It Chapter 2: A Review

Who doesn’t love a good sequel or second half in this case when done right? Sometimes sequels are actually unwarranted and can sometimes be really overdone to the point where fans have to reiterate that they didn’t ask for it, but when it comes to It Chapter 2, it was well awaited and it’s been pretty well received so far. The final jury on it is still out because it’s still relatively new, but I’m here to give you a quick rundown on how I thought it was.

When the first half of It hit the scene in 2017, it was an automatic hit and had fans nationally and internationally gushing about how good the movie was. It grossed $327.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $372.9 million in other territories, and accrued a total of $700.4 million worldwide. This time around, Chapter Two so far has grossed $153.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $169.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $323.3 million. Though Chapter Two hasn’t necessarily reached the same numerical value as the first half, it’s still projected to come out doing extremely well once it leaves the box office.

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Chapter Two was a completion of the first half released in 2017. It was finishing off the story of The Losers Club and their fearful, yet adamant quest in defeating the treacherous Pennywise the Dancing Clown that terrified them 27 years prior in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. There have been quite a few claims made that this time around wasn’t as scary as the first film. I actually agree with this myself. Were there scary moments? Absolutely. Was there still blood and gore? Absolutely. Were there moments that made you almost jump out your seat and right into your neighbor's lap? Um, yes!!! However, I do believe that this final chapter played out as more of a psychological thriller than just a straight horror film.

Now, after seeing It back in 2017, I absolutely enjoyed the movie. I think I saw it in theaters twice and was watching it as if I’d never seen it quite a few times when HBO picked it up. All in all, it’s genuinely a really good horror film. A few elements of creating a horror movie entail: scary places, fear of death, the dark (and this can be subjective because of fear of the dark, but also what the darkness is hiding), disfigurement and dismemberment, fear of the unusual and more. To sum it up, It included all of these things and Chapter Two embodied those elements as well, however, because the focus is geared towards The Losers being all grown up, we’re in a totally different thought element. It’s more of the examination of how the events and experiences from their growing up in Derry, Maine have changed and hindered them in their adult life.

To kick it off, we are already hit with tragedy by Stanley Uris automatically removing himself from all situations by suicide. When he received his call from Mike, it was as if he already felt that he couldn’t dredge up the same type of bravery he just about barely delivered in the first film as a child. You have the ringleader, Bill Denbrough, now a successful mystery novelist who doesn’t struggle with his stuttering problem (although I did pick up that his stuttering came back and was very prevalent when he

was back in Derry... possible trigger?). Beverly Marsh, who grew into a very beautiful young woman, however, we see her trying to escape from an abusive and controlling husband. Now, enter childhood trauma and surroundings. Her dad was sexually abusive and controlling, too. A grown-up, yet still very cautious Eddie Kaspbrak, now a risk analyst and married to a woman who’s just like his mother: scared and worried about everything! Witty and smart-mouthed, Richie Tozier. Richie grew up to become a famous comedian and as you continue to watch has some soul-searching, insecurities and sexual identity labeling to work out. Next, we’ve got Mike Hanlon. He’s stayed in Derry the entire 27 years and was monitoring when It would return. He contacted The Losers to get them home and had their solution ready to go. And lastly, my favorite transformation, little Ben. Y’all. BEN GOT HOT! I mean, REAL FINE! Ben is now a thriving architect and also still secretly and deeply madly in love with Ms. Beverly Marsh, who by the way, still unbeknownst to her thinks that Bill wrote to her that sweet love poem. Let me tell you now, she’s going to get a very rude awakening to that secret.

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One of the important pieces in the film, and also what contributes to its 2 hours and 49-minute run, is that in order to defeat Pennywise, it meant that the characters had to bring specific pieces from their childhood for the Ritual of Chüd as a sacrifice. Here is where we enter all younger characters and taking deeper looks to what happened 27 years prior. If you saw the first film, you remember where they all got into that really big fight and they split apart for a minute. Well, that’s what this played on. What happened in that time when they were apart and I absolutely appreciated every aspect of this. Number one, I love movies that flashback anyway, so this was thrilling. But, it truly helped to tie together the story of what it was that they individually were going through and helped to build the anticipation of what object they needed to bring as a sacrifice and why it meant so much to them. Of course, just like the first film, this is when they all had their individual encounters with It. I love the creativity and the writing of how when in their individual time, It encounters them and scares them to pieces. It was rather endearing though when they were all together and in various places they hung out as children, seeing them reflect on that time period as adults and reminiscing about the good times and also missing Stanley.

Another important element added here was the background story of It and where he even came from. THAT was very telling and very necessary. Everyone is scared of this clown but doesn’t even know where he began or where he came from. All we know is that every so often he’s coming to terrify this one city in the big U.S. of A. It is a great character as only It can be. He showed up at all the right moments, terrified all the right people in the right way and played on all of their emotions perfectly. It has great character development! Besides being a clown, (because this is literally so many people's worst nightmare), he plays on and terrorizes people psychologically as well. I do believe there could’ve been a few more scenes where he attacked more people, you know, go out with a bang! But, again, I really think the focus of this film is the adults and them dealing with their childhood trauma and getting rid of It permanently.

Before ending this review, I do believe in giving credit where it’s due, so I have to give kudos to the director, Andy Muschietti and writer Gary Dauberman. They did so well! Also, big kudos to the talented ensemble cast of this film. They did amazing! When it’s all said and done, Chapter Two proved to be a pretty great film for me. I’m sure there are a few folks out there that disagree, but hey, isn’t that the great thing about opinions and disagreements? I encourage anyone if you’re into this type of genre, and hopefully, I didn’t give away too much but check it out. And if you’ve already seen it, then you see how I feel about it and I say see it again! HA!

By: Nia I. Williams @__queenniaa