It: Chapter Two

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

5/5 (1)

Stephen King definitely doesn’t work for the Maine Tourism Association. His horror novels have featured such Maine locations as Castle Rock and Derry. I don’t want to go there.

Derry, as you will recall, is home to Pennywise the Clown.

To you non-readers, that’s a centuries-old creature known as It.

An ancient cosmic evil that preys upon children, It is a shapeshifting monster who visits Derry every 27 years.

In the recent movie version of “It,” ol’ Pennywise took on a group of kids known as the Losers’ Club. But these determined rug rats managed to defeat It.

We thought.

Turns out, 27 years have now passed and It has returned to Derry. So do the members of the Losers’ Club, now grownups, but still determined to put an end to this nightmare.

Apparently, movie audiences don’t have that option. “It Chapter Two” has invaded theaters, currently showing at Tropic Cinema.

This movie is not considered a sequel, but simply the second half of the original story. The Losers’ Club as children; the Losers’ Club as adults.

We get flashbacks to the younger kids (Jaeden Martell as Bill, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley).

But now we get to meet their grown-up selves (in the same order: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransome, and Andy Bean).

Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård reprises his role as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

As this movie begins, most of the members of the Losers’ Club have left Derry. But when Pennywise shows up again, Mike phones up his childhood pals and insists they come back to defeat It for good.

Stephen King says he came up with the idea for Pennywise after asking himself what scared children “more than anything else in the world.” The answer was clowns.

Then he combined the idea of a malevolent clown with the concept of a troll as in “Three Billy Goats Gruff,” but instead of being found under a bridge, Pennywise inhabits the sewers of Derry, Maine.

Is there a message behind the horror? According to the movie’s director, Andy Muschietti, “We live in a world where there’s a culture of fear, where some leaders have a strong pull on people, which is exactly what Pennywise does.”

Muschietti continues, “You can take it as an analogy: If you are separated, you’re more vulnerable, you’re more weak, and you’re easier to conquer … That’s exactly what Pennywise does, and that’s what’s going on. That’s what’s happening in this world right now.”

Guess we’ll need to tune into Fox or CNN to look for modern-day trolls. Or clowns.

Email Shirrel: srhoades@aol.com

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