The Losers’ Club is heading back to Derry, Maine to face off against Pennywise the Clown (aka, IT) once again – this time, as adults. But can James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry of the younger cast from 2017’s mega-successful It? (Is such a thing even possible?) Is this sequel scarier than the original? And does the film earn its nearly three-hour run time?

The social media embargo has lifted, so you know what that means: time to round up some reactions into an It Chapter 2 early buzz article. Here’s what the critics are saying about director Andy Muschietti‘s newest horror film.

Thanks to the success of the first It, we know this sequel is going to make loads of money at the box office. But is this movie any good? /Film writer Chris Evangelista is the biggest Stephen King fan I know, so let’s kick things off with his reaction to this sequel:

It’s also very much a “part 2”, as in it doesn’t stand on its own at all. In fact, the ideal way to view this would be back to back with the first film.

— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) August 21, 2019

Is it scary? Not really. In fact, it seems more content to go for humor rather than horror. But there are a handful of genuinely nasty moments that you don’t usually get in big studio horror flicks.

— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) August 21, 2019

Oh! And there’s a great callback to Carpenter’s THE THING! And two fun cameos.

— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) August 21, 2019

/Film editor in chief Peter Sciretta also caught an early screening and weighed in with his thoughts:

#ITChapterTwo is probably scarier than chapter one – more Pennywise imagery to haunt your dreams. But it also loses a lot of charm in the shift in focus from the coming of age to the now adult characters. At nearly 3 hours it feels long.

— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) August 21, 2019

Bill Skarsgård is back with his twisted, eerie version of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Skarsgård admirably stepped out of the shadow of Tim Curry in the previous film (Curry memorably played Pennywise in the It miniseries from 1990) and made the role his own, and it sounds like he’s once again in fine form in this sequel. And speaking of fine form, Bill Hader sounds like he walks away with this movie (which we all expected from the moment he was cast). Still, it’s good to hear that he’s as good in the film as we hoped.

#ITChapterTwo is big and ambitious and can't *quite* handle the weight of its aspirations, but it's still a fine piece of heartfelt horror. The parts that work, work REALLY well and Bill Hader is every-bit the scene-stealing standout we all hoped he'd be.

— Haleigh Foutch (@HaleighFoutch) August 21, 2019

I am not an IT expert but I get the sense, even in the book, IT’s powers/motivations aren’t always well defined. That vagueness works with the kids, but I wish this one had some basic rules? Because it feels like IT could kill any of these people at anytime and just doesn’t.

— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) August 21, 2019

Saw #ITChapterTwo last week! It definitely lives up to the hype of the first one by delivering memorable scares and incredible visuals. The adult losers club’s chemistry was amazing. It’s scary af.

— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) August 21, 2019

So, #ITChapterTwo: it's v. good, but not great. I liked it, but didn't LOVE it. First movie is a tough act to follow. TWO is gruesome, strange but rarely scary. Nails important aspects from the book, but feels overlong. Cast is aces, though, & Bill Hader SHOULD be in Oscar convo.

— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) August 21, 2019

#ITChapterTwo is awesome. The adult cast is perfect and loved the way the film mixes in the old and new. I don't want to say too much because most of you are going to see it. Congrats to everyone that worked on it for a job well done.

— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) August 21, 2019

It: Chapter Two is the biggest disappointment of the year. A dull & bloated mess that spends too much time rehashing things from the first film. While there are a few good moments, the film ultimately lacks suspense and scares. The performances are also a mixed bag. #ITChapterTwo

— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) August 21, 2019

#ITChapterTwo is a terrific companion to #ITChapterOne. Similar vibes, great ensemble chemistry w/ a nice mix of humor and horror. Part 2 plays heavier in tone, dealing w/ defeating the burden of childhood trauma, & I definitely teared up at the very end. Bill Hader steals it

— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) August 21, 2019

It was great to see the kids return in flashbacks, but I’m not sure if it helps or hurts the older cast, who could’ve used a little more screentime. Still, they all live up to their young counterparts well. The time jumps can be jarring at times, but you settle in. #ITChapterTwo

— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) August 21, 2019

Ultimately, I think people will struggle over which part they liked best, but I like to think of them both as one film and the second chapter delivers a satisfying and emotional conclusion to one of the best horror films ever made. #ITChapterTwo @joblocom

— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) August 21, 2019

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

Because every 27 years, evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, It: Chapter Two brings the characters — who’ve long since gone their separate ways — back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film.

It: Chapter Two floats into theaters on September 6, 2019.

The post ‘It: Chapter Two’ Early Buzz: An Overlong Sequel That Eventually Finds Its Groove appeared first on /Film.