Both chapters in Andy Muschietti's adaptations of Stephen King's It are filled with colorful excitement. In Chapter 2 we get to see our favorite club of misfits once more yet with an added bonus as we watch them mature (somewhat) into the world of adulthood.
Chapter 1 and 2 both burst with creative energy and charisma, but what does the first film do better than the second and vise-versa? Read on to find out!
Warning: Spoilers for It: Chapter 2
10 MORE LAUGHS - IT CHAPTER 2
This one was difficult to beat due to the fact that the 2017 version of Stephen King's novel was laugh-out-loud funny thanks to Finn Wolfhard's charming portrayal of Richie "Trashmouth" Tozier. While the first film certainly received big laughs, the second chapter is even more consistently hilarious.
The younger actors from the original cast serve even funnier lines than in chapter 1, and fans of the franchise can sense that the cast is even more comfortable with each other, thus creating more of a sense of ease to let the comedy come flying through. Yet thanks to the adult cast, (we're looking at you, Bill Hader), we have twice the amount of laughs and the film has so much fun adding humorous moments to the most unexpected scenes. The mixture of comedy and horror used in It: Chapter 2 makes the sequel stand out as a truly unique viewing experience.
9 MORE FOCUS - IT CHAPTER 1
There is no doubt whatsoever that It (2017) has way more focus than its 2019 sequel. It: Chapter 2 may be a fantastically fun film, but it is undeniably scattered. It's perfectly okay to have a movie with an unconventional structure but it's important that it makes sense to the audience and that people aren't left scratching their heads trying to pick out the puzzle pieces as to what it all means.
There are points where It: Chapter 2 feels like it was directed by The Mad Hatter or someone with extreme ADHD. If a severe lack of structure is not your cup of tea, you might want to skip out on this one.
8 MORE ROMANCE - IT CHAPTER 2
What most people fail to realize when it comes to Stephen King's It is that it is just as much as a romance novel as it is a part of the horror genre. The romantic element brought on by The Losers' Club and their once-in-a-lifetime connection with one another is so loving and affectionate that it makes Nicholas Sparks' work seem tame in comparison.
King as a writer emphasizes the importance of putting his characters and their relationships with one another first and foremost, while everything else is secondary. We see this shine through mostly with Ben and Beverly along with the gorgeously melancholic love story between Richie and Eddie. It seems as though director Andy Muschietti has listened to the dedicated fans of King's beloved story by pairing Richie and Eddie together and making them canon. This is further proof that the film is catered directly to bigtime fans rather than the general public, and we wouldn't want it any other way.
7 BETTER OVERALL CHEMISTRY - IT CHAPTER 1
We're specifically referring to the adult cast vs the younger cast here, and although the adults in The Losers' Club are splendid in their portrayals of The Losers' Club, the chemistry between the adult characters seems slightly rushed and forced compared to their younger counterparts. Perhaps this has to do with the time crunch the adult cast was under but it feels as though the kids are slightly more connected with one another. As stated earlier, at this point the younger cast has worked together more frequently so perhaps they feel more comfortable with one another in order to create more realistic and natural chemistry on screen. The chemistry brought on by the adult cast is terrific none-the-less, but we are gonna have to give the points to the kids on this one, which is especially seen in It: Chapter 1.
6 BETTER ADAPTATION - IT CHAPTER 2
It: Chapter 2 is a much more accurate adaptation of King's novel. In the first film, although it is brilliant, it is very different from the book. Chapter 1 captures the same concepts and ideas of the book but as a whole, but it seems to take a totally different path compared to what we find in print. Although Chapter 2 isn't an exact replica of the novel, it takes a whole lot more of the scenes from the book and places them into the second film.
5 MORE FIT FOR THE BIG SCREEN - IT CHAPTER 1
Although It: Chapter 2 is a stronger adaptation of the novel and is more dedicated to King's written pages, the first movie of Andy Muschietti's It feels more fit for the cinematic experience. While Stephen King's story is perfectly fitting for a book, it feels a bit clunky and "messy" as critics describe it as it is done in It: Chapter 2. Just because it works well in a book doesn't mean it will translate as smoothly on screen. This is where chapter 1 got it right by choosing its own direction to better fit a visual story.
4 MORE FUN OVERALL - IT CHAPTER 2
This one was also tough to beat because It: Chapter 1 felt like a total adventure through and through. Yet somehow It: Chapter 2 managed to be just as fun if not even more exciting than the first film. Critics were quick to describe the second chapter as a "fun house" experience and that is the perfect way to describe what it feels like when watching chapter 2. Sure, it is all over the place, but in a way, this adds to the spontaneity of the film and puts audiences even more on their toes than ever before. The special effects are slightly extensive if not somewhat overused, but it's so fun and campy that we just have to give it a pass. It: Chapter 2 feels like the perfect blend of comedy and horror adding to a charmingly non-traditional viewing experience that is impossible not to get thrilled by.
3 BETTER STORYTELLING - IT CHAPTER 1
It: Chapter 1 feels like a smoother story overall. The back and forth between past and present-day found in It: Chapter 2 is somewhat necessary for the story and it is certainly a challenge to capture without it feeling cluttered, yet unfortunately for the second film, it does feel clunky and uncertain. It: Chapter 1 feels a whole lot more like a complete film. The sequel can be somewhat tiring to follow despite how fun and adventurous it is, because it is all over the place.
2 EVEN MORE CHARM - IT CHAPTER 2
What makes It such a stand out hit is how charming it is. There is not a colorless moment in Andy Muschietti's movies and both chapter 1 and 2 burst with cartoonish delight that is extremely difficult to capture with such ease in the world of film. It: Chapter 1 has endless charm throughout, yet It: Chapter 2 somehow manages to add a whole new layer of charisma that we didn't even think possible to achieve after the first film. This is all thanks to the splendid work from the additional adult cast, especially Bill Hader who nails Richie Tozier's unique "trash mouth" personality.
1 BETTER FILM OVERALL - IT CHAPTER 1
So it's already been established in this article that we believe both films are cinematic gems, yet we are going to have to declare Chapter 1 as the winner on this one for being the overall better film out of the two. The second film is a haunted ride of excitement and fun, yet the stronger organization and focus from the first movie ultimately makes for a better film. It mixes proper film structure with the spontaneous excitement that we enjoy so much from King's book.
What do you think? Let us know!