Some of the hardest types of movies to make are remakes, sequels, and movies based on books. Each of them ramps up expectations from fans, which means there's even less margin for error and more room for disappointment.
IT: Chapter 2 is truly fighting an uphill battle because it's a remake of a beloved classic, a sequel to a fantastic film, and a reimagining of a beloved book.
Horror fans tend to be some of the most rabid out there, and they're definitely not forgiving when a movie doesn't live up to expectations.
So does IT: Chapter 2 stack up to the incredible film that its predecessor was? Is it able to keep up with the fans who've been waiting for a modern look at The Losers as adults? Does it end the story as well as the original Stephen King novels?
There's a lot to be happy about for fans of Pennywise and his deranged antics in IT: Chapter 2. The casting terms deserve tons of praise, because they completely nailed the adult versions of the kids from first IT movie.
The actors and actresses also deserve their fair share of the credit. In particular, Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, and of course Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise really impress in their roles.
I was a little worried that because Pennywise had much more screen time than he did the first one he'd be less effective, but Skarsgård plays the role absolutely perfectly, mainting the same level of creepiness as he did in the first.
Just like the first film, the young versions of the main characters do a great job for the scenes in which they appear, and they further expand the backstory that got them to the situation they're currently facing.
Another aspect of the first film that carries over to IT: Chapter 2 is the special effects. They are truly some of the best you'll find in any movie. The grisly monsters look incredibly, the kills are brutal and disgusting, and the locations are truly stunning and unnerving.
All too often CG takes you out of the film, but in Chapter 2, it definitely adds to the film and keeps the immersion going.
Throughout the first half of the film, there are some of the creepiest moments you'll find in any horror movie. Director Andy Muschietti creates some of the most terrifying scenes that will truly stick with you.
Just like Pennywise, the film feeds on your fear, and no matter what you're afraid of, there will probably be a scene that hits you pretty hard.
I could sum up the bad of IT: Chapter 2 quickly: the entire final hour of the film is downright unenjoyable. It overstays its welcome in almost every way possible.
Almost all of the positives I mentioned above fade away as the film progresses (the only exceptions are the cast and CG, as they deliver the whole way through).
I won't spoil what happens, but the scares stop being effective towards the end. The story starts to feel generic and more concerned with delivering a message than actually being entertaining.
While it might sound the like the pros outweigh the cons, and they do in terms of raw numbers, sticking the landing is one of the most important things a film can do, and it's even more important when the movie picks up exactly where the previous one left off, and IT: Chapter 2 does anything but nail the ending.
If you would have told me that I'd be looking at my watch waiting for the sequel of IT to end, I would have said you were crazy, but that's exactly what happened with this movie.
It's too bad because some parts of the movie are downright incredible. I just wish it could have maintained the entire level of quality for the whole film or that movie could have been shorter to trim a lot of fat.
Never can I recall a movie with such high highs and such low lows. I was watching the early portion of the movie thinking it was one of the coolest and most enjoyable horror movies I've ever seen. By the end, I'd almost forgotten all of those positive emotions. I was just plain bored.
With all of that said, though, if you're a diehard horror fan looking to get your fix of some of the most viscerally intense scenes in the genre, you might want to see IT: Chapter 2, but you should absolutely go into the movie with grounded expectations.