Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader
Release Date: December 10, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Twenty-seven years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, people are disappearing again, so Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. 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 shape-shifting clown that has become deadlier than ever.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘IT Chapter Two’ picks up twenty-seven years after our young heroes defeated IT in the previous film, at least for the time being. With most of the Losers’ Club now living away from Derry and invested in adult lives all their own, one call from the only member still residing in their hometown brings them all back together, although absent of all memories of their youth and that terrifying summer. As the inhuman clown returns and begins a new murder spree, these old friends must struggle to remember their long-forgotten youth in order to find a way to stop the creature’s killing spree once and for all, no matter the cost. But they’ll also have to tackle plenty of fresh and unsettling surprises their enemy has in store for them along the way.
Directed once again by Andy Muschietti (IT 2017, Mama) from a screenplay by returning writer Gary Dauberman (IT 2017, Annabelle Comes Home) which was of course based upon the novel by Stephen King respectively, Muschietti does a magnificent job back at the helm for ‘IT Chapter Two’, carefully balancing the heart, humor and terror. The film also owes plenty of credit to the comprehensive cast that includes numerous returning individuals from the last film combined with various newcomers and features James McAvoy (Glass), Jessica Chastain (X-Men: Dark Phoenix), Bill Hader (TV’s Barry), Isaiah Mustafa (TV’s Shadowhunters), Jay Ryan (TV’s Beauty and the Beast 2012), James Ransone (In A Valley of Violence), Andy Bean (TV’s Swamp Thing), Jaeden Martell (Midnight Special), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s Stranger Things), Sophia Lillis (Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase), Chosen Jacobs (TV’s Hawaii Five-0), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween) and Bill Skarsgård (TV’s Castle Rock) along with more, nearly all offering at least solid performances in each of their respective roles, with a few easily reaching great.
‘IT Chapter Two’ concludes the terrifying tale based upon Stephen King’s infamous novel and does a great job of remaining faithful to the story while still making a few alterations along the way to keep things fresh. Loaded with humor, heart and plenty of bloody fun, the lengthy finale which nears 3 hours in length (fortunately it never drags or feels overly long throughout) does a shockingly perfect job of casting the adult versions of our Losers’ Club, while also ramping up the creepy chaos and bloodshed this time around. Altogether crafting a worthy conclusion to the well-known story that for the most part should please the masses, even if some folks will surely go out of their way to nitpick some of the changes, a few of which they admittedly could have probably done without but the majority manage to fit in smoothly enough. Director Andy Muschietti does a fantastic job back at the helm for ‘IT Chapter Two’ and the talented collection of new and returning stars perfectly balance it all, allowing the film to offer as much heart and soul as it does tension and terror. I can’t urge fans of the first film and all Stephen King fanatics strongly enough to make a point a point of checking out ‘IT Chapter Two’ at your earliest convenience if you haven’t already had the chance. It’s a magnificent follow-up to the outstanding 2017 film that wraps up King’s famous tale nicely and fans of the material, particularly those that were blown away by the first movie (or chapter) should not be disappointed by this satisfying conclusion. At the absolute least it should definitely be well worth a few hours of your time and the price of a rental one uneventful evening in the near future.
Overall, ‘IT Chapter Two’ is a heartfelt, intense and quite bloody conclusion to the tale of the Losers’ club and the terrifying evil they’ve been forced to confront throughout their lives. It does a wonderful job of smoothly tying both films together and wrapping up the tale, while retaining the passionate tone and focus on friendship amidst the bloody chaos and scares. ‘IT Chapter Two’ is definitely highly recommended; although you’ll of course want to be certain you’ve seen the first chapter prior to viewing this one. The new film adaption covering the second half of King’s unforgettable novel brings the rest of the story to life beautifully, offering a fittingly terrifying, fairly gory and quite emotional conclusion that pairs flawlessly with the first chapter from 2017 and any fans of that one who haven’t yet had the pleasure of ‘IT Chapter Two’ won’t even want to consider missing out on this stellar and rewarding finale.
The Blu-ray release of ‘IT Chapter Two’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent overall and provides a beautifully sharp and richly detailed presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults or issues to be uncovered throughout. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit sequences throughout, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that should easily thrill fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack perfectly complements the onscreen tension and fun, offering a crisp, smooth and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly embraces all seven available channels in order to send creepy sound effects, along with nature elements, sewer water dripping and plenty more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds wonderful every step of the way and never falters or disappoints.
The Blu-ray release of ‘IT Chapter Two’ features some noteworthy bonus content that fans of the film(s) should appreciate, the majority of which is even provided its own disc for optimum quality on the film itself. Included on the actual film disc is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Andy Muschietti’, while the second disc features a 2-part Documentary chronicling the process of bringing the entire tale to life and featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more titled ‘The Summers Of IT’ which includes ‘Chapter One: You’ll Float Too’ (running approximately 35 minutes in length) and ‘Chapter Two: IT Ends’ (running approximately 39 minutes in length). The disc also treats us to a few additional Behind the Scenes Featurettes including: ‘Pennywise Lives Again’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘This Meeting of the Losers’ Club Has Officially Begun’ (approximately 8 minutes) and ‘Finding the Deadlights’ (8 minutes).