Film sequels are notoriously challenging (and often poorly-received), but the stakes are even higher when the source material is a legendary voice like Stephen King. 2017’s film adaptation of King’s famous thriller received rave reviews (and a cool $700 million at the box office worldwide), so many critics went into It: Chapter Two with a fair amount of skepticism. But early reviews, for the most part, praise the sequel for its spectacular performances and adherence to King’s vision.
It director Andy Muschietti returned to lead Chapter Two, in which deranged clown Pennywise returns to torment the grown-up members of the Losers’ Club. The cast includes mega-stars like Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader. Early reviews praise cast’s chemistry, and it’s unanimously agreed that Bill Hader was the breakout star. Many are even calling for his Oscar consideration. “Bill Hader is every-bit the scene-stealing standout we all hoped he’d be,” Haleigh Foutch of Collider wrote on Twitter.
#ITChapterTwo is big and ambitious and can't *quite* handle the weight of its aspirations, but it's still a fine piece of heartfelt horror. The parts that work, work REALLY well and Bill Hader is every-bit the scene-stealing standout we all hoped he'd be.
— Haleigh Foutch (@HaleighFoutch) August 21, 2019
Fright-lovers will be pleased, as it looks like the film is just as scary (if not more so) than the first. Paul Shirey of JoBlo.com says Chapter Two features “great shocks and scares” and “creepy jump scares galore.”
Really enjoyed #ITChapterTwo which serves as the perfect bookend to Chapter One. Some great shocks and scares with the young and old cast. Bill Hader absolutely steals the movie, which balances heartfelt emotion with creepy jump scares galore. @joblocom
— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) August 21, 2019
Of course, there are critics who feel the film was a bit too ambitious. “I liked it, but didn’t LOVE it,” says Sean O’Connell of Cinema Blend. “Nails important aspects from the book, but feels overlong.” Others called out the excessive length of the film as well.
So, #ITChapterTwo: it's v. good, but not great. I liked it, but didn't LOVE it. First movie is a tough act to follow. TWO is gruesome, strange but rarely scary. Nails important aspects from the book, but feels overlong. Cast is aces, though, & Bill Hader SHOULD be in Oscar convo. pic.twitter.com/1KUZk5TXA1
— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) August 21, 2019
Saw #ITChapterTwo last week! It definitely lives up to the hype of the first one by delivering memorable scares and incredible visuals. The adult losers club’s chemistry was amazing. It’s scary af. pic.twitter.com/PK6R3AD1u4
— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) August 21, 2019
It’s impossible to please everyone, but overall, it seems like the sequel honors Stephen King’s story and the fans who’ve loved it for years. It: Chapter Two hits theaters everywhere on September 6th.