It Chapter Two (2019)

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Ever since the horrifying teaser trailer dropped months ago, IT: Chapter 2 quickly became one of the most anticipated films of the year. The first IT movie in 2017 was loved by both horror and Stephen King fans alike. Now, two years later, we finally have the second installment, IT: Chapter 2. When we left our heroes last time, they vowed to come back to Derry if Pennywise were to return. The current film focuses on “The Losers Club” as adults returning to stop Pennywise once and for all.

The cast, both the kids and adults, is absolutely fantastic. They did their very best to give us an unforgettable performance with a great balance between going back to the past with the kids and looking at the present with the adults. It is not just flashbacks showing the kids in the previous film, but new content of “The Losers Club” as well. Congratulations to the casting team for getting it right.  It is uncanny how similar the adults are to the kids and at the same time very believable.

The scares from Pennywise are terrifying and the plot all ties nicely with the first movie. Andy Muschietti and Gary Dauberman respectively did a great job in directing and adapting the story for Stephen King, who, slight spoilers, makes a cameo in the film. The humor, mainly from Eddie and Richie (played by James Ransone/Jack Dylan Grazer and Bill Hader/Finn Wolfhard) is really good and provides an amazing contrast to the dark elements and spooky moments.

Compared with the original 1990 miniseries, both the first film and this one are miles better than that. This was actually more horrific than the original, which was goofy (by today’s standards at least) and not all that scary. The original was unintentionally funny and the effects looked clunky or didn’t exist at all. In this version, the effects, environment and acting made it more impactful as a horror film.

The performance Bill Skarsgard gives as Pennywise is scarier than Tim Curry’s performance. While Curry’s portrayal is more realistic and scarier at first, due to the lack of effects, it becomes unintentionally hilarious once the movie progresses. Skarsgard, on the other hand, is consistently disturbing as well as amazing with his own different ways as he effortlessly scares both the characters and audience. He also has more of an “other worldly” feel that the original one didn’t have since Pennywise is a shape shifting entity that is known for eating worlds (read The Dark Tower to learn more about this, every Stephen King story is connected to that book trilogy).

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tim Curry acting like an actual person was scarier back in the original but due to the smaller budget as a made-for-TV miniseries, Bill Skarsgard’s portrayal is superior. The almost alien-like movements, actions, and personality of the current Pennywise is scarier now because of the effects and the “uncanny valley” effect. Constantly during the movie, the audience is confused when something looks like a human but your eye sees something “off.” This makes you wonder constantly what is “wrong” and try to determine if it’s actually human or not.

Horror mainly relies on the atmosphere, fear of the unknown, and audience anticipation for jump-scares, which this film excels at and delivers in every twist and turn. For example the additions of the fair and funhouse made the atmosphere tense and both were not in the original miniseries or the book. The audience gets scared whenever there’s something suspicious, an example of this is the old lady in the teaser trailer. Additionally, one can anticipate lot of suspenseful moments as the movie goes through. For instance, suspense is heightened during the scene where Bill is chasing this kid in the funhouse to attempt to save him from being eaten by Pennywise.

No spoilers, but the ending is very beautiful and powerful with how it wraps things up. Majority of horror movies end with a jump scare and sequel bait to leave it open ended, but this actually ends differently which is really rare for a movie in this genre. It’s best to experience it for yourself.

Overall ‘IT: Chapter Two’ is the best horror film of the year..confidently and of course ‘clowningly..’

Kyrie Dunphy


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