IT: Chapter 2 captivates viewers

Tea Wheat , Entertainment Writer

The movie opens focused on the life of Mike Hanlon, who never left Derry, Maine like his friends did. Mike soon realizes that IT is back again and begins calling his friends that he has not heard from for decades.

Viewers are dipped into the adult lives of the seven losers, getting a glimpse of what their now-adult lives are like, and some are more enjoyable than others. Upon receiving the call from Mike, all the Losers return to the town that none of them can seem to remember. All but one, that is. This movie follows the remaining six losers and their journey to battle Pennywise the Clown as well as many memories that they would rather have forgotten.

Many Stephen King fans counted down the days until Sept. 6, anticipating the horrifying new chapter to the IT remakes. Though, “IT: Chapter 2” was far more than just another horror film with endless graphics and jump scares. While box office sales of “IT: Chapter 2” did not quite match those of its first film, it is still the “second-best horror opening of all time” with $91 million in sales in the U.S. alone, according to the Hollywood Reporter. While the sales speak for themselves around the excitement and enjoyment of the film, the reviews are also primarily positive. According to a writer from the New York Post, “It: Chapter 2” is a very fine follow-up to the most successful horror film ever.”

As an avid King fan and horror fan, I had to see “IT: Chapter 2” on opening weekend. Despite the 2 hour and 50-minute run time, the film was extremely enjoyable. The long run-time was completely justified for the emotional, suspenseful and horrific aspects of the film. I was caught off-guard by the immense number of underlying message that the sequel was able to highlight, while remaining suspenseful and overall haunting. From the opening scene that had a powerful and painful message about hate, to the final battle between the losers and IT, there were underlying messages hidden in every corner. As director Andy Muschietti told Vanity Fair, “You can take it as an analogy: If you are separated, you’re more vulnerable, you’re more weak and you’re easier to conquer. You’re easier to be made submissive and scared. That’s exactly what Pennywise does, and that’s what’s going on. That’s what’s happening in this world right now.” I am normally not a fan of sequels to horror-films, but “IT: Chapter 2” is a wonderful follow-up to its first film, it is both chilling and tells a story about things that are relevant today.

The biggest weakness of the film is the ending, which seems almost too good to be true, though that, too, is tied into the backstory of Bill Skarsgard. Bill, who grows up to be a successful writer, cannot write a good ending to save his life. Much like King, who is also often criticized for not ending his books well, pokes fun at himself through the character of Bill. Bringing the film full-circle, it is revealed to viewers at the end of the film that Bill is writing a book, and it is about his experience with the Losers Club in Derry, Maine. And thence, the film we are watching is created from the book that Bill wrote about the Losers Club, Pennywise, Derry and life.

If you have not yet seen “It: Chapter 2,” I highly recommend going to see it. Do not let the long run time turn you away, as IT is one of the most successful horror sequels I have seen, and stays true where it should to the original 1990 film.