IT: Chapter Two looks better, but is it REALLY better?

The effects, characters, and imagery looks great….but the story is a little lackluster.


Drawn by Abby Frakes

Art of Pennywise.


(Spoiler Alert!)


After the first infamous IT remake, with the main cast starring young actors, Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh), Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben Hanscom), Finn Wolfhard (Richie Tozier), Wyatt Olef (Stanley Uris), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kaspbrak) and Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon). In the first IT movie, the plot focused purely on the meeting and bonding between the main cast as they struggled with their own demons and the literal demon IT, or Pennywise, as this monster torments them and the town of Derry.


With this newfound bond, they become “The Losers Club” and try to stop IT together. At the very end of the first movie, they make a blood pact that symbolizes that if IT ever comes back, they will return as well.  Now, twenty-seven years later, IT comes back to the town of Derry and the nightmares of “The Losers Club.”


IT: Chapter Two starts off at a carnival with a gay couple played by Will Beinbrink and Taylor Frey as they face discrimination and violence for their relationship by a group of men and one woman. Soon they are cornered and beat up by the group. One of the men ends up being thrown off the side of a bridge. As we see him struggle against the currents, he washes up by the dirt and muck. As he slowly makes his way up, we see IT, or Pennywise, offer him his hand, then we see his boyfriend stare in confusion and shock as Pennywise helps him up, but then that look turns into that off horror as he watches IT bite down into his boyfriend.


The first section of the movie a lot of people deemed “useless” and “pointless”, and I would have to agree with them. It didn’t really serve a purpose other than showing the cruelty of Derry, which was already made a point, so it was just beating a dead bush. It also didn’t serve a purpose as a reason for the reunion between the group of friends, which would have made more sense, but even then, I feel a child would have worked better and would have terrified the audience more. While the first section wasn’t bad, it was just a little confusing and pointless.


After that, we are introduced to our new cast of adult characters. Jessica Chastain (Beverly Marsh), Bill Hadar (Richie Tozier), James McAvoy (Bill Denbrough), Jay Ryan (Ben Hanscom), Isaiah Mustafa (Mike Hanlon), James Ransone (Eddie Kaspbrak), and Andy Bean (Stanley Uris). However, Andy Bean doesn’t get very much screen time as it is shown that he commits suicide, being the only one that doesn’t show up to the reunion. As the group finally gets together they start to realize that they completely forgot about Derry when they moved away, a whole flood of memories starting to come back as they converse.


This part I really like in the film. It shows the bond and true friendship, that even after so many years, they still all share together. The several cuts of happy and joyful talk give a nice break from all the seriousness and bring a nice reality to the movie. However, happiness doesn’t last long as Pennywise plays his tricks by transforming the Chinese cookies at the restaurant into horrid creatures.


The reality of their situation slaps them in the face as most of them make their way to leave Derry, Bill being the only one that stays due to Mike’s persistence. Mike is constantly saying that they need to stay together to destroy Pennywise. He goes back to his home and shows Bill his findings and research into what Pennywise is and where his power comes from, showing him an ancient Indian artifact that reveals, through a vision, that Pennywise has the power of the deadlights.


Now, this part of the movie is a little out of nowhere for someone who hasn’t read the book. I haven’t read it either, but I know from basic research that this is explained well in the book, however in the movie it comes off as random and is not very explained or connected well. It’s actually kind of laughable when first introduced. After Bill has “seen” he makes it his mission to help Mike in keeping everyone together to stop it. It is then revealed that Beverly knew the whole time that Stanley was going to die and that she has seen everyone die because she is the only one that has seen the “deadlights”.


Now that the group has no choice, they stick together to stop Pennywise. They decide to split up (great decision) and look for items in their past to sacrifice to perform the ritual to stop Pennywise. As they all split up, the flood of memories keeps coming as IT keeps tormenting them individually. After finding all of their sacrifices, they make their way to the house that they first beat Pennywise in.


As the group makes their way in through the house and down through the sewers, and even further down this time into an almost cave-like area, they are meet with a huge structure of rock or coal. Mike places the artifact in the center and the group stands in a circle around it. He lights a fire in the center and everyone places their sacrifices in it. Then, they chant together and we see three lights come down from the ceiling. The scene gets more and more intense until the sacrifice fails as Pennywise appears and terrifies the group.


Pennywise appears as a half-clown half-spider creature and starts chasing the group through the cave. They scatter and scurry through holes trying desperately not to get caught in his grasp. As things become grimmer Eddie builds up his courage and attacks Pennywise with a spike. He thinks he’s won, but then Pennywise pierces his stomach straight through. Richie becomes angry and distraught as they all build the courage to fight back by breaking Pennywise down to size, literally.


The more they say they don’t fear him and break him down as a pitiful creature he turns small like a baby. They all reach into his chest and pull out his heart and crush it in their hands ultimately killing Pennywise, but as he dies, so does Eddie. They all mourn his loss as they wash off in the lake and go back to their normal lives, but together, with no loss of memory.


Now, this last section of the movie I actually really loved. I might be biased as I have seen the 1990 original IT, and fully understand the ending because of the movie along with research on the book. The ending of the 1990 IT movie was horrendous and disappointing. It wasn’t scary or interesting. Just quick, cheap, and pointless. It didn’t even match the book in any detail.


This ending, however, matches the book and has a scary quality to it. It was everything I wanted and craved from the original movie that I didn’t get. I do understand that this part would seem a little confusing to someone who hasn’t read the book or seen the original film, as to how or why it works. It also leaves some confusion about what, where, and why of Pennywise. So while I loved this ending, I can see the other side on it as well.


Overall, I would give the IT: Chapter Two movie a 3.5 out of 5. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t fantastic either. I feel that if they were going to remake IT they should have given, at the very least, a little more backstory to Pennywise, or a thorough explanation of his powers. I also think that they should have just gone all out and remade the original six-hour version, but a two-parter of sorts while still in one movie.


The movie was a shinier and dressed up version of the original IT. It had some things that were better and some things that were worse, but overall the film could have given a little more information and life but didn’t. I would recommend going to watch it as it does go over the whole book pretty well and, on its own, is actually a pretty good movie; I just expected a little more, personally.


If you have already seen "IT" do you agree with what I said?

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