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‘It: Chapter Two’ First Reactions: Critics Call Bill Hader Scene-Stealing and Oscar-Worthy

Early reviews are mixed for the sequel to Warner Bros.' smash hit horror film, but critics praise it as "creepy," "heartfelt," and "gruesome."

It: Chapter Two Bill Hader

“It: Chapter Two”

Warner Bros.

Though humble peons will have to wait until September 6 to see the final installment of the smash hit Stephen King horror saga, a select group of film critics and lucky audiences have already been treated to an early screening of “It: Chapter Two.” While some say the follow-up to last year’s box-office sweeper pales in comparison to the first, calling it a “tough act to follow,” many praise the movie as “creepy,” and singled out Bill Hader’s performance as scene-stealing and Oscar worthy.

“It: Chapter 2” picks up 27 years after the events of the first movie. The story centers around the grown members of the Losers’ Club returning to their hometown of Derry, Maine, after It/Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård, returning to his breakout role) comes back stronger and crueler than ever. In addition to Hader in his scene-stealing role, “It: Chapter 2” also stars Jessica Chastain, Xavier Dolan, Jake Weary, and Jess Weixler.

Managing editor of Fandango Erik Davis was particularly laudatory: “[‘It: Chapter Two’] is a terrific companion to [‘It: Chapter One’],” wrote Davis. “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[.]”

Slash Film staff critic Chris Evangelista was less impressed. “[‘It: Chapter Two’] has a rushed, clumsy first act & an odd lack of chemistry among the adult Losers,” he wrote. “But it eventually finds its footing. This is a BIG movie—a go for broke horror blockbuster not afraid to make weird choices. Bill Hader steals the show.”

See more critical responses below.

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