Howard Aitken’s review published on Letterboxd:
After watching this, I’m still of the opinion that the book is a hundred times better in regards to actually experiencing the story (since the films strip away all psychological aspects of the story, what made it SO effective), and therefore I urge EVERYONE to read the book as well as watching the movie (it’s a long task but an incredible one).
Having said that, I loved this film, and it’s virtually as good a film adaptation of the story as you can get. The acting was amazing (Bill Skarsgård the highlight; he has grown on me a lot since the first film), and most of the actors knew what they were doing and had fun doing it. The character development was good, even though everything that happens in this film speeds by.
The cinematography was stunning and captured the feel of the town of Derry very well. I was rarely distracted by poor camera movements or angles, and the colour grading worked very well for most of the film.
The scares were slightly cliche and repetitive, but they were also shown in a unique way that felt new, and this combined with the fact everyone involved went all out made them very enjoyable to watch throughout the film.
I will again make a plea for everyone to read the book before truly judging this story. There are many scenes in this movie (and the first part for that matter) from the book that speed by ridiculously quickly, which left me wondering what the point of even including many of those scenes actually was. The book delves deeply into these scenes through character thoughts and narrative exposition, resulting in substantial, interesting development and a feeling of connection towards these characters. The movie’s nature of visually showing these events occurring and nothing else, is to me an insult to Stephen King and the story he wrote.
I think this movie is great as a horror film, but it doesn’t come CLOSE to doing justice to the story King created.