Directed by Andy Muschietti. Cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, James Ransone, Isaiah Mustafa, Bill Skarsgård, Andy Bean, Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Teach Grant, Jess Weixler, Xavier Dolan, Taylor Frey, Joan Gregson, Will Beinbrink, Jake Weary, Erik Junnola, Connor Smith, Jackson Robert Scott, Stephen Bogaert, Javier Botet. 2019 169 minutes Rated: (for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman for TheFrightFile.com, September 5, 2019.
Andy Muschietti's (2013's "Mama") sprawling 169-minute "It: Chapter Two" sticks the landing and then some. This chance-taking, frightful, deeply poignant conclusion to Stephen King's 1986 coming-of-age horror novel is a beautiful phantasmagoria that deepens what came before it while provocatively and rather astutely delving into decades-spanning reverberations of trauma and grief. The premisea group of estranged, now-adult childhood friends are summoned back to their hometown of Derry, Maine, when the fear-devouring evil they thought they overcame 27 years earlier returnsis simple, but within this story is an undeniable complexity and wisdom in regard to the processes of life, death and memory.
Imaginatively conceived by Muschietti and screenwriters Gary Dauberman (2019's "Annabelle Comes Home") and Jason Fuchs (2015's "Pan") as their clown-haunting narrative criss-crosses through time to dive further into the friendships and nightmarish experiences of the Losers' Club at both 13 and 40 years of age, the film provides ravishing set-pieces and a payoff so well-earned it had this writer wiping away more than a couple tears at the end. "It: Chapter One" and "It: Chapter Two" form a crucial whole, an emotionally captivating epic of the genre with far, far more on its mind than empty thrills and chills.