In complete reverence to the original “It” mini-series (’17) starring Tim Curry, I say this is by far the best version of this Stephen King story to date. The original “It” was suitable for the time and the medium it was made. Primetime television and the limited capacity to the special effects of the time can one can only get so scared. The gloves are off, and Bill Skarsgård dials up the creep factor to 12. Technology has caught up enough to bring King’s Nightmare Factory of a vision to full fruition.
The second chapter shows us the Losers are grown up and receive a call to come back to Derry, because strange things have started happening again. Director Andy Muschietti makes a splash with this outstanding recreation of King's story. His long view paid off, because he filmed all of the flashback scenes while he shot the first film because the kids did not age. It made the transition between the two perfect.
The casting was spot on, each grown-up brought the same feeling and mannerisms of the child performer through; it was completely believable that these were the adult versions of the kids. Jessica Chastain, who plays Beverly, does an outstanding job of showing the silent strength of her character. Bill Hader is again an exceptional performer and makes the adult version of Richie perfect. The mannerisms and performance of the younger version, played by Finn Wolfhard, are seen in Hader's performance.
This film does not shy away from the horrific fact that Pennywise eats children, and those scenes are brought to life in the most horrific ways. With no limitations of public television, the filmmakers can bring every cinematic horror situation to the screen. I don't want to go into the details of the scenes, because you should be able to enjoy every spine-tingling surprise they have for you. Just know they don't hold back.
The screenwriter (Gary Dauberman) has a practiced hand at horror writing is dogged in his use of praying on specific fears of the audience members when each of the losers has to face Pennywise alone. The creature preys on their insecurities and concerns, and the viewers also share those. You can quickly put yourself in their shoes and makes the move that more engaging.
I truly enjoyed the fact there is no final scene jump scare that indicates more movies are coming. This series is a perfect and complete story that needs no new story. Horror writers usually find a good story and turn into a toddler with a drum and beat it to death. “It: Chapter Two” doesn't need a prequel or a new chapter it needs to stay as-is.
We, the viewers, are our worst enemy when it comes to good original movie ideas. We go to the endless sequels because we love the original. We are inevitably disappointed with the dregs of the story wanting to capture the magical feel of our first viewing. We need to be more discerning about voting with our dollars. Don't spend money on endless rehashes only spend on new ideas. Then studios will get the idea that we want a fresh meal instead of leftovers.
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