These past several months, the expectations for It: Chapter Two have been high, to say the least. The second half to the story started by 2017's It features a now-grown Losers' Club, picking up almost three decades after their initial defeat of Pennywise.
Director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman returned for the sequel, based on Stephen King's 1986 novel. The production has boasted everything from an unprecedented amount of fake blood to a nearly three-hour runtime in order to bring the tale to its conclusion. The first teaser, which premiered at CinemaCon, played out like a deeply unnerving short film, and the hype has only grown as its Sept. 6 release date inches closer.
So, how does Chapter Two hold up to its predecessor? According to the first reactions from an early screening on Tuesday night, it does so very well, putting the human characters front and center, while still working in some truly terrifying moments.
While others weren't quite as taken overall, they still felt the film succeeded in doing what it needed to do. Which is important when you consider the fact that, as the second half to an epic story, Chapter Two wasn't ever really intended to stand on its own.
Some, however, praised its ability to translate the voice of King's writing. That's something generally lacking from adaptations of his work, but a necessary element of bringing to life the tale of a 27-year battle between a half-dozen people and a giant fear-loving clown that lives in the sewers of their hometown.
The highly-anticipated horror sequel stars James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and a scene-stealing Bill Hader, with Bill Skarsgard returning to the role of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. If you're dying to see how this one measures up to the first, you can find out when It: Chapter Two creeps into theaters everywhere on Sept. 6.