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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday June 20th 2024

Movie corner: ”˜It”™ returns with roller-coaster ride that thrills


Howard McQuitter

“It Chapter Two”Â 

***1/2 of 5  

New Line Cinema

Andy Muschietti directed the well-crafted horror film “It” (2017), the highest grossing horror film a $ 700,381,748 worldwide. He has his sequel “It Chapter Two” when “The Losers,” now adults, are called back to their hometown Derry, Maine, to confront the menacing clown, Pennywise (Bill Skargard). While many sequels are or seemingly redundant, Muschietti”™s sequel is a legitimate one. However, the running time of two hours and 50 minutes, I think, cannot be altogether justified. 

Twenty-seven years later, Mike Hanion (Isaiah Mustafa), a librarian at the town library, is the only one of the seven-group,”The Losers,” who stayed in Derry. Events of missing children begin to recur in Derry bringing back nightmarish flashes to Mike. Mike ”“ in panic mode ”“ calls Beverly (Jessica Chastain), Eddie (James Ransone), Ben (Jay Ryan), Richie (Bill Hader) and Bill (James McAvory) urges all of them to return to Derry. All of them except Mike went on to more  fertile ground to cities in other states for work. Now they must all confront and destroy Pennywise. 

Coming back home also means flashbacks for each individual from relentless bullying to physical and sexual abuse by a father. One sign of the masquerading and murderous clown is a red balloon(s) means he”™s in the area somewhere.

But things are initially unsettling in the first 10 minutes of the film when about five men viciously attack a gay couple; one of the men is thrown into the river only be chewed up by Pennywise. (The man tossed in the river is Xavier Dolan.)

It”™s safe to say most of “The Losers” are in the  amnesia stage until Mike shacks it out of them.

 Flashbacks to their childhoods links well into their adult- hoods giving us a reflection of the evil clown”™s first murders.

I will say I closed my eyes at times (even when I didn”™t want to) not much different than when I was a kid seeing scary science-fiction movies in the 1950s. I liked “It Chapter Two” less than “It,” but the roller coaster ride in the sequel good enough for me.

Cast: James McAvory (Bill Denbrough), Jessica Chastain (Beberly Marsh), Bill Hader (Richie Tozier), Isaiah Mustafa (Mike Hanion), Jay Ryan (Ben Hanscom), James Ransone (Eddie Kaspbrak), Bill Skargard (Pennywise), Andy Bean (Stanley Uris), Jaeden Martell (Young Bill), Wyatt Oleff(Young Stanley), Sophia Lillis (Young Beverly), Finn Wolfhard (Young Richie), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Young Ben), Chosen Jacobs (Young Mike), Jack  Dylan Grazer (Young Eddie). Director: Andy Muschietti. Written by Gary Dauberman.Cinematographer: Checco Varese. Music by Benjamin Wallfisch. 

Running time: 170 minutes. (R)

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