I once asked Stephen King if it’s more difficult to write beauty or horror and he told me, “As far as writing goes, I just do the narration. I sit down to do each day’s work and I take it all dead level. Sometimes you get something that’s really scary, or you get something that’s sort of transcendent.”
The shining star of IT Chapter Two is Bill Hader because let’s face it, it’s Bill Hader. It’s easy to separate yourself from the rest of the cast in a horror movie when you’re the comic relief. Hader had the easy job, but he did it beautifully. Without his moments of levity, the movie would have felt just a bit too long, and it clocks in at nearly 3 hours.
Speaking of casting, the adult versions of the Losers Club do a bang up job of portraying the exceptionally talented younger cast, who we still get to see in the form of – honestly – a lot of flashbacks. Some flashbacks were just scenes from the first film and some were new scenes that we weren’t privy to in the first movie. IT Chapter 2 probably would have lost roughly 20 minutes if we didn’t keep jumping back and forth. Some of the flashbacks consisting of new scenes could have successfully lived in the first movie.
Because of the successful storytelling in the first movie, you’re still left with a lovely sense of friendship between the members of the Losers Club. It’s great because things move pretty quickly when they get together and we don’t really see that bond as adults. We’re mostly reminded of it in all those darn flashbacks. It would have been nice to get to know the Losers Club as they are now, instead of continuing to get to know them as kids.
Don’t get me wrong, I cried a few times during this movie. It was a combination of a touching/sad moment, good acting, and my overwhelming love and nostalgia for Stephen King and this story. This new adaption of IT is really a movie for fans of Stephen King, who shows up in a very memorable King cameo. It’s hard for me to remain objective about a film/story that I’ve loved since I was a kid myself in my own Losers Club. Stephen King’s movies are so hit and miss that when they hit I usually leave the theater floating. You know what they say… we all float down here and you’ll float, too.