It: Chapter Two Parent Guide
The three hour run time is well paced, but the lack of in-depth character development impairs the plot....And the clown is really creepy.
Parent Movie Review
Twenty-seven years after they fended off Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), the Loser’s Club is called back to their hometown of Derry. Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) has stayed around to keep an eye on the clown, and when it re-emerges to devour Derry’s children, Mike reminds his friends of the oath they took to stop It. But before they can confront Pennywise, they will have to face some of the darkest moments of their own pasts and find out exactly what their friendship means to them.
Stephen King novels, while some of my favorite books to read, are wickedly hard to adapt into films. King’s writing style lends itself extremely well to a reader’s overactive imagination and less well to the concrete imagery forced on to it by celluloid. In addition, King’s novels are strongly character-focused and are developed through the character’s thoughts – which can be challenging to bring to the screen. The horror comes from watching King push a character you’ve come to like into a terrifying situation, not from the monster itself. But, out of all these issues, the biggest problem with the adaptations remains….length. My old trade paperback copy of “It” runs 1090 pages. Trying to whittle that down to a respectable run time (even spread over two films) without sacrificing the complexity of character which underpins the story is nearly impossible.
So, I hear you asking, “Is the adaptation successful?” Surprisingly, the three hour run-time is well paced, but the lack of in-depth character development hurts some of the plot. The film tries to compensate by explicitly confronting the characters’ fears and self image, but, as always, the book does it better. It also alters Mike Hanlon’s back story in ways I found annoying, but your opinion might differ.
Fortunately, director Andy Muschietti made some good choices in cutting material from the novel. The screenplay trims down some dangling subplots and removes almost entirely the metaphysical space turtle. It also cuts some of the more explicit content. Although this is absolutely not suitable for children (its Restricted rating is fully deserved), the movie foregoes some of the more…problematic parts of the novel. That means no child orgy in the sewer, no space-spider eggs, and less explicit child abuse. That said, there’s still a bunch of dead kids floating around (quite literally), a solid head nod to The Thing likely to unsettle most viewers, and enough profanity to turn your ears blue (200 swear words in 169 minute film). I think adult fans of the first film will enjoy It: Chapter Two, although it is a little less frightening this time around. Fans of the book will have to decide how much they’re comfortable with an adaptation changing. Fans of evil clowns are sure to have a lovely time, but frankly, if that describes you, then you creep me out too.Directed by Andy Muschietti. Starring James McAvoy, Bill Skarsgård, and Jessica Chastain.. Running time: 165 minutes. Theatrical release September 6, 2019. Updated September 9, 2019
Watch the trailer for It: Chapter Two
It: Chapter Two
Rating & Content Info
Why is It: Chapter Two rated R? It: Chapter Two is rated R by the MPAA for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material.
Violence: Several people of varying ages are eaten by the clown. A number of assaults occur, involving punching, kicking, stabbing, and general beating. An individual is killed with a knife. A character gouges their own face with their fingernails to cause bleeding. A person is shown with their head on fire, and several people are shown burning to death in a house fire. An individual is stabbed through the cheek. A character is stabbed in the chest, and later in the head. Someone is stabbed through the chest and dies of their injuries. A heart is ripped out and squished. A number of corpses of various ages and states of decay are shown.
Sexual Content: No sexual content is shown. Several crude or anatomical jokes are made without detail. There is brief non-explicit non-sexual nudity.
Profanity: There are 200 instances of profanity and coarse language in the movie, including 113 sexual expletives, 29 uses of scatological terms, other assorted curse words and terms of deity. Several homophobic slurs are used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking socially or to cope with stress, although they are not portrayed as drunken. Adult and teenagers are shown smoking cigarettes.
Page last updated September 9, 2019
It: Chapter Two Parents' Guide
The Loser’s Club seems to realize that your fears are as strong as you make them. What’s a good way to manage your anxieties?
Friends drift apart as time goes by, sometimes for the better, but not always. How do you keep in touch with those you used to be close to? Is it worth the effort? Do you think friendships change or break off?
Adrian is killed at the beginning of the film more through homophobic violence than an evil clown. How can we as a society ensure that people of all identities are safe from harm? What can you do individually to protect people?
Related home video titles:
Adult fans of well done Stephen King adaptations should look at Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining or Frank Darabont’s The Mist. Non-horror King movies include The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, both of which are superb.
If you’re looking for horror movies that aren’t R-rated, you can try The House with a Clock in its Walls or Coraline, both of which are suitable for older kids and tweens who can handle a good scare. PG-13 horror movies include Happy Death Day, Happy Death Day 2U, A Quiet Place, and The Sixth Sense.