5 best and 5 worst things in It: Chapter Two

Stacey Snider left co-chairman of 20th Century Fox and Jim Gianopulos chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox address the audience beneath an image from the upcoming film

Stacey Snider left co-chairman of 20th Century Fox and Jim Gianopulos chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox address the audience beneath an image from the upcoming film"Poltergeist during the 20th Century Fox presentation at Cinema Con 2015 at Caesar

But if you're invested in the story and characters after watching the first film, you probably owe it to yourself to see this one through.

And before you go pointing out that the group members being distant towards each other was the whole point of It: Chapter Two, and that they were all amnesiacs slowly coming back to understanding their shared history - to the extent that the movie closes on an adult Mike Hanlon telling Bill Denbrough with aching sincerity that "I love you, man" - at no point does it actually feel like these people are connecting with each other.

The return of the Losers' Club is looking at an opening day (which includes Thursday night previews) of $44 million, which would be the second-best performance for a horror film and a September release behind its predecessor's $50.4 million.

This $10.5 million opening night is right in line with where tracking had the film pegged, so Chapter Two is performing as expected in that regard. When grown-up Stan gets the news, he goes to the bathroom and chooses to die by suicide.

While King didn't like the ending to the fake book, some critics in real life haven't been enjoying the ending to the film series.

The remaining members of the gang - Eddie, Richie, Bill, and Beverly - don't remember the traumatic events of their childhood as vividly as Mike and Stan do, which probably contributes to their willingness to return.

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While the entire cast performs admirably, the standouts are Bill Hader and James McAvoy.

What's not getting much acclaim is the way It dies.

. It is, in fact, quite delightful that we get to watch such a big scale horror film, and the filmmaker once again makes a strong case for why he was selected over Cary Fukunaga.

It sounds like the film simplifies things and just establishes that Pennywise is a demonic entity that feeds off death and is awakened every 27 years by events involving mass death. Turtle imagery is also everywhere, although Chapter Two's climax does away with King's version of the Ritual of Chüd, which involves the Losers biting It's mental tongue (no one ever said it wasn't an extremely weird book).

However, that doesn't rule out more scares from Pennywise on the big screen in some form. Some other bits are just in good fun: cameos by director Peter Bogdanovich and Stephen King; a random "here's Johnny!"; a blood-drenched nod to Carrie. Muschietti and his team are clearly fans of their source material, and they treat the story with a generous humor that even King, in all his self-seriousness, didn't loan to the book (a gag with a Pomeranian had me howling).

While not as much of a "thing" as it was for Marvel creator Stan Lee (RIP), it's not uncommon for the horror author to pop up in small roles within adaptations that get his seal of approval.

Still, there are certain tendencies of King's that Chapter Two would have done well to avoid. This leads Bill (James McAvoy) to an antique shop where he is reunited with his trusty old friend, his bicycle "Silver".

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