“It: Chapter Two” scares audiences again


Creative Commons image by Anastasia Orshanskaya on Behance.net

Tori Suhre, Rooster Reporter

One of the most recent cinema hits released Sept. 6, 2019, is “It: Chapter Two.” This horror story based off of Stephen King’s “It” is back just in time for fall and is bound to be the next classic horror film to watch during the Halloween season. It has received 63 percent for rotten tomatoes and the runtime is a whopping two hours and 50 minutes long. Pennywise the dancing clown is back for more in this unique and bone-chilling sequel. Most of the disturbing themes and scenes have earned the movie an R rating.

The grown-up members of the Losers Club return to Derry in response to phone calls received from their old friend Mike Hanlon. The movie is immensely praised for its casting for the grown-up Derry kids. Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Isaiah Mustafa all bare a striking resemblance to their preceding child actors. Various flashbacks scattered throughout the film lets the audience recognize the resemblance. The casting for the film is nearly flawless. 

The movie has been criticized for not being as ‘scary’ as the first movie, but it does have a reasonable explanation. Throughout the movie, the Losers Club members are tormented by memories of their past as they are forced to remember their childhood trauma and their encounters with Pennywise. The movie focuses more on the mental scarring left on the characters rather than jumpscares, although the film does have a fair amount of jumpscares. It also includes many more disturbing and unsettling monsters than the first movie, monsters such as an insect with a baby’s head, or an old distorted naked woman that charges at adult Beverly in her childhood apartment.

For how much the trailers and the movie’s marketing focuses on Pennywise the clown, this specific form barely makes an appearance throughout the movie. It is greatly overshadowed by CGI rendered monsters. In the showdown between the Losers and Pennywise, he takes form as a humongous spider-like creature while keeping his clown face and features. This form is nowhere near his scariest, however.

There is a debate over whether his monstrous forms are more terrifying than the classic clown everyone was familiar with. Bill Skarsgård, who plays Pennywise in both movies, made excellent work of portraying the creepy clown in both movies, but some argue that he had a greater impact on the first movie rather than the second.

The opening scene of the first movie is iconic, as Bill’s little brother Georgie loses his paper boat as it is washed away down a sewer drain, and has an encounter with Pennywise. That scene alone was the movie’s major selling point, as it sets the dark and chilling tone appropriate for the rest of the movie. Based off of that alone, “It: Chapter Two” had big clown shoes to fill as the sequel following up a major award-winning remake. 

Stephen King himself made an indisputable appearance in the film as an antique shop clerk. Bill notices his old bike in the shop window and asks the clerk if he could buy it, and eventually forks out $300 to pay for it. In the movie, Bill is an author. One of the running jokes throughout the film is that he can never write a proper ending to a story, as it is mentioned numerous times by fans and critics. Bill notices his book sitting on the store counter and asks King if he would like Bill to sign it. 

“No. I didn’t like the ending,” King said. This joke itself is more of an inside one for fans of King’s novels. Many readers love his books but complain that they never have a good ending. This inside joke was a generous nod to the creator of the classic story “It.”

Many horror fans agree that the sequel did not quite live up to the first, but it is still undeniably a good movie. The majority of the complaints about it concern the numbing run time. Some snacks and a quick bathroom break are desperately needed before sitting down to watch this movie. As much as the monsters presented were disturbing and unpleasant, they add tension to the film as well as a fair explanation as to why it is rated R. For moviegoers that love bloody gore and excessive profanity, this movie is perfect for them. “It: Chapter Two” will be a great movie to watch during the Halloween season to get everyone into the spooky spirit.