At this point I’m just glad that the new “It” adaptation didn’t get split in to a trilogy. “It Chapter One” was great just as it was, I thought “Chapter Two” needed to be the book end. Thankfully it truly is the finale I was hoping for as a poignant, complex, and heartbreaking film about the horrors of the past, and trying to prevent the nightmares of our childhood from deciding who we are and can become as adults. Once “The Losers Club” is forced back in to Derry Maine, they have no choice but to confront their own personal monsters before fighting the physical manifestation of their demons known as Pennywise.
Twenty-seven years after “the Losers Club” defeated Pennywise the Dancing Clown, It has re-awakened to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, kids are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home to hold true to their childhood blood oath. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all… putting them directly in the path of the clown that has become deadlier than ever.
Andy Muschietti has managed to become one of the best voices of modern horror, he’s a visionary director that can scare and evoke emotions and feeling that keep us watching “Chapter Two” with baited breath. Everything from the casting to the way Muschietti shifts in to the group as adults is often brilliant, with the director wasting no time but also giving us room to get to know these people once again. “Chapter Two” ditches all of the filler and weird back story of the novel, and shifts in to showing us how the Losers have grown up and how they’ve both excelled and remained in arrested development.
Muschietti casts a slew of excellent character actors to fulfill the roles of the Losers Club, and they beautifully carry what is widely considered the weakest portion of the “It” saga. Along with the welcome casting of James McAvoy, Jay Ryan, and Isaiah Mustafah, there’s also the pitch perfect casting of Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and James Ransome, the latter of whom are brilliant in their performances. Bill Skarsgard also doesn’t miss a beat returning to the skin of Pennywise the Dancing Clown who is hungrier and more vicious than ever. While some might bulk at how Hader’s role as adult Richie Tozier manages to lean a bit too much in to comedy, “It Chapter Two” is a wonderful second half that closes out a top notch adaptation of the iconic Stephen King novel.
The new release from Warner includes a Two Disc edition with a 4K release, and a standard Blu-Ray release. The latter includes a DVD edition with both including a Digital Code for consumers. Disc One includes a full commentary by Director Andy Muschietti. Disc Two includes The Summers of IT – Chapter One: You’ll Float, Too, a great thirty five minute engaging featurettes which offers up a ton of interviews and behind the scenes footage, including auditions by various performers. There’s excellent footage of the kids a couple of years ago making the first It, and getting to know each other as well as learning the ins and outs of a film set.
The Summers of IT – Chapter Two: IT Ends is a thirty nine minute documentary that catches up with the kids a couple of years after the original’s filming and introduces the adults playing the grown up versions into the mix in the second of the two great segments. Pennywise Lives Again is a fun nearly ten minute focus on actor Bill Skarsgård and his process and transformation into the crazed killer clown Pennywise. This Meeting of The Losers’ Club Has Officially Begun is a great eight minute look at the two “versions” of the characters of the “It” saga and the actors portraying them. Finally, there’s Finding the Deadlights, a six minute discussion with the one and only Stephen King (who cameos in “Chapter Two”) who discusses his enigmatic dead lights and how they fit in to his saga.