This Week: IT: Chapter 2 (2019)
So. . .between seeing IT (2017) and seeing this movie, I ended up reading the book. I had considered reading the book a few times, but the length always cleared me off and when I considered listening to the audiobook, I nixed that idea immediately because I was worried they would monkey with the audio. However, after reading Stephen King’s The Stand, IT became fairly light reading by comparison. So I knew a lot more going into this movie than I did the last one.
So well before I could be amazed by the story and the effects, now I was stuck comparing the movie to the book. Brilliant plan, TK!
I actually really enjoyed this movie. The first movie just had the most amazing cast as far as the kids went, and then having to recast them as adults is just an impossible task. But amazingly, they all work out very well. I would say the absolute BEST of the casting was Eddie. Others you can sort of see the younger version sort of looking like the older version, but Eddie is carbon copy. I had to double check that they WEREN’T father and son. Richie may have been my favorite of the last movie, but Eddie was my favorite this time.
Another casting decision I need to bring up is the adult version of Ben. All the other actors seemed like great casting choices because they looked a lot like the younger actors or they were James McAvoy. However, for Ben’s actor, it seemed they went out and got a male model. I kind of expected all the other actors to be talking about how terrified they were of Pennywise and then it gets to Ben and he’s like the Rock in Jumanji.
But honestly, he does a great job. The older and younger actor even have similar eyes.
Before we get much further, probably a good idea to throw up a spoiler warning, for both the movie AND the book.
So as I mentioned, I now had the burden of knowledge going into IT: Chapter 2. Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. There was some major differences between the book and the movie (besides the time periods). One of the big factors is outside of briefly appearing in the beginning of the movie, Bill and Beverly’s spouses do not show up again. In the book, they both end up coming to Derry and end up taken by Pennywise. In the movie, they chastise their respective spouse and that’s it.
And for the most part, I’m okay with that. Except for one little, tiny detail that they change. And it drives me crazy for the entire run of the movie.
In the book, Beverly’s husband is an abusive controlling asshole. He hates the fact that Beth smokes and beats her every time she lights up around him. In fact, when Beth gets the call to return to Derry, she is so wrapped up, that she lights up right in front of him and he decides he is going to whip her with his belt. She then remembers she had the strength to take down motherf***ing Pennywise and ended beating this asshat all over the house with his own damn belt.
In the movie, Beverly’s husband plays up that he is a good and caring guy before he then grabs her and accuses her of cheating on him with this “Mike” guy who called. She then hits him with a vase and runs off and he screams after her.
I initially wrote it off that they didn’t want to show smoking in the movie due to the strict regulations surrounding use of tobacco in movies and television. But then you see Beverly light up half a dozen times in the movie. Each time she did it, I grumbled in my seat about belts.
I honestly would have happily made the movie another 10-20 minutes longer just to get a satisfying asswhooping of Bev’s husband with a belt. It would have made me so happy.
There is some debate between which of these movies is scarier. My vote is this one, but there are some factors that make this one scarier for me than it necessarily would be for others. I have a deep seated fear of dead/ghostly women. The classic Lady in White ghosts and specters are my high octane nightmare fuel. It’s one of the reasons you don’t see a review of The Curse of La Llarona on this site.
So when Beverly goes to her old apartment and encounters
, I end up freaking out in my seat.
Also young Beverly with her hair on fire chasing young Ben also sent my heart rate into danger zones.
One of the big things everyone is talking about is the ending. Hell, in the very beginning they lampshade that the book ending sucks and that they want to change it for the movie by having everyone, even Stephen King, telling Bill that he can’t write a good ending.
There are three major changes to the ending. Two of them I am okay with, one of them I am disappointed by.
- The ritual of chud doesn’t work, and they have to insult Pennywise to death. I’m kind of fine with this because the book is weird on this front. I just don’t believe this can work in a movie. Because in the book it seems like Bill and Richie kind of Astral Project to the edge of the macroverse and kind of out will IT as Ben goes egg smashing. It is a very abstract thing that would be difficult to put into a movie.
- Everyone remembers everything. In the book, after Pennywise is defeated, people go back to not remembering what happened in Derry. Bev and Ben hook up and forget. Nobody can remember Stanley or Eddie’s names. Life moves on. Now, they state that the reason they forgot the first time was due to IT making them forget. Now they remember everything and get to keep it. Ultimately, I’m fine with this because it kind of negates a tragedy in the book of the dead characters being forgotten completely.
- Derry is not destroyed following the death of IT. In the book, part of what was holding Derry together was IT’s presence. After IT is destroyed, an earthquake rocks Derry and ends up destroying about a third of it and killing hundreds of people. In the movie, just the house on Neibolt street is destroyed. I would have liked the massive destruction at the end, but nobody asked for my input. Also I think it would have taken away the last shot of the Loser’s club all together.
Ultimately I think it is a great movie and although it makes some significant changes, I think it captures the spirit of the novel very well.
Next Week: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Ampersands at FULL POWER!