I think some people were tricked by the first It film, in a way. Although there is certainly horror abound in the It tale, it’s just as much a character study as it is a “scary” one. It’s about the dangers of small-town life and what it really means to escape it (or stick with it). It also deals with relationships, the passage of time, and letting go of the past or embracing parts of it. We had shades of that with Its first chapter in 2017. Now, when the time has come to double down on the themes with part two, a sordid mishmash of book and adapted storylines swirl together and are unable to deliver.
If you want It Chapter Two to be full of scares (also known as a “traditional horror film”) you’re going to be disappointed, as there’s little there for you here. In a way, it makes sense, as part two was never really going to be packed full of thrills given how much material it needs to get through, but even then the powers that be failed in the few chances they had. In a stark contrast to the first film, there’s almost a complete lack of dread. Instead of scared kids trying to make sense of the mystery around them, we have fully grown, capable, and plot-armoured adults executing a plan that comes to light in the first 45 minutes.
It’s second chapters stinks of studio meddling and loses most of the magic of the first.