Trisha: It’s back! Get it? IT, as in Pennywise the clown? 😉 (Feel free to walk away from this post now for that terribly corny intro…) The famous Pennywise returned, wrecking havoc in the town of Derry and the kids who defeated him the first time have were forced to revisit their scary past, now as adults, to end the nightmare for good. The cannibalistic and manipulative clown came back stronger than before, taunting the crew with hallucinations without his presence and he even received help from mentally-institutionalized Henry Bower, their childhood bully. Although the plot promised a lot, the film had more potential than what was provided, especially in it’s scary scenes.
Mike, the only one who stayed in Derry and who remembered everything Pennywise did, reunited the Losers, as they called themselves, to fulfill the promise they had made to defend the town from the monster. Bill, Beverly, Richie, Ben, and Eddie all reluctantly left their successful lives to help, except Stanley who committed suicide out of fear of being too weak. R.I.P. Stanley, you were missed. They met up at a restaurant and everyone enjoyed catching up until Pennywise seny them a message mocking Stanley’s death and bestowed upon them hallucinations of insect mutations. This was the first issue I had with the scary scenes. They were only scary because of the cinematic jump scares and because of the scornful insect and zombie-looking creatures. There seemed to lack raw, twisted horror. The first remake of IT had this element of unexpected horror where we saw the clown bite off children’s heads and morph his appearance, but this became expected in the second movie. 🙄
Then we found out that Mike supposedly knew how to kill Pennywise through a Native American ritual where the gang gathered artifacts from their past and burned them. They all went to different landmarks to retrieve things that had value to them and fought off Pennywise in disguise at each location. Bill’s scene was really cool because he found his old bike at an antique shop run by Stephen King himself! (I’m still mind blown!) This all took up about an hour of the film, plus Bill split from the group, which was forbidden by Mike, to save a kid from the clown but failed as he watched Pennywise chomp on the boy’s head. This is the other problem I have with It 2; I’m no filmmaker but the duration of the movie could’ve been under 2 hours and 50 minutes. A lot of the scenes dragged on and again weren’t very scary because they consisted of zombie mutations.
Finally we got to the good stuff- killing Pennywise! Yay! They went to the old house that connected to the sewers and made their way deep down into a cave. They put their artifacts in Mike’s Native American pottery and burned them, summoning the deadlights that represented Pennywise’s spirit. They contained the lights in the pot, only for the clown to arise from it with giant spider legs and he revealed that the ritual ended with them all dying as the ultimate sacrifice. The gang was chased by the spider clown and were thrown into alternate realities of their past where they almost died. Eddie unfortunately died saving Richie from the clown. R.I.P. Eddie; he was honestly one of my favorite characters because of his brutally sarcastic but loving friendship with Richie. The rest of the gang made it back to reality with Pennywise and after he cornered them, they realized that he was only physically big because they feared him. They called him out on being just a clown and found ways to insult him, making him feel small and in turn causing him to grow minuscule. They ripped his heart out and crushed it to pulp, killing the clown once and for all!
It was a happy ending minus the 2 friends they lost, but the crew consoled each other and returned to their adult lives with their best friends back in the picture. Ben and Beverly even end up together which hits all the feels- you go, Ben! Overall, it was an enjoyable movie to watch. It Chapter 2 gets a 7/10 from me, only because it was unnecessarily long and the scary scenes weren’t very scary.
Shiv: I went to Cinemart Cinemas and got my ticket for only $8 with a free bag of popcorn and sat in my recliner chair, super pumped for the film to start. I have been waiting for this movie to drop since I saw the first one back in 2017. I was so excited when the time finally came to see It: Chapter 2, I went into the theater with high expectations.
First off, I made the mistake of not re-watching the first movie as a refresher to the sequel. In the beginning, I was a little confused about which adult actor character represented the childhood one. Over time, the pieces started coming together and everything started making sense. Don’t make the same mistake as me ; watch the first one before watching this one! And don’t even THINK about watching this movie if you haven’t even seen the first one at all!
The movie begins with Pennywise returning to Derry to wreck havoc once again after 27 years. We get a peek into the lives of each character and see how their lives have turned out. I think they really did Mike dirty. Billy became a well renowned writer, Richie became a famous comedian, Eddie became a risk-analyst, Ben glowed up tremendously and became a successful architect, Stanley became an accountant, and Beverly became a successful fashion designer. The six of them all left Derry and started new lives that brought upon growth and prosperity. Mike is the only one who stays back in Derry as the town librarian. The film gave me the impression that he spent the last 27 years obsessing over Pennywise and even going a little crazy over all of his research and investigations. He didn’t even have a partner or family; he was all alone.
I also felt like Mike was just a recruiter for the rest of the Loser gang. They all got back stories about their token used for the ritual and how Pennywise tormented them as a child, except Mike. When it came for his turn to toss something in the fire, it was only a rock that Beverly had used to throw at some bullies in attempt to defend Mike when they were kids. There was no flashback scene. The most flashback he got was a snippet of an old news article that said his parents were drug addicts that killed themselves in an accidental fire.
At the end, when Pennywise exposed him for not knowing for sure the ritual would work, he just looked really foolish talking about “I thought if everyone believed enough, then the ritual would defeat him.” I felt like Mike should have known better and his character just seemed really inane.
Speaking of the ending, I thought it was really stupid that they basically had to bully him in order to “make him smaller.” I’m not sure if that happened in the real book but it didn’t sit well with me. Maybe that’s the bad ending they kept foreshadowing throughout the film whenever someone would reference the book that Bill wrote.
In terms of it being scary? It wasn’t. The little alien-like-spider-creature things just gave me Stranger Things vibes and seemed unoriginal and out of place. I’ll admit, the spider-head creature that featured young Stanley’s head was pretty cool. Other than that, the zombies and everything else was really uncalled for and happened too frequently. It wasn’t even scary because everything was so predictable.
What wasn’t predictable was Pennywise’s backstory which made absolutely no sense. I was not expecting him to be some evil Native American spirit. That doesn’t justify why he’s a clown, why he’s heavily targeting the Loser gang, why he’s chilling in the sewers waiting to eat the next person that comes around, or why he makes an appearance for 27 years. IT MADE NO LOGICAL SENSE!
Okay, so I had a lot of issues with this movie, but let’s end on a more positive note. I thought Bill Skarsgård did a phenomenal job reprising his role as Pennywise. His acting was entertaining to watch and made the film more pleasant to sit through. I really enjoyed the witty banter between Richie and Eddie especially; I was so sad when Eddie died. I also didn’t expect Richie to be gay either and I was glad that the filmmakers were able to portray this side of him in a natural way rather than make it seemed forced like some of the more comedic lines. Overall, I give this film a 5/10.