“It Chapter Two” : 3 hours of jump scares and WTFs

“IT Chapter 2” by andriy bata is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

“IT Chapter Two” packed a punch at the box offices, bringing in around $91 million in the first weekend. While it may be one of the most anticipated movie releases of this year, it left me very scared and very confused. 

If you recall, “IT Chapter One” started off on a stormy day in Derry, Maine. Georgi, the main character Billy’s little brother, is playing outside alone after Billy claims to be sick. Georgi’s paper boat gets stuck in a current and washes down a storm drain, where Pennywise is silently waiting. IT pops out as Georgi reaches in for the boat, and Georgi becomes another one of the victims. “IT Chapter One” revolves around a group of seven kids fighting Pennywise the clown who uses fear and feeds on kids every 27 years. At the end of the first movie, the gang, claiming the name “Losers” because of their quirkiness, defeat the clown and promise to come back to Derry to kill him again if he ever comes back.

“IT Chapter Two” starts off with another heart-sickening scene of Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård, hunting for his prey. This time, 27 years later, one man has just been brutally attacked by a group of homophobic boys. The viewer really gets to see that Pennywise has no mercy for any living thing, and that the world doesn’t either. While the man gets eaten, balloons fill the screen. As the eerie theme song for IT echoes,  I couldn’t help but think, “Here we go again.”

The grown-up Losers – Bev, played by Jessica Chastain; Bill, played by James Mcvoy; Richie, played by Bill Hader; Eddie, played by James Ranson; Ben, played by Jay Ryan; and Stanley, played by Andy Bean – are called upon by one of their own, Mike, played by Isahiah Mustafa, to abandon the lives they’ve made for themselves and come kill this clown once and for all.After much hesitation and false thought, most of them travel back to Derry and we finally get to see the Losers back together fighting to the death. 

“IT Chapter Two” definitely did not lack in scare, and I would even say that it was more scary than the first. Pennywise often turned into this hybrid spider-clown-crab figure throughout the movie, which gave me chills. He also took the shape of a dismembered corpse and, of course, a clown. There were definitely more jump scares and murders than the first IT movie, which maybe was the biggest issue because of the length of the movie. “IT Chapter Two” clocks in at two hours and 47 minutes, leaving the viewer exhausted towards the end from all the ups and downs of the plot. Mike believes if they have faith they can kill the clown, so they try and fail many times before they succeed in killing Pennywise. 

The real biggest issue I, and many of the other reviewers seemed to have with the movie, however, is the lack of explanation and backstory of Pennywise. Stephen King has always been known to be a bit far-fetched in his writings. For example, the novel “It” ends with the world being on the back of a giant turtle. Luckily, Director Andy Muschietti and the screenwriter, Gary Dauberman, adjusted the idea a bit so the viewer could understand, but it didn’t quite work. 

Pennywise is supposedly this supernatural being that came from the sky, space or the heavens at the early dawn of human existence. Mike happens upon this lampshade looking artifact and spends most of his adult life living in the Derry Public Library researching how to kill IT. This Indigenous tribe attempted to do it before but all died. According to Mike, this was  because they had no faith or trust in each other. That’s the main explanation we get on what Pennywise is – a supernatural orb thing preying on the fear of Derry, Maine of all places. 

I was left wanting to know more of the causal factors as the ending scene faded away. Thankfully, my go-to movie buddy tried to answer all my questions, though there was a lot the movie left undefined. Rotten Tomatoes gave “IT Chapter Two” a score of 64 percent, and the New York Post called it “a very fine follow-up to the most successful horror film ever.”  I agree with these reviews. The three-hour film was worth it mostly just to give me some closure and adrenaline, but I probably wouldn’t fork up another $12 to go see it again in the movie theater. 

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