So you survived the It movie, only to discover that there’s going to be a Chapter 2. Of course the monster isn’t truly dead and will be back terrorising Derry in another 27 years. You didn’t think you’d get away that easily, did you? Director Andy Muschietti has confirmed that pre-production for It: Chapter 2 is underway and that it’ll cover the chapters of Stephen King’s tome where the Loser’s Club return to their hometown for another slice of horror. Don’t worry, there will still be flashbacks to the ‘80s and the amusing one liners of Richie Tozier, but the majority of the movie will be about trying to vanquish It for good. Here are six questions that It Chapter 2 has to answer and my predictions for the second movie. Needless to say, movie spoilers await.
1. How does It return?
Well the thing is, while it was a truly victorious win for the Losers Club, they’ve only actually weakened It. A phenomenal cosmic power that lives in the sewers and comes from another dimension needs more than a few whacks around the head with a baseball bat to die for good. It knew it was beaten in this bout, hence wisely retreating, but 27 years later, It’s going to raise its clown head again and it’s not going to be pleasant. The manner of It’s return will probably come to Derry’s attention in a very similar way. Children will start to go missing again, horrible accidents with multiple fatalities won’t be able to be explained away by gasleaks and Derry’s curfew will begin again. Plus, if you’d been sent away hungry 27 years ago, you’d be back for serious vengeance. It’s not going to be pretty.
2. Is Henry actually dead?
This is a bit of a book spoiler but in King’s original tome, Henry Bowers, he of very little brain but very scary knife, is alive in the grown up chapters of the book. He is the one largely blamed for all of the child murders as Derry attempts to explain away the activities of It and is committed to an insane asylum. If Henry’s still alive at the bottom of that well, in It Chapter 2, he’s going to be hungry for revenge, especially when it comes to Mike who shoved him down the hole in the first place. In the book, grown up Henry who is even more terrifying than the mini version, stalks the adult Losers Club and, as a conduit of It, has plans to murder them all. As if they didn’t have enough to worry about, eh?
3. If It can only kill people who fear him, why will the grown-up Losers Club be in danger?
Fear is a funny thing. While it’s easy to say ‘oh just don’t be afraid of It,’ it’s very different to not be scared of the slavering toothy faced clown monster dancing in your direction like a possessed marionette. And yet the Losers overcome their fears in many ways. Eddie stands up to his overbearing hypochondriac mother slowly killing him with Munchausen’s by proxy, while Bev finally fights back against her abusive father. Compared to these things, It is a walkover, a monster that can be battled when you have the power of innocent childhood friendships.
There’s one word there that’s key though ‘childhood.’ Growing up takes away all of the passion of childhood and replaces it with the every day. Our fears as children aren’t the same as our adult ones. Risk, loss, grief, everything as an adult is very real and different, making round 2 with It a considerably more difficult prospect. Everyone is in danger here. The Club has been torn apart by age, only reuniting to face a monster who knows not only what they used to be afraid of but what they’re afraid of now. Expect It to use these fears as ammunition and don’t expect it to be anything less than a complete horrorshow.
4. What happened to the floating bodies after they came down? Are they alive and is Georgie among them?
Here’s a short and simple answer to a lot of questions: no one is still alive. Poor Georgie Denbrough isn’t going to go limping home with one arm. It leaves its victims brutally, 100% dead. There’s no turning back from that. This movie is based on a Stephen King book, remember? You’d have been furious if they all just got back up again and limped out of the sewers like the absurd police scene in The Dark Knight Rises. I think we can safely assume that the bodies floating magically in the sewers plummeted to the floor and were then found by entirely underprepared sewer workers. Either that or they’re still there for the sequel and now I’m going to have nightmares for week.
Plus, Georgie’s yellow rain jacket was down there which pretty much confirms that the horrific fear chameleon ate him and his arm for breakfast. In a lot of ways, this makes Bill’s shooting of It at the end of the movie even more poignant. It’s the acceptance of Georgie’s death and the power of Bill and his friends that send It back to its 27 year holiday home. This is a victory, even if it does come at the expense of too many dead children.
5. Why didn't Bev go mad when she looked at the Deadlights?
As a quick primer, the Deadlights, never mentioned in the movie by name but very much shown down the throat of Pennywise when he unhinges his jaw, is the mystical realm where It lives when he’s not terrorising Derry. In the book it also can’t be seen without the person doing the viewing going unfortunately, irrevocably insane. Bill’s wife Audra manages to come back from the brink in the book and now Bev joins her as someone who has survived the Deadlights to tell the tale. Given that the ending of the kids trip to the sewers is happily, errr, very different* from the book, director Andy Muschietti has made the choice of showing their love for each other in a sweeter, more innocent way. Ben kissing Bev to bring her back to the real world was the princess moment that the sweet friendships deserved, and probably the reason she didn’t lose her mind to the Deadlights.
*doesn’t have an actual orgy where all the boys have sex with Bev
6. Will It still look like Pennywise?
While It can take the shape of anything you fear - see Eddie’s terrifying Leper in Neibolt street for proof - I think the sequel will probably go even heavier on the Pennywise imagery than the first movie. Pennywise will have become everything that the grown up Losers fear. While they survived him, the memory of beating It in the sewers will be dredged back as they return to Derry as adults, meaning Pennywise will appear to greet them with open, sewer water drenched arms. It has a horribly grim sense of humour so it won’t be lost on It that he can torment adults as well as children. Expect some disturbing antics from Skarsgard as he returns to the fray. Balloons will just be the beginning.