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IT CHAPTER TWO gets its first critical reactions

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The terrifying spectre of Pennywise the clown isn't easily scrubbed from the mind. Credit author Stephen King with that – his 1,000 page tome IT is said to have badly damaged the clown industry, and the blockbusting 2017 movie adaptation only re-affirmed those fears.

This September Pennywise returns in IT CHAPTER TWO, which adapts the second half of King's weighty door-stopper. The movie takes place 27 years after the events of the first movie, interweaving the story of the older Losers Club members with flashbacks to their younger selves.

James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader are among those embodying the adult Losers, who are lured back to Derry, Maine for one final confrontation with their dreaded nemesis (portrayed once more by Bill Skarsgard).

Directed by Andy Muschietti and scripted by Gary Dauberman, IT CHAPTER TWO runs at a hefty 165 minutes long. The movie promises to pack in a heck of a lot of King mythology, including Pennywise's origins and his centuries-long legacy of terror in Derry, all of which was only teased in the first IT instalment.

James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader as older Losers Club in IT CHAPTER TWO


Critics have tweeted their first responses to the movie, and although the consensus is somewhat mixed, they say there's plenty to admire. First up: a rave response from Collider's Erik Davis who lauds the movie's creepy atmosphere, and says it's a worthy follow-up to the first chapter.

You'll notice the shout-out to Bill Hader, there – he plays the older Richie Tozier, portrayed as a youngster to winning effect by Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard. Critics are unanimous in their praise of Hader, who's usually associated with comic roles.

In fact, many have cited Hader as the best thing in the movie, even when the film itself is apparently veering around all over the place. Slashfilm's Chris Evangelista believes this to be the case.

Cinemablend's Sean O'Connell says the movie's increased level of ambition doesn't necessarily equate to more scares. Nevertheless, he's tipping Hader for Oscar attention, something horror films rarely achieve (although the recent likes of Get Out have bucked the trend).

Collider critic Perri Nemiroff praises Muschietti's skill at crafting an inter-generational story of trauma and horror.

Moviefone journalist Drew Taylor says the movie is on course to devour the box office (no doubt in the same way Pennywise feeds on his victims).

Critic Juan Upon a Time in Hollywood (got to love that handle) says that if the film has flaws, they stem directly from the novel.

We'll end with another Collider response: writer Haleigh Foutch says the movie works because, like the first instalment, we're firmly invested in the characters. Surely that's how any great horror movie works, right?

Well, that's a smattering of critical responses, and it won't be long before you get to cast your own verdict.

Click here to book your tickets for IT CHAPTER TWO, opening in Cineworld on 6th September. Let us know @Cineworld if you think this has any chance of topping the first movie.