It Chapter 2: Origins, Conclusions, and a Ton of Laughs

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It Chapter 2: Origins, Conclusions, and a Ton of Laughs

Amie Daniel, Staff Editor

If you’re a Stephen King buff, you have undoubtedly been keeping a watchful eye out for the sequel to 2017’s It Chapter 1. The release of the film this past weekend has come with mixed reviews – some good, some bad, and some REALLY bad! Now, horror fans take on the genre expecting some cheesy dialogue, cheap thrills, and a dash of totally expected scares along the way. Most especially for a film like this that is living up to the award-winning novel and the made-for-TV adaptation starring Tim Curry that debuted in the 90s shortly after the book was written. There is a certain pulpy and silly way of taking on a horror of this nature that director Andy Muschietti clearly did not ignore. With that being said, some critics have come away feeling disappointed in the scare-factor department. The film is a total win in the pulpy comedy field, but the CGI scares did not quite live up to the 2017 installation of the series.

 

Without giving away any huge spoilers, It Chapter 2 picks up 27 years after the ending of the initial film. The beloved losers have since aged and moved out of the eerie town of Derry, Maine. All with the exception of Mike, who has stayed back and remained very tuned in to the phenomena that drew them all together so long ago. Since the rest of the group has moved away, their memories of the traumatic “defeat” of the ever-powerful Pennywise the Clown have since faded, but Mike remains ready to fill them in and get them prepared to face the evil for hopefully the final time. Once Mike has confirmed his suspicions that despite the groups valiant efforts all those years ago, It has returned to town and is taking lives of innocent children in his usual heart-wrenching ways. Mike then calls on the clan to return and defeat the monster once and for all.

 

it chapter 2 pennywise

New Line Cinema
Pennywise staring deep

 

We get a glimpse into the world of each character, how they have been changed over the years, and how the trauma of the experience has impacted them. There is a fair amount of flashbacks and memory scenes, and it allows the audience to make the connection between the younger cast and the adult cast. Muschietti gives a fair amount of information about the origins of It – more than we ever got in the made-for-TV version – and it can be understood that this entity is ancient, older than the Earth itself. It having landed in Derry in a meteor crash eons ago where it remained in hibernation until starting its deadly 27 year cyclical awakening that the losers club was made privy to as young teens still terrorizes the town to this day. A unique feature of the film is the inclusion of a shamanic approach to defeating the evil. The notion led by Mike adds for a particularly funny way of getting Bill to understand his take on devising a plan to face Pennywise once and for all. A favored theme by King is the resolution of childhood trauma and the significance of memory and emotion and that is something director Andy Muschietti certainly leaned into.

 

Despite the letdown of overall terror in the film, there are certainly a handful of good scares in the film and it’s not a total loss. Bill Hader who plays the adult Richie Tozier in the film delivers a highlight performance bringing tons of laughs and even more serious and dramatic moments in pivotal scenes. Even if you don’t absolutely love this film, it is an exciting time to be a Stephen King fan; with the opening trailers announcing November 2019 will bring yet another installment in the King universe: Doctor Sleep. This film will pick up with an adult Danny Torrence, the young boy who battled his possessed and sadistic father in the classic 1980  Stanely Kubric adaptation of King’s novel The Shining.

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