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It: Chapter Two

As a huge fan of the first chapter, I'm thrilled to report that there is no let down in the scares, excitement and drama in IT CHAPTER TWO.

It's 27 years later and Pennywise is back, eating hate and dishing out terror in Derry.

All the kids from the first film have grown up and we meet their older versions one at a time as their only Derry-based friend Mike (Isiah Mustafa) calls them one by one to let them know the killer clown has once again descended on their home town.

Richie is now a stand up comedian, perfectly played by Bill Hader in an Oscar worthy performance with huge range over the film's nearly three hour running time.

Bev is now played by Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and remains haunted by her abusive father who still echoes in her adult life.

Chunky young Ben has grown into hunky Ben, well played by Jay Ryan, still secretly in love with Beverly.

Hypochondriac kid Eddie has grown into risk specialist Eddie, paralyzed by his fears of everything and the perfect prey for our clown.

Bill is a famous author and screenwriter, played by James McAvoy (Split). In a meta King reference, people keep telling him they love his books but hate the ending. That was a common criticism of the original TV miniseries of IT, which petered out in its last 20 minutes under bad special effects and the shackles of broadcast TV.

There are no shackles here. As he did in the first film, Director Andy Muschetti unleashes limitless buckets of blood, graphic violence against victims of every age, shockingly frank violence against women, children and adults. Pennywise thrives on hate and fear and it is clear why he thrives in our modern day society.

The film does a terrific job of seamlessly sliding back and forth in time between our adult actors and the young actors from Chapter One, all of whom return and deliver.

For those of us (I have vivid memories of just shaking my head) that felt the original miniseries ended very badly, the filmmakers are expecting your apprehension and deliver a taut, spectacular final half hour that unveils the true being behind Pennywise. The visual effects and sound design teams unleash hell and King fans should be very satisfied.

The luxurious run time leaves plenty of room for hilarious references to John Carpenter's "The Thing" (remember, Pennywise knows what scares you....), plenty of background for these characters we are invested in, some Derry history and even a fun cameo from King himself.

CHAPTER TWO is terrific. About two hours in, I was thinking, 'I wish Pennywise was in the movie more..." and then the conclusion barraged me with all the killer clown I could handle.

Bill Skarsgard has created one of film's most horrific monsters, sliding his voice deftly between a sweet sing-song tone that lures young children and a deafening roar as he opens his massive jaws, filled with razor sharp teeth ready to sink into your flesh.

I've read the book twice and the film takes a couple detours to update the content that are smart and welcome. Every scene I was hoping would be part of the film was here and well done.

I loved the scene in the novel where they stand in front of three doors, with moments to escape Pennywise. Blood spells out "Not Scary At All" on Door 1, "Scary" on Door 2, and "Very Scary" on the third. Which would you choose?


If you love a good scare, you're going to have a great time. I have hated clowns since childhood, but I loved this movie. CHAPTER TWO is just as good as the first and gets an epic, haunting A+.

As Pennywise says, "For 27 years, I dreamed of you. I craved you... I've missed you!"

The clown is BACK. And if you think Paul Bunyan can't be scary, wait until you see him here.....

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