The brutal opening scene of IT Chapter 2 received a lot of criticism, but the sequence is actually stronger than the blurry and goofy sequel.

IT Chapter 2 It features a truly shocking opening scene, but the rest of the Stephen King sequel doesn’t live up to its brutal promise. Launched in 2017, IT Chapter 1 was a blockbuster film adaptation of Carrie the bestselling doorstop from the creator Stephen King of the same name. THAT told the story of the Losers Club, a group of childhood friends who defeated Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a monstrous being responsible for all manner of murder, violence and hatred in his hometown of Derry, Maine.

Bouncing between the boy’s original confrontation with Pennywise and his reunion when he returns 27 years later, the ambitious novel THAT was originally adapted as a television miniseries in 1990. However, despite remaining an iconic early horror experience for many ’90s kids, this adaptation of THAT it was far from perfect. Elevated by a terrifying, but also hilarious twist from Tim Curry as Pennywise, the original miniseries was bogged down by a never-ending backstory, lame effects, and uneven performances from the adult cast.

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As such, the novel was ready for a new adaptation when director Andy Muschietti IT Chapter 1 arrived in 2017. Combining sweet coming-of-age nostalgia with surprisingly effective horror sequences, THAT it was a success both with the public and critics. Released in September 2019, the sequel IT Chapter 2 (which chronicles the adult reunion of the original’s teen cast) initially promised an equally effective follow-up. However, after a stellar opening scene, the film failed to regain the fierce and heartbreaking tone that the opening established.

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Explanation of the opening scene of chapter two of IT

IT Chapter Two Scene from Adrian Mellon

The opening scene of IT Chapter 2 presents an eerily realistic kind of horror that the Nightmare on Elm Street-Fantasy in the style of the film’s predecessor. While the sight of Pennywise pulling a poker out of his skull was undeniably terrifying, the explicit hate crime depicted in the opening of IT Chapter 2 it is realistic, disturbing and difficult to see. Based on the real-life murder of Charlie Howard, who was beaten to death and drowned by homophobic thugs in the mid-1980s, the sequence drew a lot of criticism in the sequel due to its intense content. However, the biggest problem with Episode 2The opening scene isn’t that the shocking sequence is out of place, but rather that the surrounding film should have struggled to match the scene’s dark and brutal tone.

TI Chapter 2 is lighter than Chapter 1

Pennywise in a lumberjack statue in It Chapter Two

Perhaps understandable, given how well the lighter tone of ’80s horror struck. Strange things‘later seasons were received, which the creators of IT Chapter 2 I wanted a more fun follow-up. From the goofy antics of the Chinese restaurant scene to dropping the subplot of Beverly’s abusive husband (not to mention the infamous silly “Morning Angel” scene), IT Chapter 2 leans toward a funnier tone than IT Chapter 1 throughout its long run time. This shift in tone isn’t a bad thing in and of itself (though this makes the first movie scarier by comparison), but the decision blunts Pennywise’s effectiveness as a villain, making the opening scene feel wildly out of place.

The opening scene of IT Chapter 2 does not have its novel context

IT - Patrick Hockstetter in sewerage

In the original novel, the murder of Adrian Mellon is as disturbing as it appears on screen in IT Chapter 2But it is contextualized by a significant number of equally disturbing atrocities, realistically portrayed. The abuse of Beverly by her father and later her husband, the racism of Henry Bowers, and the sadistic animal abuse portrayed by his friend Patrick Hockstetter all conspire to make scenes of violent homophobia feel horribly at home in Derry. On the contrary, in the film version of IT Chapter 2Derry is home to a goofy monster who switches between being a creepy old woman and a sentient lumberjack statue, making the opening hate crime vile feel strangely out of place with the rest of the film.

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Pennywise is (originally) a metaphorical monster

wasted wasteland

Both the novel and the film adaptations of THAT They’re rich in the allegory King is famous for, and in the original novel, it’s clear that Pennywise represents the racism, ignorance, prejudice, homophobia, and misogyny that lurk under the lighthearted guise of all-American suburbs. Many adaptations of King deviate from their original texts, but in the case of IT Chapter 2, dismissing the connection between Pennywise and the issues he represents makes the initial murder difficult to justify or place in context. In the film adaptations of THATThe first film’s less focus on racism towards Mike Hanlon and a greater focus on Beverly’s abusive father means that Pennywise comes to represent personal trauma rather than great social ills.

As a result, the sequel’s attempts to add a subtextual gay relationship between Eddie and Richie, while admirable and elevated by Bill Hader’s poignant performance as the grown-up Richie in the closet, does feel somewhat added. This problem is particularly egregious when your connection is established primarily through flashbacks that weren’t included in the first movie. Pennywise does not represent the petty homophobia or religious bigotry that King previously criticized in The fog That prevented the pair from expressing their affection for each other in the first film, so the sequel’s attempts to add this connection feel undeserved.

Pennywise from Chapter 2 is unrealistic (until it is)

IT Chapter 2 Bad CGI - Beverly with her head on fire

Appearing as a reeling leper, a haunted painting, and even an evil librarian, they all seek out Pennywise in the original film, where his victims are children who still have childhood ideas about what fear best represents. However, in IT Chapter 2 The Adult Losers Club continues to envision Pennywise as even more exaggerated and ridiculous monsters like Bev’s old ghoul, the giant lumberjack, and the now vomiting leper, except for the scene where Pennywise is portrayed as the animating force. a group. of teenagers to brutally murder a man for his sexuality.

This jump ruins Stephen King’s villain, as the opening scene offers a conceptual interpretation of Pennywise’s power that clashes with the rest of the film “he’s a big spider / a clown / a scary zombie.” Having Pennywise embody the kind of senseless cruelty of a heinous hate crime could have made him scarier, more unspeakable, and more resonant. However, using the power of Pennywise as a metaphor for social ills once in a movie featuring the clown as a Freddy Krueger-style shapeshifting demon does IT Chapter 2is opening up a promise of a darker, scarier movie that never happens.

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