“IT: Chapter Two” a genuinely horrifying horror movie

September 19, 2019

I walked from the ticket booth, droplets of sweat formed on my palms, hair raised on every inch of my neck and an imaginary, chill gust sweeping through the inside of my body. 

Within those 10 seconds before I entered the theatre room, time seemed to slow down, and all I could do was pray. Pray and beg that what I had been waiting to witness for the past two, excruciatingly painful years would be no different from the breathtaking, petrifying phenomenon that was Stephen King’s IT Chapter One. 

As I took a seat in the third row from the back, everything besides the projector screen faded away to an insignificant nothingness. My root beer had vanished. The voices of the people around me had silenced. I was focused on nothing but what was before me, entranced with the sensational spectacle that was Stephen King’s IT Chapter Two.

Twenty-seven long years after the events that occured in the first film, the one-and-only Pennywise the Dancing Clown awakens after its long slumber, throwing the quiet town of Derry, Maine into chaos and disarray. The members of “The Losers Club,” who had made a promise to each other when they were still children, must reunite for a final stand against the beast, resting the fate of the citizens of Derry on their shoulders.

As many know, 2019 hasn’t been the best year for Warner Bros. studio with the many sub-par films cranked out just to satisfy the “hype” of the audience. Arguably, IT Chapter Two, which was released on Sept. 6, was the only internationally-popular film that could potentially dig the studio out of the immense pile of flop films it had created. Although I didn’t have high expectations from Warner Bros, I had no choice but to applaud the studio as the first, spectacular visuals caught my eye. Apparently everyone else agreed as the box office for this movie totaled $320 million and counting, making it the second-highest grossing horror movie of all time — only second to IT Chapter One. Every minute detail, from the makeup on Pennywise’s forehead to the murky, repulsive sewer system, was carefully and intricately crafted, building upon the first film, but somehow making it even more realistic. Each scenario was imprinted into my mind, so much so that I felt as if I was actually present in the same environment as the characters, facing the terrifying Pennywise.

Before delving deeper into what makes this movie the masterpiece it is, I must first address what makes this movie so iconic: the main antagonist, Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The vile, despicable beast that I had witnessed in the first film hadn’t just met my expectations — it had far, far exceeded them. I witnessed each moment with unbreakable concentration, astounded at the cruelty and viciousness the clown displayed. After each horrific moment, I thought, “There’s just no way anything else can come close to what I just saw.” But I was quickly proven wrong with each scene — to the point where I felt sick to my stomach.

Just like the namesake monster, the sheer terror of this film comes in many shapes and forms. Many stereotypical horror movies rely on the overused jump-scare, creating a rather hilarious, embarrassing moment after the scene. However, during the immense two hour, 50- minute run time, I couldn’t bring myself to laugh even once as I felt the surge of pure fear the characters experienced. Even the gross-out scenes, intended to make the viewer absolutely revolted, resonated with a primal fear that made the viewer both wanting to keep staring at the screen as well as look away in disgust. Let me just say this directly: this movie is as disturbing as they come and almost certainly will give any poor soul not accustomed to the horror genre nightmares beyond his/her comprehension.

The actors of this film were perfect to play their respective parts. In particular, Bill Hader was the perfect choice to play the comical and lovable Richie Tozier. The sheer hilarity and enormity of jokes could only have been pulled off by the master of comedy. A shout out also needs to go out to James McAvoy who plays the serious but dependable Bill Denbrough, the main protagonist of the film. 

How would the movie be complete without the man himself, Bill Skarsgard? He is the best possible actor to be chosen for the role of Pennywise: his horrifying facial expressions, his incredible acting and his creepy but fascinating trick of crossing his eyes on screen without the use of CGI. Seeing the original 1990 film didn’t give me the same goosebumps and heart-throbbing scares as Bill Skarsgard did. 

Of course, what great movie would be complete without equally great character development? As the viewers are introduced to the main characters of the film, it is evident 27 years have passed as each of the former “Losers” is now a successful adult with his/her own life and purpose. Although the characters have changed in appearance, they give off the same feeling as the lovable cast of Chapter One: the feeling of youth and prosperity. They may be older, but they aren’t old enough to stray away from the promise they made to each other after initially brawling with Pennywise. Each of the main characters deal with their own hardships and memories of the past while simultaneously trying to fight off the murderous clown before it consumes another poor soul. I really felt myself moved at each of their stories and contemplated my own future as they reflected on their pasts. Andres Muschietti, the film’s director, did an incredible job of showing that no matter how terrified the characters were, they had to come together and resolve their differences to confront the greatest threat before them. 

I was honestly surprised after the movie when I sat down to compare the film to the novel. Although it had kept some aspects of the novel the same, the film had gone a completely different angle with other scenes. With many movies, that sort of thing tends to harm the film, but with IT Chapter Two, I was on the edge of my seat at many moments, not knowing what to anticipate next as I gradually became accustomed to the storyline. 

The ending of the film left me with a sense of satisfaction, but also disappointment for the sole reason that there was no after-credits scene. I wholeheartedly enjoyed everything the film had to offer, and in all honesty, would definitely go to see it a second, maybe even third time.

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