It: Chapter 2: Five Things From The Book We Hope They Include
It: Chapter 2 releases at theaters across the country in a few short hours from now. And, if you’re a horror-obsessed, Kill Count-watching Stephen King fanboy like me, that’s a red-letter day. Or a red-balloon day. Whatever red thing floats your boat and warns you there are monster clowns nearby.
But what can you expect from the final chapter in one of the most famous monster franchises ever committed to book and film? It’s a lot of story to get through, even if you love that sort of thing, so not everyone’s going to be all caught up, yet. If you looked at this beastly 1,138 page spooky book and thought “Yeah, no thanks”, don’t worry. We’ve got you.
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And, of course: HUGE SPOILERS FOR BOTH THE BOOK AND THE MOVIE, AHEAD. Reading any more than this without “getting to it, yet” is an act of foolishness. Thank you for your time.
This is one of the first and most horrifying scenes in the book. A gay man named Adrian Mellon is attacked by a group of homophobic teens while walking home with his boyfriend. When the group pushes him off of a bridge, he is greeted in the waters below by Pennywise. who drags him away to be eaten.
This scene has been flashed a few times in the trailer, so we know it’s coming, but it needs to be used right. Adrian Mellon’s death triggers the return of the Losers Club after 27 years away from Derry. It’s a deeply unsettling scene that highlights the brutality of Derry, not just by its famous murder clown, but by its people as well.
In the novel, the young Losers club is having a tough time figuring out what exactly the monster is that they’re fighting. They’re all hard at work in some library or another, doing that pre-Internet book shuffle we used to call research and they, predictably, turn up squat. What they do find out in this Godless world without Google is that Native American tribes sometimes gave themselves hallucinations using smoke to find answers.
So, of course, the little whippersnappers build a smokehole in the ground, burn a bunch of palm leaves or something, cover it up, and climb inside. Mike and Richie have a vision of the monster as an ancient evil being, and child services does nothing to stop any of this.
It isn’t just some cannibalistic murder clown, after all. (S)he’s a massive, eons-old demon, and even if they change that, the smoke-hole scene is a weird but important part of the Losers’ discovery of that. And, given that a scene in the latest trailer shows Mike reeling backward in what looks to be a covered tent, I think it’s safe to say the adult losers are gettin’ high this Friday.
The release of the second trailer for It: Chapter 2 gave audiences a taste of what readers had been trying to forget about the books: the grisly Mrs. Kersh. A limp old woman who apparently moved in after Bev moved away from Derry and her pervert father died, Kersh invites the now-older Bev into her apartment to reminisce,
Things quickly turn sour when it’s revealed Kersh is definitely Pennywise, back from a 27-year power nap and ready to dance around in his naked old lady suit for Bev’s amusement. The old lady, the house, and even the tea she just served up all turn into various monsters and pools of blood and attack our red-haired-heroine in a creepy crescendo.
Now, there are those who are a little concerned about the way this scene is has been shot, but I’m hopeful. We all loved Chapter 1, and we loved it for Muschietti’s bold and sometimes weird choices. If he wants to make an old woman shuffle naked across the screen in the background, I’ll take it. You know why? Because the last time I trusted him to do weird stuff with the elderly, he gave us the librarian in part one.
The Ritual of Chud
So, for those of you who didn’t know: Pennywise is an ancient alien evil that crashlanded in Derry at the dawn of humanity and has been feasting on the inhabitants’ inherent evil and apathy ever since. So, he’s probably pretty easy to kill, right?
Yeah, not so much. The Losers discover It’s weakness after meeting the turtle (more on him in a minute). And it is a doozy of a weakness.
Here’s the ritual of Chud, laid out as simply as possible:
- Young, brave soul seeks out the evil creature.
- Sticks out his (or her) tongue.
- Creature spits out its tongue.
- Both parties bite into the other party’s tongue.
- Both parties take turns telling each other jokes.
- The first one to laugh gets banished from our reality for all time.
Ultimately, this never actually happens in the book. The climactic fight(s) against Pennywise come in the form of a pair of floating battles between Bill and a giant space spider in “the macroverse”. They fight to drag each other into the deadlights which will trap them, gibbering and insane, for all eternity.
Yeah, Stephen King was doing a lot of cocaine during his best writing years. Which reminds me: we haven’t spoken about the turtle.
This last point’s going to be brief because there’s actually just too much to say about it. It’s weird, and there’s no real likelihood they’ll include it in the movie, but part 1 had some cool references to this character hidden in plain sight, so I thought we could close out the article by talking about Maturin.
Maturin is an ancient flying space turtle. He’s also technically the happy version of Pennywise. They are both massively powerful creatures, created by the King-iverse’s version of God billions of years ago. Maturin is mostly absent from the story, but does show up near the end to guide Bill through his research into the ritual and deliver exposition.
He is supremely weird, absolutely wonderful, and you can expect to see turtles show up in weird places throughout the movie.
It: Chapter 2
Are you going to be in the audience for It: Chapter 2 today? Already seen it? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your clowny hopes and dreams!