FIRST OF all, do not go see this movie if you have not seen the first one, as it is a direct sequel and you will not have a clue as to what’s going on. In Chapter 2 catch up with the gang from Chapter 1 27 years later.
All but one have left their home town Derry. When they left their memories of battling with the evil space clown Pennywise faded. As they do. The one member of the group, Mike, who remained in Derry starts to notice more murders and disappearances taking place so he calls the gang to return home and defeat the monster once and for all. Hoping to enter a free Derry.
This is the the 80th film or TV show based on a Stephen King story. The first film was a massive hit and I did actually really enjoy it, as it channelled that Stranger Things fix I enjoy of 'kids on bikes' adventures. It had more in common with Stand By Me than Carrie or The Shining. The new cast is supereb with Bill Hader, James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain headlining. Hader is in particularly the best, trying to inject some humour and life into a pretty terrible script.
The movie unfortunately never gets as good as the opening scene of Chapter 1. The whole scene with the rain and the clown in the storm drain pulling the child in is absolutely fantastic and it just goes downhill from there. To put that in context, the two films together are six hours and it is never as good as it is in the first 10 minutes.
There are great moments, one particular one when Beverly goes to her childhood home, but overall I found it tonally uneven and worst of all, a little boring. I do wonder if the source material is slightly to blame here, Stephen King is a great writer but despite its fame I do not think It is one of his best. In fact, in this story, there is a character based on himself, a writer often criticised for bad endings. I think it is fair to pass that criticism on to this film too.
The other big issue I had with the film was the heavy reliance on CGI, I think horror is a genre that massively benefits from practical effect, and while some of the set pieces, particularly one involving fortune cookies, are really great and looks fantastic, the finale in particular has so much CGI its not in the slightest bit frightening and feels more like science fiction film than horror.