‘IT Chapter Two’: the clownery continues

ELLEN MCDONALD Volunteer Writer [email protected]

“IT Chapter Two,” released on Sept. 6, is nothing short of a satisfying sequel to its infamous predecessor. However, be forewarned, this movie is nearly three hours long. For a movie at such length, I really expected more. The movie has many good things going for it, such as the characterization and casting, the visuals and the mind-blowing transitions. With that being said, for a three hour movie, I am still left pondering about the story line.

Despite the fact that the first film in this franchise was released in 2017, this latest film did a fantastic job catching the viewer up to speed. Taking place twenty-seven years after the first movie, “It Chapter Two” picks right back up with all the Losers. Viewers are reintroduced to the whole gang, now well into adulthood.

We meet Richie, Eddie, Beverly, Stanley, Bill, Ben and Mike as they navigate separate lives outside of their horror stricken childhood homes. After twenty-seven years the Losers have not changed all that much. This was not very realistic in that most people are very different at age forty than they were at fourteen.

Despite this, the casting of the adult Losers was spectacular. With huge names such as Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, they really hit the nail on the head with portraying the children that audiences grew to love in the first film. The actors perfectly achieved all the mannerisms and quirky ticks of the younger characters. However, I do wish that we had gotten a better picture of who these children grew up to be.

The viewer is briefly reintroduced to the Losers at the beginning of the film. We are shown where they live, who they married and what they do for a living. Unfortunately, we do not get to know any depth to these characters, as I would like to have seen how the effects of the first film manifested within these adults’ lives. All of this seems very rushed, which I understand because the audience is also informed of the brewing trouble beneath the city of Derry. I was left underwhelmed after sitting for three hours and only seeing character development for around thirty minutes.

As a fan of the film or Stephen King’s novel, one would know that Pennywise, a shape-shifting being who often takes the form of a terrifying clown, comes back every twenty-seven years. In the second addition of the film duo, audiences are given a back story on the character It. The back story, like the ones for the Losers, was quickly explained. This left me confused and wondering if the story had been better explained I would have enjoyed the movie more.

We are shown who Pennywise had been before he began eating children and terrorizing Derry. This plotline was alluded to in a teaser trailer for the sequel released back in May of this year and further explained within the movie. Once again, I was left wanting more of a story for Pennywise. I love a good villain origin story. The trailers for this movie led me to believe I would get a good one. Sadly, I was mistaken.

One of the things I enjoyed most about both the first movie and the sequel, was the comedic relief that Richie Tozier and Eddie Kaspbrak (played by Bill Hader and James Ransone) provided. Even with a sinister clown running around within the sewers and trying to kill the main characters, I still found myself laughing more than hiding behind my t-shirt. “IT Chapter Two” suggests that these two friends were possibly something more. As we watch the Losers attempt to defeat Pennywise once and for all, they are tasked with facing Pennywise alone. It is beyond me why a group of adults, who know all too well the sinister capabilities of this monster, would split up.

Since Pennywise survives off the fears of others, he intentionally appears to each of them in a form that will scare them the most. Richie is confronted with the fact that It knows his darkest secret, which audiences are led to believe is his closeted sexuality. This is a minor subplot within the film. I still wish that we had known for certain the extent of the friendship between Richie and Eddie. This is just one example of the briefly covered subplots and even the main plot line that I wished had been brought to the surface.

As a huge fan of horror movies, I know a good one when I see one. The first film, “It,” continued to terrify me days after viewing it. I was constantly paranoid that a crazy demon clown was after me. I left the theater after “IT Chapter Two” completely fine, still laughing at all the jokes within the movie. Like most horror movies, it contained its fair share of jump scares and there were a few instances where I had the urge to cover my eyes. The last hour or so of the film was by far the better part. It eventually sped up and the fast moving action and horror really got my heart pumping.

Overall, the movie was satisfactory as far as a sequel goes. Like most sequels, it left me wanting more and wanting answers to what was left ambiguous or just simply unanswered. The first movie received an 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while “IT Chapter Two” earned a 63 percent. So, even though the sequel might have not performed as well as the first movie, it still brought a lot to the story of the Losers Club. There was a deeper meaning to this movie; its main focus was not to make audiences jump out of their seats or have nightmares after watching it.

As an audience member, I was left thinking about the ideologies the movie presented rather than how scared I was. In addition to that, the film had wonderful visuals, which seemed to be the focus of the film makers rather than the plotline and character development. If it were not for the actors, I would have an unfavorable outlook on the film. They all brought their own special take on what it means to grow up and how we all have to conquer our fears, lest they conquer us.

As the Losers put it, “See, the thing about being a loser, you don’t have anything to lose. So, be true. Be brave. Stand. Believe. And don’t ever forget, we’re losers, and we always will be.”

I would rate this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.