Halloween Horrors

Tim Powers

With the Halloween season fast approaching, it is the perfect time for a good horror movie. The release of “It: Chapter Two” takes advantage of this and brings audiences into a world of freaky, spooky and unsettling drama. 

The last time we saw the members of the losers club, they had just defeated Pennywise, a dancing clown who taunts the children he hunts before eating them. Despite the celebrations, there still was a downside since they made a blood promise to each other that if Pennywise were to return, they would also reunite. 

Now, 27 years after the events of the first film, the members of the losers club are all grown up. All of them, except Mike Hanlon, have left their hometown of Derry and moved on to build their own lives. But a murder has just been committed, and the murderer is Pennywise. Mike, who has been studying the clown’s history, then begins to call each and everyone of his childhood friends in an attempt to defeat the clown. Most of the losers club returns to Derry. 

The film is a long one with the runtime coming in at two hours and 50 minutes. The action of the movie can be separated into a few parts, after the losers club are reunited once again the first act is over. The second act begins with all of the characters separated from each other. They each have to go alone to find their own artifacts from their childhood in order to help defeat Pennywise again. This is where the film feels a little repetitive but nevertheless provides some of the weirdest and scariest moments

The cast shines bright with consistent actors as Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Bill Skarsgård. Honestly, the casting is the best part of the film because each of the adult actors must have some strong similarities to the child actors who first appeared in chapter one. Chastain’s casting is so on the nose as Beverly because she looks exactly like what you would imagine an older Sophia Lillis looking like. Hader is the perfect Richie, taking over for “Stranger Things” actor Finn Wolfhard. 

Each of the actors play their characters with strength and care, never once sitting back and letting the effects do the work. Skarsgård, in particular, is the star of the film. Pennywise is rounded, three-dimensional character in his hands when in any others he would just be another creepy clown roaming the streets. He plays Pennywise with such intensity and emotional vibrancy that it makes the character feel even more unnerving than it already should. 

In addition, the child actors of the first film do appear in many flashback scenes that moves the story forward. These particular scenes feel a little out of place, because they are moments that should have been in the first film. They include such big moments that it feels weird they were left out of the first movie. It feels like this film is almost trying to rewrite the first film in order to fit its own plot in. 

Despite this, the film does still float. At times, it is hard not to get emotional because of the characters adventures, both mentally and physically. Seeing them as children, and now as adults and how they have and haven’t changed is an emotional ride. If anything, that is the strength of the writing. It is able to keep the audience interested in its characters and their stories even after a cast change and many different paths taken. 

“It: Chapter Two” is a sturdy sequel to a strong first film. Despite never reaching the heights of the first film, the movie still has quality moments that are very well-made and entertaining. It is often not easy for films to match the same quality of the first film that is so widely loved and respected, especially with the changes made between films. The movie is the perfect film to watch this year for Halloween, giving worthy scares and creepy characters. After all, who doesn’t love to prepare for Oct. 31 by watching a hair-raising clown terrorize everyone around him?