Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
Much like “It,” Andy Muschietti’s follow-up, “Chapter 2,” is a triumph of production design, a meticulously rendered, at times morbidly beautiful film that is never less than captivating to look at. Whether it be the make-up effects that bring its villainous clown Pennywise to life, the rundown, hovel-chic house where he resides or the elaborately rendered nightmare trips to the past that haunt its protagonists, the movie is never less than visually engaging. At least there’s that, as the screenplay by Gary Dauberman, based on the novel by Stephen King, is a rather thin affair, a repetitious piece of work that wastes far too much time covering the same ground and not nearly enough explaining some key factors that would have provided some much-needed clarity to the proceedings.
The movie’s biggest mistake is its reliance on gore at the expense of narrative clarity. Far too little is said about Pennywise’s background, origin or purpose. It’s hinted at, but never fleshed out as to why he does what he does or for what reason. The explanation from King’s novel, as Lovecraftian ridiculous as it is, is at least something. Here, Pennywise is nothing more than that gruesome figure that pops out once you turn the corner you didn’t want to turn in a haunted house. Missed opportunities and last storytelling dog “It: Chapter 2,” a movie that desperately wants to be taken seriously, yet succeeds only in becoming a parody of what it longs to be.