entertainment

Review | The homophobic hate crime in 'It: Chapter Two' is the hardest part to watch

The film is set to be released in UK cinemas on September 6

2019-09-03

Words: Steve Brown

Fans of the bestselling Stephen King novel have eagerly been waiting for Andy Muschietti’s second part of the story, and it does not disappoint.

Set 27 years after the first movie, we see the Losers return to fictional Derry, Maine, to face off against Pennywise the Dancing Clown once more.

As adults, the Loser’s must remember the events of the last time they faced off against IT in order to discover how to defeat it.

James McAvoy stars as Bill, the leader of the Losers, but his performance occasionally reminded me of his character from M Night Shyamalan's Split.

Isaiah Mustafa (Mike), Bill Hader (Richie), James McAvoy (Bill), Jessica Chastain (Beverly), Jay Ryan (Ben)

A fantastic performance in that film, but I couldn’t help see his character when he spoke in It: Chapter Two.

One of the best performances in the new film goes to Bill Hader as adult Richie. He seems to bring to life the same character from the first movie – which was played by Finn Wolfhard – through his one-liners and comedic moments.

Of course, Bill Skarsgård is flawless as Pennywise but it felt he was a tad more absent than compared to the first film.

For those who have read the book – or have seen the 1990s TV miniseries starring Tim Curry – will know what happens at the end.

But the CGI during the final battle – and throughout the film in general – does somewhat hinder the scare factor.

Although, saying that, I was terrified throughout the entire film. Unlike the first one, the sequel seems to focus more on scare factors which works perfect and will leave you facing away from the screen.

One particular scene was almost too hard to watch. Fans of the book will know the ‘adult section’ starts with a homophobic hate crime.

Inspired by a real-life homophobic hate crime, we see the character of Adrian being attacked and thrown into a river while his boyfriend looks on. Pennywise then devours him in front of his partner.

Having known this was how the sequel opened, I was anticipating it but it truly was one of the most horrific parts of the film. Taylor Frey and Xavier Dolan bring to life to horrifing incident and is incredibly painful and heartbreaking to watch.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the film , it feels the TV miniseries was more loyal to King’s bestselling novel.

Some pivotal characters in the book – including Bill’s wife Audra – were omitted from the main storyline.

I cannot see why these were omitted but it didn’t really affect the film narrative too much.

Without giving away any spoilers, I couldn’t help but feel like Muschietti hinted that one of the Losers is gay and in love with another member.

After doing some research after the film, there were hints about this character’s ‘love’ for the other character but it seems more of a friendship.

Whether they wanted to expand on this to make the film more inclusive, only Muschietti will know.

But if so, I was disappointed to see the character never admitting their sexuality or feelings. Maybe I read too much into dialogue and scenes.

Overall, I loved the film and it really was terrifying. Walking home, I couldn’t help be constantly look over my shoulder in case Pennywise appeared.

Also, keep an eye out for an amazing cameo!

Rating: 4*

It: Chapter Two hints UK cinemas this Friday (September 6). Watch the trailer below: