It’s wise to save your pennies by skipping “It: Chapter Two”

Eislyn Snyder

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“For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you. I’ve missed you.”

When first hearing this quote in the final “It: Chapter Two” trailer, I remember feeling the hairs on my neck stand up. The terrifying drawl of Pennywise’s voice brought about a wave of excitement and fear that I hadn’t felt since the original “It” movie, and I couldn’t help my eagerness to watch. The original film was what broke my extreme hesitation towards the horror genre––beforehand, I hadn’t been able to watch a scary movie without cowering in my seat with a pillow up to my face––and as a result, my expectations were high in terms of the sequel. However, in a whopping 165 minutes, the movie failed to hold my interest for more than ten minutes at a time. 

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Set in 2016, the film follows a group of childhood friends, or the “Losers Club,” who return to Derry, Maine after all receiving a phone call from one of the losers, Mike, who had never left. They had collectively made a pact in 1989, 27 years prior, that if “It” ever came back, they would too. However, almost all the losers seemed to forget the initial reasoning behind the oath until they revisited Derry, where all the memories of Pennywise finally came flowing back. 

The film’s flashbacks split the screen time between the younger actors and actresses, such as Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis and Jeremy Ray Taylor, and the older cast. While many of the adult actors are world-renowned––with considerable names like Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader––the writing, on many occasions, provided little room to showcase their actual talent. This isn’t to say that all of the script was poorly written. In fact, there were moments where I laughed hard or covered my eyes because I was too nervous to open them. But, there were also times when I thought: did I really spend $13.50 on this movie?

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

I had expected the sequel to follow a similar formula to the original, where the focus would be on character development and the psychological thrill behind Pennywise, not just his physical fear-factor. However, “It: Chapter Two” had a heavy emphasis on scary visuals rather than mental manipulation. The imagery, too, was honestly laughable at certain points. I understand that “It” has the ability to become someone’s worst fear, but there were creatures in the movie that seemed irrelevant and unnecessary. And, by having so many odd visuals of random beings “It” inhabited, Pennywise had very little screen time in comparison to everyone else. This was disappointing, as Bill Skarsgärd is truly the glue behind the “It” franchise, and his performance as Pennywise is unmatched. 

I went into the movie hoping that Pennywise’s background would be discussed, and in some meager ways, I suppose it was. But the reasoning for “It’s” creation was both underdeveloped and underwhelming, with little to no explanation behind “It’s” motives. As a result, in the midst of an almost three-hour movie, it felt as though something was missing. I left the theater feeling underwhelmed, again wondering whether it was worth the cost of a medium-sized popcorn and a night-showing ticket.