(so good it’s scary? Whatever, watch the movie)
by Liv Langenberg
Pennywise is back and better than ever, baby! Twenty-seven years of hibernation does an evil clown good, let me tell you. *Wink.* Now, let’s get one thing straight. I don’t like horror movies. I’m a whiny little bitch, for one, and I’m not a huge fan of blood and gore. That said I’m probably not the most qualified person to write a review about It Chapter Two, a horror movie. Am I going to do it anyway? Duh.
So if I don’t like horror movies, why did I go see this one? Thing is… I think Pennywise is one of the funniest and most frightening villains of all time. If you’ve seen the moment in It Chapter One where Pennywise does that little dance for Beverly, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I saw the first movie rather belatedly, and I found it extremely terrifying, yet thrilling at the same time. If you’re not familiar with the story, I’ll give you a quick run-down. It takes place in a town in Maine called Derry, which doesn’t actually exist, but is like most small towns on the East Coast. We’re introduced to two brothers, Bill and Georgie. Georgie reaaaally wants to go play outside, but it’s raining, so Bill doesn’t want to. Thus, our little friend Georgie, clad in a cute yellow raincoat, goes out to play with a paper sailboat. Fun! Unfortunately, the sailboat falls from his tiny hands and falls into a storm drain. But don’t worry! The sailboat has been caught by our good pal, Pennywise, who was hanging out in the sewers. He tells Georgie to come closer and proceeds to bite his arm off and drag him into the darkness. Oop. Big brother Bill is SO upset, obviously, and blames himself for the ~mysterious~ disappearance of Georgie.
Eventually, we find out that Pennywise has been hard at work terrorizing several children in Derry. He appears as each child’s biggest fear, creating sick mind games that leave them absolutely horrified, naturally. That’s the thing–It is a supernatural evil being, so it can take all kinds of forms. Pennywise, The Dancing Clown, is only one of his forms, though definitely his favorite. Clowns are a classic fear, after all. Once some of the kids realize the same thing has traumatized them all, they band together, calling themselves The Losers Club, and vow to defeat It. At the end of the first movie, they’ve succeeded, at least for now, and they promise to return to Derry if the clown ever surfaces again. Which he will.
That’s where we are at the beginning of It Chapter Two. It’s been twenty-seven years and our “Losers Club” is all grown up! All of them have left their hometown, except for Mike, who has remained in Derry as a library assistant. The movie opens with a really disturbing scene where a gay couple is beaten by some dickhead homophobes, and one is thrown off a bridge, only to be finished off by good ol’ Pennywise. (This was in the book, just so you know.) Mike senses that his childhood terror is back, so he calls all the Losers and tells them to get their asses back to Derry. I mean, c’mon, they promised.
I’m not going to tell you the rest of the plot, because then, there’d be no reason for you to go to the theaters and pay my friend Pennywise a visit. Rather, I’ll let you know what I thought of it. To set the scene, it was about 9pm on a Saturday night, I had just taken my first shower in several days, and my roommate barged into my room to tell me that we were going to the movies. Next thing I know, I’m at a theater in a strip mall by Yankee Stadium ready to have my shit rocked by my favorite dancing clown. I’m a little bitch, remember?
Let’s just say that I was squirming around and squealing the entire three hours of the movie. That’s right, three hours. Get yourself a catheter if you can’t sit for that long because you BETTER NOT get up and leave while Pennywise is hard at work entertaining you. Supposedly, there’s a good number of people who didn’t enjoy the movie, thinking they relied too much on special effects and less on actual terror. They’ve got a point, but I was still absolutely horrified. Bill Skarsgard is terrific at playing Pennywise, and I love the adult cast versions of the Losers. I’ll admit that this film included way too many weird zombie-like versions of It that didn’t make sense to me. Nonetheless, I left the theater feeling thoroughly entertained, uncomfortable, and scared, so I’d call it a win. Plus this was Bill Hader’s first horror movie. How can you hate on that? All in all, I liked the movie, but the first “chapter” was definitely better. I’m sure we can all agree on one thing, though: The devil works hard, but Pennywise works harder.