What happens when childhood trauma carries over into adulthood? IT: Chapter 2 explores this idea as it revisits the Losers Club. However, it is twenty-seven years later and they are currently adults. The Losers Club will once again have to face off against Pennywise — a monstrous shapeshifter — when they retreat to their hometown of Derry.
Some of them discover that they are not over their childhood fears as Pennywise continues to torture them by turning into the monsters that terrified them as children. Pennywise’s power over their minds creates a fear so intense for these characters that many even begin to revert back to their childlike demeanors. Other characters have more adult fears that bring up humanitarian issues that Pennywise is still able to exploit as easily as he did their kiddish fears.
IT: Chapter 2 does a fantastic job revealing how trauma can affect the human subconscious all while being entertaining and disturbing.
A Journey To IT: Chapter 2
The characters have depth from the very beginning in IT: Chapter 1, making them relatable and lovable. They feel like real people. The audience was previously invested in the journey of the Children’s Losers Club from the first film, making it easy to connect with the adult versions in the second film. The film revisits a lot of old trauma. At first glance, the repetition of the adult characters being in the exact same situations they were in as kids can seem to lack imagination.
But flashbacks and faceoffs are necessitated for the characters to overcome their fears. Eddie is still plagued by his germaphobia so he needs to have a standoff with the leper. Bill needs to come face to face with a zombified Georgie to find a way to forgive himself for feeling guilty for Georgie’s death. These interactions are important in driving the story forward.
Pennywise is able to easily prey on children because he is just a physical manifestation of the very human internal struggles that people fear. Kids do not know how to express certain struggles and subsequently do not know how to deal with them. This makes them easy targets. IT: Chapter 2 did a wonderful job showcasing how different it is for adults to sort through their pain. The adult version of the Losers Club understood their feelings and used them to their advantage when battling Pennywise.
IT Was A Cinematic Beauty
It: Chapter 2 was a feast for the eyes. The colors were well saturated and the picture comes in clear. The audience is able to follow along with the fast-paced action even when it takes place in the dark. Pennywise has more close-ups of the incredible makeup and costume design. Shots of Pennywise preying on children in enclosed spaces created a feeling of claustrophobia and nailbiting tension. It was a creative director choice that worked well.
Pennywise is largely CGI and looks believable when he unhinges his jaw, grows larger, or any other creepy effects. However, CGI was used to de-age some of the children because many of them now have deeper voices and are taller since filming the first film. It can be a bit distracting at first with closeups of children that look so unnatural that it pulls the audience out of the film for a spell.
The sound likewise played a large part in setting an eerie tone. Many of the sounds were off-beat, turning predictable jump scares into genuine thrills. Hearing glass cracking, blood splattering, and unidentified thumping made the visual horror even more horrifying.
A Lesson From Pennywise
The closing chapter of a horrifying story deals with the issue of trauma in the most beautiful, subtle way. Andrés Muschietti did a great job of bringing a unique, new, versatile Pennywise to screen and adapting Stephen King‘s iconic work. Pennywise can have you looking over your shoulder on your way back to your car while also making you contemplate what it means to grow up. IT: Chapter 2 is scary, funny, political, and sad; it is worth the watch and all of the praise.