathe life into it.
McAvoy plays Bill, Beverley’s confidant and conscience keeper from childhood. As a successful writer of horror tales which make it to films, the older Bill is clearly a man after Stephen King’s heart. Bill also keeps getting told in the film about how the endings of his stories don’t work. As Chapter Two drags on well past its welcome, one wishes someone had paid heed.