“It” is the second movie directed by Andy Muschietti and is a fantastic second film. “It” effectively creates atmosphere, tension, and adrenaline-rushing scares, but the best parts of this horror movie is not the horror, for the most part; the best part is seeing how the movie’s self-described Losers respond to the threats of the titular It: coming together, becoming friends/coming closer together, growing up, and learning they cannot trust adults — think “Stand By Me” with a clown-demon. In addition to the bullies and the monster, all of the Losers have things that they are dealing with, that receive varying degrees of focus: the main focus being Ben desperately clinging to the idea that his brother is still alive, or Beverly’s father being suspicious about her spending time with boys. Definitely look at the movie’s content warnings before deciding to see it. A few of the Losers are a bit underdeveloped as a consequence of having seven main characters, but they all have good arcs that make the movie better and the horror more effective.
To spoil some of the ending’s details (though watching the movie most people will see what direction it is heading, but skip to the next paragraph to avoid them), this is a horror movie that ends with a cathartic beating the monster moment, which delivers conclusions to all of the Losers’ character growth, and it is fun seeing a bunch of children mercilessly beating a now helpless clown. The catharsis is a bit undercut by knowing that It is still alive, which you will know even if you had not heard about the sequel beforehand since the movie ends with the words “It Chapter One” on the screen, but it is a great ending.
The best performance is Bill Skarsgård, as Pennywise, the Dancing Clown. He manages to portray an inhuman creature awkwardly trying to act human, and is able to make this both fun and frightening. This performance is so good that the scenes where he acts more monstrous and becomes a special effect, become a bit less effective because you will want to see more scenes where he’s just trying to scare the Losers by talking.
All around the movie is great, with good performances, scares and, despite being adapted from a book’s flashbacks and telegraphing the sequel, a good, complete story.