REVIEW: IT – CHAPTER 2

Starring

Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
James McAvoy (His Dark Materials)
Jaeden Martell (The Book of Henry)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things)
Isaiah Mustafa (Horrible Bosses)
Jay Ryan (Beauty and The Beast)
Jeremy Ray Taylor (Geostorm)
James Ransone (Empire State)
Andy Bean (Swamp Thing)
Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Nicholas Hamilton (The Dark Tower)
Sophia Lillis (Sharp Objects)
Chosen Jacobs (Hooky)
Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!)
Stephen Bogaert (American Psycho)
Jess Weixler (Teeth)
Ari Cohen (Smallville)
Megan Charpentier (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Jackson Robert Scott (Locke & Key)

Bill Hader, James McAvoy, James Ransone, Jay Ryan, Jessica Chastain, and Isaiah Mustafa in It Chapter Two (2019)In 2016 Derry, Maine, Don Hagarty witnesses his boyfriend Adrian Mellon being murdered by Pennywise after a gang of homophobic teenagers beat up and throw Adrian off a bridge while leaving the annual Derry carnival. Overhearing a police scanner, Mike Hanlon discovers It has returned and calls his childhood friends, Bill Denbrough, Ben Hanscom, Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, and Stanley Uris, back to Derry to honor the promise they made in 1989 to kill It if it came back. While the others travel to Derry with only hazy memories and a sense of dread, Stan slashes his wrists in the bathtub soon after getting the call. The Losers meet for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, where Mike refreshes their memories while they are tormented by hallucinations and learn of Stan’s death.Jessica Chastain in It Chapter Two (2019)Richie and Eddie decide to leave until Beverly reveals that ever since she was exposed to It’s Deadlights, she has been experiencing visions of their deaths should they fail or leave town without fulfilling their promise. Mike takes Bill to his library abode and shows him, via a drug-induced vision, that the Shokopiwah Native American tribe’s Ritual of Chüd can stop It for good. After the others agree to perform the ritual, Mike explains that the ritual requires seven personal items from their past to be sacrificed. At a baseball game, a little girl named Victoria is killed after It deceives her by saying that he can remove a birthmark from her face. Meanwhile, Henry Bowers, who survived being pushed into the well at the Neibolt house and was arrested for murdering his father in 1989, escapes from a mental institution with help from It.Bill Skarsgård in It Chapter Two (2019)Getting Stan’s shower cap in the Losers’ old clubhouse, Mike advises the others to find their artifacts by retracing their steps following their falling out after first entering the Neibolt house. Beverly finds Ben’s love letter at her old home, still believing Bill wrote it, and encounters It posing as Mrs. Kersh. Ben recalls his childhood encounter with It at high school before realizing his artifact is the yearbook page Beverly signed which he kept in his wallet. Both Richie and Eddie recall their own personal encounters with It while retrieving their artifacts: a game token from an abandoned arcade, and an inhaler. Pennywise taunts Richie about his sexuality, leading to him deciding to leave again and reconsidering again after recalling Stan’s bar mitzvah, before menacing Eddie in the guise of the Leper, but flees when Eddie standing up to It causes the being to shrink in size.Bill finds his childhood bicycle “Silver” and recovers the paper boat from the storm drain where Georgie was killed while meeting a boy named Dean, who they saw earlier at the restaurant and lives at his old house and hears voices from the shower drain. Bill regroups with the others before running off to the carnival and into a funhouse after learning It is going after Dean, only to end up watching helplessly as It kills the boy in front of him. Henry unsuccessfully attempts to murder Eddie before attacking Mike, though Richie intervenes and kills him. The Losers join a traumatized Bill at the Neibolt house, talking him out of facing It alone out of guilt.Owen Teague in It Chapter Two (2019)The group descends into a cavern beneath the sewers, Mike providing a rock from the Losers’ fight with the Bowers Gang as they perform the ritual in the remains of the meteor that brought It to Earth ages ago. The ritual appears to work in trapping the Deadlights in the sealing jar, but they escape after It emerges from the jar in a giant spider-like form. It pressures Mike into revealing that It killed those who previously performed the ritual and that Mike created the sealing jar. Mike assures the others they have a better chance in facing their fears but they accuse Mike of lying to them. It attacks the Losers and places Bill, Ben, and Beverly in nightmarish scenarios, which they escape once Bill lets go of his guilt over Georgie’s death and Beverly realizes Ben wrote the love letter, while Richie and Eddie are forced to choose from three doors.Bill Skarsgård in It Chapter Two (2019)Mike gets caught by It, but Richie manages to distract It allowing Mike to escape, getting caught in It’s Deadlights, and Eddie is fatally impaled after saving him. Eddie reveals how he made It feel small earlier, making the Losers realize they can do that by exploiting his requirement of a physical form and how they see it. They begin taunting It, showing that they are not afraid of any of It’s forms and calling the creature “just a clown.” Their plan works, with It surprisingly regressing physically and mentally into a helpless infant. Mike proceeds to rip out It’s heart so he and the Losers can crush it, finally killing It for good. Eddie dies from his injuries, and the Losers are forced to leave him behind when It’s death causes a cave-in that destroys the Neibolt house.The remaining Losers comfort Richie as he mourns for Eddie, their ordeal’s end signified by the scars on their hands disappearing. After the Losers part ways, Ben and Beverly become a couple, Richie returns to the kissing bridge where he had once carved his and Eddie’s initials, Mike decides to move out of Derry and start a new life, and Bill begins writing his new story before receiving a call from Mike as he leaves Derry, learning that Stan sent them all posthumous letters. Stan reveals in his letter that he was too scared to deal with Pennywise again and his suicide was actually a means to give his friends a fighting chance against It and asks the remaining Losers to live life to the fullest.It: Chapter Two is a great conclusion to the It duology with a final battle that goes on 15 minutes too long and some rushed scenes, but has great acting and mostly great writing, while maintaining the first movie’s strong message about friendship. It’s definitely the inferior of the two movies, but it’s still a phenomenal watch that I highly recommend.

REVIEW: IT (2017)

CAST

Bill Skarsgård (Atomic Blonde)
Jaeden Lieberher (The Book of Henry)
Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Jeremy Ray Taylor (Geostorm)
Sophia Lillis (37)
Jaeden Martell (Knives Out)
Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things)
Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!)
Chosen Jacobs (Hooky)
Nicholas Hamilton (The Dark Tower)
Stephen Bogaert (American Psycho)
Steven Williams (Jason Goes To Hell)
Megan Charpentier (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Ari Cohen (Smallville)
Jackson Robert Scott (Locke & Key)

In October 1988, stuttering teenager Bill Denbrough gives his seven-year-old brother, Georgie, a paper sailboat. Georgie sails the boat along the rainy streets of small town Derry, and is disappointed when it falls down a storm drain. As he attempts to retrieve it Georgie sees a clown in the sewer, who introduces himself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”. The clown entices Georgie to come closer, then severs his arm and drags him into the sewer.The following summer, Bill and his friends (loudmouth Richie Tozier, hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak, and timid Stan Uris) run afoul of bully Henry Bowers and his gang. Bill, still haunted by Georgie’s disappearance and the resulting neglect from his grief-stricken parents, discovers that his brother’s body may have washed up in a marshy wasteland called the Barrens. He recruits his friends to check it out, believing his brother may still be alive.“New kid” Ben Hanscom learns that the town has been plagued by unexplained tragedies and child disappearances for centuries. He is targeted by Bowers’ gang for being fat, after which he flees into the Barrens and meets Bill’s group. They find the sneaker of a missing girl, while a member of the pursuing Bowers Gang, Patrick Hockstetter, is killed by Pennywise while searching the sewers for Ben.Beverly Marsh, a girl ostracized over rumors of promiscuity, also joins the group; both Bill and Ben develop feelings for her. Later, the group befriends homeschool student Mike Hanlon after defending him from Bowers. All the while each member of the group has encountered terrifying phenomena in various forms; these include a menacing clown, a headless boy, a fountain of blood, a diseased and rotting man, a creepy painting come to life, Mike’s parents burning alive, and a phantom Georgie.Now calling themselves “The Losers Club”, they realize they are all being terrorized by the same entity. They determine that Pennywise (or “It”) assumes the appearance of what they fear, awakens every 27 years to feed on the children of Derry before returning to hibernation, and moves about by using sewer lines—which all lead to a well currently under the creepy, abandoned house at 29 Neibolt Street. After an attack by Pennywise, the group ventures to the house to confront him, only to be separated and terrorized. Eddie breaks his arm, while Pennywise gloats to Bill about Georgie. As they regroup, Beverly impales Pennywise through the head, forcing the clown to retreat. However, after the encounter the group begins to splinter, with only Bill and Beverly resolute in fighting It.Weeks later, after Beverly confronts and incapacitates her sexually abusive father, she is abducted by Pennywise. The Losers Club reassembles and travels back to the Neibolt house to rescue her. Henry Bowers, who has killed his father after being compelled into madness by It, attacks the group. Mike fights back and pushes Bowers down the well to his apparent death. The Losers descend into the sewers and find It’s underground lair, which contains a mountain of decayed circus props and children’s belongings, around which the bodies of missing children float in mid-air. Beverly, now catatonic after being exposed to It’s true form, is restored to consciousness as Ben kisses her. Bill encounters Georgie, but recognizes that he’s Pennywise in disguise. Pennywise attacks the group and takes Bill hostage, offering to spare the others if they let It keep Bill. The Losers reject this and reaffirm their friendship, overcoming their various fears. After a brutal battle they defeat Pennywise and he retreats, with Bill declaring that It will starve during its hibernation. Their victory is bittersweet, as Bill finally accepts his brother’s death and is comforted by his friends.As summer ends, Beverly informs the group of a vision she had while catatonic, where she saw them fighting the creature as adults. The Losers swear a blood oath that they will return to Derry as adults if It returns and destroy the creature once and for all. Stanley, Eddie, Richie, Mike, and Ben make their goodbyes as the group disperses. Beverly tells Bill she is leaving the next day to live with her aunt in Portland. Before she leaves, Bill reveals his feelings and they kiss.The acting. Great performances all round. The kids had great chemistry, and you really believe that they were all great friends. It reminded me of Stand By Me and The Goonies. Out of the child actors, Richie (played by Finn Wolfhard) was my favourite and his jokes cracked the whole cinema up. Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise is scary and really creeped me out, but for me there was just something missing about his character and I think he wasn’t given enough dialogue.but for an adaption from a book, they managed to condense the original material very well.Overall, it  was a great Horror/ Thriller film that kept me on the edge of my seat, with strong performances.

REVIEW: STEPHEN KING’S IT (1990)

CAST

Tim Curry (Legend)
Harry Anderson (The Escape Artist)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Dennis Christopher (Fade To Black)
Richard Masur (The Burning Bed)
Annette O’ Toole (Smallville)
Emily Perkins (Ginger Snaps)
Tim Reid (That 70s Show)
John Ritter (Bad Santa)
Richard Thomas (The Waltons)
Jonathan Brandis (Seaquest)
Michael Cole (Chuka)
Olivia Hussey (Black Christmas)
Garry Chalk (Arrow)
Venus Terzo (Arrow)
Frank C. Turner (Alone In The Dark)
Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3)
Steve Makaj (Stargate SG.1)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Megan Leitch (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Laura Harris (Dead Like Me)

In Derry, Maine, 1960, a young boy named George “Georgie” Denbrough is lured to a storm drain by a strange, yet seemingly kind, man dressed in a clown costume named Pennywise. After a brief conversation, Pennywise reveals his malevolent nature and murders Georgie. Georgie’s older brother Bill is taunted by Pennywise as well. He and six other outcast children, who form a group called the Losers Club, discover they are all being tormented by the ambiguous clown. The rest of the group consists of the overweight but smart Ben Hanscom, asthmatic Eddie Kaspbrak who lives with his overprotective mother, Beverly Marsh who lives with her alcoholic father, comical Richie Tozier, Jewish boy scout Stan Uris, and African-American student Mike Hanlon. In turn, all of them are bullied by the psychotic Henry Bowers and his gang.

The Losers soon theorize that Pennywise is not a human being, he is instead an otherworldly creature that surfaces every thirty years in Derry to murder children and therefore they dub him “It”. To avenge Georgie and others killed by It, the Losers venture into the sewers where the clown lurks. They are followed by Henry and his friends Victor Criss and Belch Huggins, who threaten Stan, only for It to kill Victor and Belch, but spares the terrified Henry, whose hair turns white. It, as Pennywise, catches up to the Losers and grabs Stan, bragging that he is immortal and eats children. Guessing It’s powers are based around imagination, the Losers fight back using the same power, melting Pennywise’s face with imaginary battery acid and Beverly smashes a hole in his head using a silver projectile. Pennywise escapes wounded, and the seven make a promise to return and kill him should It resurface. Henry is arrested and institutionalized when he confesses to murdering his friends and the children It killed.

Thirty years later, in 1990, Pennywise returns and begins murdering children in Derry. Mike, a librarian still living in Derry, summons his six friends back to Derry to fulfil their vow. Bill has become a horror novelist married to actress Audra Phillips, Ben is an architect, Beverly is a fashion designer but in an unhappy relationship, Richie is a late night TV comedian, Eddie runs a limousine service but still lives with his mother, and Stan is a real estate broker. While five of them agree to come, Stan commits suicide in his bath tub and writes “It” on the wall in blood. The remaining six are individually scared by Pennywise, before reuniting for dinner, though Pennywise frightens them there too. They soon learn of Stan’s suicide shortly after.

Elsewhere, an older Henry is visited and befriended by Pennywise who sends him to Derry to kill the Losers. Audra also arrives in town following Bill but falls victim to It’s paralyzing “deadlights” and falls into a catatonic state. Henry wounds Mike, but is killed by his own knife during a scuffle with the other Losers. With Mike hospitalised, the five remaining Losers decide to destroy It for good. They confront It, who now appears as a monstrous spider. Eddie is killed by It, but Beverly mortally wounds It with her slingshot, and the Losers tear the spider apart. They remove the comatose Audra and Eddie’s body from the sewers, burying him in Derry’s cemetery.
The Losers go their separate ways, free from It’s torment forever. Richie is cast in a film, Beverly and Ben get married and are expecting their first child, and Mike recovers. Bill manages to coax Audra out of her catatonia by going on a ride on his childhood bicycle, which had once freed a young Stan from his fear. With It gone, the Losers can move on with their lives and leave Derry behind.Tim Curry is amazing as Pennywise, bringing a truly terrifying dimension to the evil clown. There are incredible performances from the child stars, all of whom are engaging and. The adult versions of the children are also excellent, particularly Tim Reid, Richard Thomas and, of course, the late, great John Ritter.  It’s worth mentioning that the DVD of “Stephen King’s It” contains an excellent commentary by the actors mentioned and the director, Tommy Lee Wallace (who also directed “Halloween 3:Season Of The Witch”). It is full of great trivia and anecdotes and John Ritter’s charisma and genuine love of the project shines through. So if you’re a fan of great horror and don’t mind developing a fear of clowns, then I highly recommend this under-rated gem of a movie!