I’m going to say this right now, It Chapter Two failed to offer the horror (and cinematic appeal) of its predecessor, which was released in 2017. It’s as if having the characters grow up made them lose their spark along the way. So, I’ll be talking more about the [spoilers] that happen in this film because at least that’s kind of interesting.
This review of It Chapter Two contains major spoilers. Float toward them at your own risk.
The movie opened by reminding everyone that even though supernatural monsters in the dark are a threat, humans aren’t any different. A lovely date between a gay couple immediately turned into an unfortunate scene of gay-bashing. Now, this scene has already caused a lot of controversy online. Many feel that while it was important to have such a moment in the 1986 novel (to raise awareness of an actual event), it wasn’t necessary for the current script.
I understand how it can be triggering from some. But I also get why certain people (including the movie’s director) thought this movie needed the scene.
Pennywise is a creature that feeds off human hatred and fear. The attack on the gay couple served as an indication of his arrival. Considering It Chapter Two is going to be seen all around the world, comparing violent homophobes to monsters does play a role when it comes to queer representation and support. It’s not the best way to talk about a serious real-world issue, but I can see why it was part of this horror venture.
Also, one of the men in the gay couple is played by Xavier Dolan. If you don’t know who this queer genius is, learn about him and his work immediately!
Interesting tidbit, one of the homophobes is played by actor Jake Weary, who plays the gay character (and one of the leads) Deran on the highly-recommended TV series Animal Kingdom.
Furthermore, the movie also revealed Richie (played amazingly by Bill Hader) to be gay. Some might say his character was turned gay to kind of lighten the blow of the opening couple of minutes. And you know what? That could definitely be a reason.
However, those who picked up on the queer undertones between Richie and Eddie in the novel (as well as the live-action miniseries) will tell you that queerness associated with certain main characters was always a thing even if it wasn’t talked about openly by Stephen King (who has a cameo in this film).
So, both could be true?
Richie does follow the ‘sad gay trope,’ but his story ends with a sense of hope about how he will find happiness now that Pennywise doesn’t exist.
It can a bit tough to determine where It Chapter Two sits on the queer representation scale. So, I’ll leave it up to you to decide because I think in this case everyone’s opinions will vary.
Personally, I give the R-rated movie points for being inclusive. It’s going to be a huge film across the globe. The queer representation isn’t perfect, but it falls in line with the overall narrative and how everyone else is treated (more or less).
Coming to the rest of the content, I do think (similar to the novel), It Chapter Two goes off the rails during the third act. The screenplay by Gary Dauberman did do away with some of the weirdness that was present in the novel, but I still think the live-action product was a mess. Also, the sequel relies too heavily on CGI which kind of takes away from instances that could have worked better in the horror department. The close to 3-hour running time doesn’t help.
The film does talk a lot about how Bill can’t write a good ending. Such dialogue only made me think how Dauberman couldn’t do the same for It Chapter Two. (Editor’s Note: This has been said about King, as well!)
The cast performed well. However, Hader was clearly the standout in his role. The story worked best when the grown-up Losers’ Club was together and consoling each other or having fun. It didn’t work when the horror elements were involved (especially the ones without Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise), which says a lot about a movie that’s supposed to scare you.
Anyway, I do recommend seeing It Chapter Two if you want to know how the story ends. However, I’m totally fine with you wanting to wait for it to hit streaming.
Have you watched this movie? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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