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Movie Review

IT: Chapter 2

By Anna Seningen, '22

"It: Chapter Two", a film adaptation of Stephen King's 1986 horror novel, grossed over $469 million worldwide.

The sequel closely follows in suit with it's first movie, "It", which is currently the highest grossing horror movie in the history of the United States. The second chapter in the "It" cinematic universe's gross falls closely behind "The Conjuring" and "The Ring", with $211 million in the US and Canada. In the case of "It: Chapter Two", many, including myself, were ready to be frightened by Pennywise The Dancing Clown one last time.

The audience was indeed terrified as the sequel to "It" was much scarier than its record-breaking predecessor. The main motives of the horror aspect were the jump scares and of course, the child-killing clown. The sequel follows 27 years after the first film when the Losers Club has grown up, and forgotten all about Derry, their old buddies, and their traumatic childhoods. All except for Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa), who has not left Derry. However, Pennywise is not finished terrorizing and tormenting the town of Derry and that means one thing: a Loser's Club reunion.

In the sequel, the audience is introduced to the older version of the Loser's Club and I, for one, was quite impressed with the casting. Such as the casting when it came to wiseguy Richie Tozier (Bill Hader) who was originally played by Finn Wolfhard, best known for his role in Stranger Things.

Unlike other horror movies, this one delves much deeper into the themes that play a role throughout the course of our lives. This is due to the source material of the movie which happens to be one of the most popular horror novels of all time. "It" by Stephen King has sold millions of copies since its publication. The 1,100 page novel has its own faults such as its length and the questionable sewer scene with the kids, but overall tells a story of memory, perseverance, and conquering evil.

After watching "It" in 2017, I left the theater and went straight to the nearest bookstore to pick up a copy of the novel. Over the course of a year, and many, many tears later, I finished the book. Naturally, I was ecstatic to find out that there would be a second movie following the 2017 adaptation. When I got to the theater, I left only slightly disappointed with its outcome.

The increase in the horror aspect of the sequel, in comparison to the 2017 adaptation, was a pleasant surprise to horror-loving fans such as myself. Another surprise came when the credits rolled and I was the only one in the theatre left crying. The emotional aspect of the film was much greater than I had anticipated and, perhaps because I read the novel, the end of the film tugged at my heartstrings much more. However, the disappointment came from the lack of humor. Certain things that the young Loser's Club get away with in the first film come off as awkward and out of place in adult hands and mouths. The alteration of the kids' faces and voices were quite obvious and executed poorly. For example, Finn Wolfhard's face throughout the film was generated by computer images.

Not surprising, the movie differs greatly from its source material. In some ways this was a good thing, such as cutting out a questionable scene in the novel. But in others, such as removing the ending from the novel (which is not at all happy), seemed to bring down the plot of the movie.

"It: Chapter Two" was greater in its sense of horror and emotional impact but the film can't quite beat its record breaking predecessor.

Overall, the movie would receive four out of five stars.