“It Chapter Two” exceeds expectations


Anna Gustafson

*MINOR SPOILER ALERT* Comparing “It” and “It Chapter Two,” based on Stephen King’s novel, is next to impossible. As a horror movie enthusiast, the sequel exceeded my every expectation set by the first film. 

Set during the late 80s in Derry, Maine, the original “It” follows seven kids—the Losers’ Club—and their thrilling fight with an evil clown who is tormenting the children in their town. “It Chapter Two” takes place 27 years later, when the clown, Pennywise, returns to terrorize a new generation of Derry. Six of the kids, now grown adults, must return to their haunted childhood home to defeat the murderous Pennywise once and for all.

Like many movie-goers, I prefer the original over the sequel of a series roughly 99.9% of the time. It’s common cinematic knowledge that the first is always better than the next. However, “It Chapter Two” challenges this notion.

“It Chapter Two” accommodates every element a film needs to keep the audience intrigued for the two hour and fifty minute run time. At one point in the movie I was crying, the next moment I was laughing hysterically, and before I knew it, I got so scared that I jumped up and slammed my elbow on the metal seat divider. It left a bruise.

Throughout the sequel, flashbacks from the original “It” make quite a few appearances. The casting directors did an incredible job of matching the child actor to the adult actor, making for very believable performances. Some of the most heartfelt were found in the continuation of Ben (Jay Ryan) and Beverly’s (Jessica Chastain) love story. All the questions “It” left us thinking about are answered by the sequel. Not only did the Losers’ Club defeat the terrifying Pennywise, but we got to see where each kid, now grown, ended up in life. It was no surprise that Richie (Child actor Finn Wolfhard), the wise guy that always cracked dirty jokes, ended up with his own comedy show.

But did either movie outshine the other? “It Chapter Two” was built on the foundation of “It” and the two films work together to create a cinematic masterpiece, a term I don’t use lightly. So no, I wouldn’t rate the first film any higher than the sequel, or vice versa. The only thing that makes me lean toward “It Chapter Two” is the scare factor. The number of jump scares (no doubt the best thing about horror movies) doubled from the 2017 film to the new one, making for a high-thrill experience. 

At the end of the day, both “It” and “It Chapter Two” rank in at least my top five horror movie picks. To put it simply, each film is just too good to be favored over the other. If you haven’t seen “It Chapter Two” yet, what are you waiting for?