Coulrophobes beware: IT’s back and showing now at Ster-Kinekor. It’s been 27 years, and the supernatural evil that terrorised the cursed town of Derry has returned, all the stronger for its former defeat. The now dispersed adult members of the Losers’ Club come home for round two with Pennywise the dancing clown, all weighed down by the baggage of their respective pasts.
With IT having scored record-breaking box office results in 2017, IT: Chapter Two is one of the most hotly anticipated horror films of the year. It continues the largely faithful rendition of Stephen King’s novel about a group of children forced to confront their worst fears.
As in so many of King’s stories, the true evil of IT lies in the human acts of meanness and abuse, rather than the supernatural terror. While there are frights galore – and enough blood to put Freddy and Michael Myers to shame – IT is driven by a real fondness for its characters, something that Stephen King himself praised after seeing the 2017 movie (twice).
“If you like the characters, you care, and then the scares generally work,” he says, in a 2017 interview, later adding that, “one of the things I wanted to do in all of my novels, is to create characters that are fundamentally decent… That way… you don’t want them wiped out, you want them to live and you want them to win. And that’s one of the things that translates into the film.”
The outstanding performances of the movie’s young cast did a great job in getting audiences to care about the Losers’ Club. In fact, many critics felt that IT’s appeal as a nostalgic, coming of age story, along the lines of King’s Stand By Me (and with shades of Stranger Things thanks to its revised 80s setting), overshadowed the horror story. Chapter Two continues in this vein, while amplifying the scare factor. Early reviews note that it’s a surprisingly emotional film, with the ending being lauded both for its nail-biting suspense and uplifting finale. Bill Hader – best known as the title character in Barry – puts in a performance touted as Oscar worthy.
Ster-Kinekor is releasing the film countrywide to its commercial, IMAX and D-BOX theatres, which means that horror fans can take the fright factor up a notch, either by experiencing it in IMAX’s immersive treatment or by living the action as their D-BOX seats move them. IT: Chapter Two is also releasing in Cine Prestige, for those who revel in the luxury treatment.
Like the first film, IT: Chapter Two has received the ultimate stamp of approval: Stephen King has tweeted that it’s “terrific… You’ll float”. If you saw the first movie, you know what he’s talking about.
This article was published in partnership with Ster-Kinekor.