The story of Pennywise and the Losers Club picks up twenty seven years after the first movie, where all of the losers have moved on and left Derry to become successful in each of their own careers. Bill, now a very successful horror writer, receives a call from Mike who is the only member of the Losers Club to never leave their hometown. Mike informs Bill that Pennywise has returned to feed on the innocent children of the little Maine township. The losers eventually meet at a Chinese restaurant and start catching each other up on what has happened since they started their new paths in life. Soon they discover they can’t remember their childhoods anymore due to Pennywise’s effect weakening the further they got away from Derry. Led by Mike and Bill, the losers set out on their own cathartic paths to regain their memories and find tokens of their past to be used for an ancient ritual that is believed to be only way to defeat the looming evil that is Pennywise. As to be expected, Pennywise has a much larger presence in the film causing many hallucinations for all of the losers and still finds time to feed on his favorite snack: little kids. We also see the differences of how he preys on adults compared to children. With the adults he bends reality and aggressively pursues them in these special crafted nightmares, while with children he is playful but acts a little off. Although his methods can seem suspicious, Pennywise is usually successful in capturing his prey.
Director Muschietti and cinematographer Checco Varese had a crystal clear vision the way the film would be shot and their attention to detail is evident in every scene. They take the camera through shots that had happened in the first movie to gives us a juxtaposition of the losers as children now as mature adults. Transition shots are given much thought on how they are meant to give the audience an uneasy feeling of what is real and what is not real. For example, there is a shot in the film that ends on bright lights reflecting on ripples of a dark river but suddenly transitions to the lights of a fair being obscured by the branches and leaves of a tree. The effort for transition scenes just goes to show how IT Chapter Two was a masterclass in horror film, making from the pacing to the world building they don’t miss a beat. As a result, the movies nearly three hour run time seems to fly by.
IT Chapter Two is one of the strongest adaptations of King’s many works. It was well made enough to earn a hilarious cameo of Stephen King with the main character Bill, King gives a critique of his new book and its lackluster ending.