by Kendall Rainer
With the looming threat of “IT,” the “Losers Squad” must re-assemble to take down the monstrous clown once and for all.
“IT: Chapter Two,” directed by Andy Mushietti, is a sequel to “IT,” the cinematic iteration of the Stephen King novel.
“IT: Chapter Two” follows heroes Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy), Richie Tozier (Bill Hader), Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain), Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa), Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone), and Stanley Uris (Andy Bean), who make up the “Losers Squad.”
The second film picks up 27 years after where the first ended. In “IT,” the group defeated the killer clown, Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), a demonic entity that has taken the shape of a clown, in an intense battle in “IT’s” storm drain hideaway under the city of Derry, Maine. Or so it seemed that they had defeated him.
The town is hit again 27 years later by the clown’s torment, as mysterious disappearances, murders, and dismemberments wreak havoc on the town of Derry. Mike Hanlon is the only member of the “Losers Squad” who stayed in the small town after the first encounter with the entity. For 27 years, Mike has stayed in waiting for the beast’s return, and that day has finally arrived.
Mike begins the task of reuniting the losers, which proves to be more difficult than it seems. The remaining members have little to no recollection of the events that occurred 27 years prior. The one thing that they all definitively remember is the blood oath that they made to return if the beast ever made an appearance again, and to kill it once and for all.
The heroes reunite in their hometown of Derry with one exception, Stanley has not returned.
Once the Losers are back in Derry, their memories of the events begin to return. Fear, anxiety, and anger all come flooding back to their minds. Mike urges them to join him in defeating the monster once and for all, like they promised they would 27 years ago.
Mike takes the group to the forest, to their old hide-away Ben made for them all those years ago. He tells them that in order to defeat Pennywise, they would all have to collect “artifacts” from the one time the group wasn’t together in their first showdown with the clown.
Mike tells them that he learned of a ritual from the Shokopiwah people, the people who first encountered the being millions of years ago, which would lock Pennywise away forever.
Each member of the group re-lives an encounter with the beast that they experienced on their own and retrieved an item from that “revisitation.”
After Bill’s encounter, he runs into a boy who lived in his old house and reminded him of his younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) who was killed by the clown in the first movie.
After reuniting with the group at the Inn where they were staying, Bill realizes that Pennywise was going to go after the boy. In a clown-themed house of horrors, Pennywise consumes the boy in front of Bill, which was the last straw for him. He knew there was only one thing left to do.
The band of losers charged the beasts’ hideaway and charged deeper into its depths, farther than they had ever traveled, to the “crash site,” where the entity had first made contact with the Shokopiwah tribe.
Mike leads the group in a ritual, which proved to be doomed from the start. The ensuing battle against the giant demonic entity proves to be too much for the team, and heavy losses ensue.
With what remains of the group, they discover that in order to defeat the beast, they have to make it small. They begin belittling the clown, which shrinks its size, eventually making the entity so small it is all but a husk.
The heroes prove to be victorious and finally defeat the being once and for all.
“IT: Chapter Two” proves to be everything I expected it to be. It was a visually stunning, scary, gut-wrenching, adrenaline-pumping horror film.
However, the story is more than just pure terror. There is a deeper meaning to the film than just a scary clown.
It highlights aspects of self endearment and persistence. It proves that no obstacle, whether it seems larger than life or not, is insurmountable.
The film provides the jumpy, horrifying action that was evident in the first film. It is what is expected of a horror film. However, it is intertwined with a deeper meaning and a story that is, at times, loving and empathetic to a feeling of friendship and community that we all strive to have. For this reason, I give “IT: Chapter Two,” a 10 out of 10.