Hello, hello , hello, friendly people of the internet!
Today’s will be a first for the Sophiemags blog, a guest post by my friends over at The Newplex!
Newplex, if you didn’t know,are a group of guys very close to my heart who have supported me and this blog since day one! They are a team of cool guys across the world, who get together to create blog posts and podcasts all things movie nerd news, wrestling, gaming, music and more! I’ve been on their podcast a couple of times and every time is utter belly rolls! Without the newplex in my life I wouldn’t have any set direction on what is going on in the world of movies and I am grateful they let me be part of their world. If movies and comics and all things superheros is something you’re interested in be sure to head over to their website at thenewplex.com and I guarantee you will find a piece of interest.
Diving straight in to todays guest post, Jads, the host of the Newplex pod and creator behind the site will be reviewing IT Chapter 2! This is a movie I have recently seen myself which I thoroughly enjoyed and it was interesting to read someone elses opinion on the movie. Over to Jads….
Sophie: “Hey Jads, do you fancy doing a review of IT Chapter 2 for my blog this weekend?”
Jads: “I’d love to!”
Jads (under his breath): “Hey Google, do I need to see IT 1 before IT 2?”
Google: “Ehhh – I mean, I would but it’s not mandatory….”
Jads (to Sophie): “I’ll get it to you by Saturday!”
As that little scenelet describes, this is going to be a bit of a leftfield review because, to my shame, I had not seen the first IT (2017) movie before I ventured out to see Chapter 2 this week, so please bear with me. Having said that, and to the film’s credit, I honestly didn’t think that negatively impacted my experience at all.
What fans of the first instalment will already know then, and what I picked up on in the first few minutes, is that evil shapeshifting clown-thing (generally only referred to as Pennywise when in clown form) It has come back from the dead. 27 years ago, the Losers Club thought they’d defeated the cosmic cad, but it turns out he was just napping. The action picks up in the present day (well almost, 2016), where all the kids of the first film have grown up to become so, so incredibly middle class and memories of Derry and It have all but gone to the wind.
That’s all except Mike, who remained in Derry in order to keep tabs on their childhood tormentor, and devise a more permanent end to its tri-decennial tyranny sprees. When Derry is once again plagued by unexplained deaths and disappearances, Mike recalls the Losers Club home for one last battle.
And that’s the plot in a nutshell.
More specifically, we see how each character – despite the superficial trappings of success in their adult lives – are still crippled by the same fears (and then some) they were as children. Bill (James MCavoy), whose grown up to be a successful writer (despite a reputation for rubbish endings – a criticism Stephen King himself was dogged by) still blames himself for his younger brother’s death. Richie (Bill Hader), now a famous stand-up comedian, is still plagued with guilt and shame about his sexuality (the brutality of homophobic violence that existed both 27 years ago and still today is prominent in this movie). Ben (Jay Ryan), despite growing up to be hench as f— cannot shake the stigma of being ‘the fat kid’, wreaked with feelings of inadequacy.
In this way, returning director Andy Muschietti flips the coming-of-age story around a little bit. We’ve all seen hundreds of movies where a gang of plucky high-schoolers overcome some obstacle. For the Losers Club though, that process – if it happens at all, at least in such a complete way – takes a hell of a lot longer than “one summer to change it all”.
I find something both refreshingly realistic and affirming in this take. The notion – as the media most of us have grown up on – that we can have some adventure when we’re kids which will mould us into the definitive versions of ourselves that we take into adulthood is patently nonsense. With the unrelenting pressure of school, university, or whatever you’re doing to get ‘to the next thing’, more and more of us are living those years of self-discovery in our 20s and even into our 30s. It shouldn’t be a shock – that was the whole premise of Friends – yet this idea that we have everything figured out by the time we’re 18 persists, and it is observably damaging to an entire generation of young people.
Looking to the horror of IT Chapter 2, I think it does an impressive job. I’ve always contended that horror is one of the hardest genres to get right – much like a comedy. To actually get audience members frightened in their seats is a tall order, and after years of Saw and the like which substitute genuine scares for extra gore, IT Chapter 2 spends a lot of time on each individual character in order to make comparatively mild threats of peril seem more alarming.
While Bill Skarsgård’s performance as It is sensational, the use of computer graphics to illustrate his shape-shifting monsters can sometimes appear a little thin (which is not to disparage the amazing visual artists, but making CG feel real is still so incredibly hard).
Given that I went into this sequel with very little knowledge of the groundwork laid in the first movie, IT Chapter 2 turned out to be an incredibly enjoyable ride. I found myself genuinely invested in the members of the Losers Club, and both comedy and horror were delivered in unexpected ways. Excellent performances from both the child and adult versions of the Losers Club and a fab soundtrack contributed to a well-done take on a major-studio, mainstream horror movie.
Well I hope you all enjoyed that different post for todays review! I always find it so interesting reading other movie reviews and learning how others interpret something!
Jads is the editor of The Newplex, You can catch him every Monday on The Newplex Podcast and every Wednesday on Plextra.
Lots of love,Sophiemagsx
Jads and The Newplex can be found in the following links:
The Newplex Twitter and Instagram: @thenewplex @
Jads Twitter and Instagram: @JadsNewplex @iamjads