Halloween comes early with ‘It: Chapter Two’


Sarah Emily D'Agostino

IT Chapter Two” premiered on September 6th and has already has massed over $185 million in box office.

Abigail E. Pritchett, Staff Writer

This past weekend, I sat in a cushy leather seat at the Cinemark 20 and XD, settling in to watch Andres Muschietti’s 3-hour long sequel film to the box office hit “IT.”
Prior to viewing the film, I was antsy upon seeing a run-time that long, as I can barely sit still for more than ten minutes at a time. But I was pleasantly surprised by the movie, as the acting, special effects and recurring jump scares constantly kept me on the edge of my seat.
I’ll commence officially by discussing Muschietti’s wonderful casting choices. From Jessica Chastain to comedy king Bill Hader and even a cameo from the author of the book behind the film, Stephen King himself, “It: Chapter Two” is chock-full of talent. Besides their acting talents, the adult versions of the loser’s club look surprisingly similar to their childhood counterparts.
The grown-up Eddie Kaspbrak, a consistently paranoid child, has become a “risk analyst.” The young master of dirty jokes, Richie Tozier, has grown up to be a well-known comedian, still wearing his signature glasses. Beverly Marsh or “Bev” escapes her abusive father only to grow up and marry a man exactly like him whilst also maintaining a career as a wealthy fashion designer. Ben Hanscom evolves from a chubby, shy kid to a confident, still-shy beef-cake.
The curly-haired Stanley Uris is living a happy life with his wife, that is until he receives a phone call from Derry. Mikey Hanion, a boy haunted by the horrific death of his parents, is the only phone who decided to stay in Derry, obsessed with learning more about Pennywise.Finally, our protagonist Bill Denbrough, has grown to be a famous writer who still isn’t quite content in life.
So, what about the clown of the hour, our dearest Pennywise? He’s back to his usual shenanigans, eating innocent children, leaving suspicious red balloons around town, and trying to lure his victims down into sewer drains.
Now, despite being a fairly good film, at times it feels more like a comedy than a horror film. Yes, there are jump scares and a scary child-eating monster, but this counterpart doesn’t pack the same punch that the first film did.
There are instances where certain pieces of the film feel quite overused, even cheap. For example, the usage of Native American folklore to explain the creation of Pennywise feels like such a cop-out and it’s a common trope.
Despite the star-studded cast, the grown-up loser’s club lacks the connection that their younger selves had. Maybe it’s just that children tend to have an familiarity that adults just can’t grasp, but there is definitely a disconnect between the adults. It’s almost as if they’re afraid to get close to each other.
Generally, I feel like this film has gotten a harsher reaction then it really deserves. Critics have torn it apart, some calling it downright “bad” and “messy.” Although it could have been better, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad film, though it definitely has its bad aspects.
Some of Pennywise’s creations, such as the freakish naked old woman creature with exaggerated sagging breasts, feel more comedic than scary. The film also fails to fully flesh out Pennywise’s character and only gives hints, such as in the scene where Bev watches Pennywise smear makeup on his face.
Throughout it’s almost 3-hour running time, the film only supplies loose connections associated with this mysterious clown’s existence.
On a more positive note, the special effects were quite breathtaking. In the beginning, when the losers are reunited, Pennywise decides to join the reunion in his own way.
The reunion turns from happy to horrible as black sludge and monsters begin to emerge from the table’s centerpiece. The creepy creatures, including a tiny winged oddity and a strange eyeball, are done well and appear realistic, although hellish. Pennywise himself has a comedic feel, as he always does, but appears in multiple forms throughout the film.
In my opinion, the most impressive is the multi-legged, big-headed Pennywise that makes his debut towards the end. The way he moves is creepy yet smooth and effects flow extremely well.
In summary, “It: Chapter Two” is a film with a stellar cast and amazing special effects that lacks depth and originality. I’d give it three stars out of five, as there’s definite room for improvement but it also has a plethora of positive aspects.