By Ramie Churchill
I will admit that I was sceptical at first to see the movie IT Chapter Two directed byAndrés Muschietti because horror movies usually don’t have much of a plot besides just trying to be scary or killing a bunch of random people. However, this movie was pleasantly different. The simple plot of the movie consisted of a group of friends, “the Loser’s Club”, who are returning to their hometown of Derry, Maine after 27 years in order to face, once again, the demonic clown that terrorized them during their childhood.
The clown, Pennywise, has been responsible for the disappearance of dozens of children in the town, and it is up to the Loser’s Club to stop him before his cycle ends, and he goes back into hibernation for another 27 years. If they do not, they will all die either by his hands or by horrific accidents in the future. Despite the fact that they had all grown up and went their separate ways, the losers (Ben, Bill, Ritchie, Beverly, Mike, and Eddie) must come together as a group and work together to conquer their deeper fears and conquer Pennywise once and for all.
Before I dive too deeply into the story, I want to start off by commending the director for the movie’s scare factor. Unlike traditional horror movies, IT does not rely solely on a scary costume or gore to send chills up an audience’s spines. Pennywise’s character is very intricate. He’s clever, he’s creative in his attacks, and he creates an element of suspense that keeps people on the edge of their seats.The horrors themselves were well done, and they had some deeper meaning because each scare would have to do with one of the losers’ deepest fears. I will say though that some of the scares were still a bit cheesy, and they were often accompanied by jokes and demonic laughter, but it makes sense because Pennywise is a clown afterall. Nevertheless, the goofiness of the clown is balanced out by the incredible effects, transitions, and sets that make this movie worth spending three hours at the theater.
Although the movie is fictional and is meant for entertainment, it does weave in some important social commentary amidst the cheap thrills. For example, homophobia is always a big problem in small towns and this is highlighted by the murder of Adrian Mollon at the beginning of the film. The murder was based on real life events that happened in 1984 in Bangor, a small town in Maine where Stephen King grew up. The incident involved a gay man named Charlie Howard who was brutally attacked and killed by a group of local teenagers and thrown into the canal.(Burnham September 4th 2019)
I find the inclusion of this scene interesting because it truly shows the darkness that still exists in society today. It is important to spread the word that these terrible crimes are still happening. It also serves to legitimize the fear Ritchie Tozier has for coming out of the closet. Ritchie Tozier is a comedian who, due to consistent bullying as a child, has never been honest with anyone about his sexuality.
Another issue that the film addresses is sexual assault and abuse. Beverly Marsh grew up with a dad who sexually and physically abused her from a young age, and, when she grew up, she ended up marrying a man who is much like her father. This goes to show how unhelped traumas turn into much bigger issues later in life. If you never work through issues in the past then these issues continue into the future.
Finally, the film includes a discussion on bullying. Ben Hanscom was a heavy set child and would get bullied for being fat and people would discriminate against him because he looked different. This is true in today’s world as well. People usually bully or distance themselves from anybody they encounter that aren’t “normal” in their eyes. Ben Hanscom was the overweight new kid no one liked but later lost a ton of weight and was a new man. He even had the confidence to tell Beverly he was in love with her since they were kids
. Sometimes moving on from the past and not letting people get to us and creating a new version of ourselves gives us the confidence to be the person we’ve always wanted to be. It’s always important to not dwell too much on the bad, to always keep a positive outlook on life because if you believe something is true or it will happen then it will come true. In the movie there is a medal dagger they find, and they say it kills monsters if you believe it will. This goes back to real life and how if you believe it’s going to be a good day then it’ll be a good day.
Though the movie is three hours long it engages you the whole time so it doesn’t feel very long at all. It not only has the scare factor people crave from horror movies but it’s filled with real world lessons we can all benefit from reading. The overarching lesson from IT chapter 2 is that if you believe that things will work out and stay with your friends then anything is possible. Most importantly though, never forget that who you are is valid, and you should never be anyone other than who you were born to be.
Ramie Churchill University of Saint Mary Junior studying Digital Communications
Burnham, E. (2019, September 4). The 1984 murder of Charlie Howard in Bangor will be dramatized in the ‘IT’ sequel. Retrieved from