This post contains spoilers for Stephen King’s Best Selling Novel IT, with potential spoiler for IT: Chapter 2. Proceed with caution.
The horror genre has always owned a corner of Hollywood. Though there are some that say it experienced a resurgence over the past couple of years, all it really did was push its way into mainstream attention with the help of several incredible titles in 2017. Included among those titles is IT, based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel from 1986. A lot has changed in the 32 years the novel has been around, but there are a few choice chapters that we would love to see make their way into IT: Chapter 2.
The Chinese Restaurant
After Mike Hanlon gathers the Losers back to Derry, the long lost friends sit down for a meal before diving into the nasty business they’re about to endure. It’s a fun, chatterbox chapter that leaves you craving Chinese no matter how many times you’ve read it, and whether you know what’s to come or not. By the end of their catch-up session, the Losers all remember their past. Though they’re all terrified of what’s to come — and Pennywise will toss in some theatrics to remind them why before the night is over — the Losers are hopeful after their bond is rekindled.
Derry’s Racially Charged History
Though they left out much of the issues that young Mike had to deal with in the book, there’s plenty of time to touch on the racism that had run rampant in Derry’ past. The entire Black Spot story is there waiting, but even if they choose to go a different direction, there’s plenty of material to play with. The history of the Hanlons and Derry’s black population should under no circumstance be glossed over the way Mike’s early struggles were in IT. If they really want to make up for what they missed in the first film, they could maybe let Mr. Hanlon actually be in the final battle against Pennywise, rather than getting sidelined by Henry Bowers.
Beverly and Tom, With a Twist
While there are more than a few questionable moments in the IT miniseries from the ’90s, there’s one that actually improved on Stephen King’s novel: the final showdown between Beverly and Tom. In the book, Beverly’s abusive ex is used as IT’s pawn and eventually eaten after his purpose has been served. Let’s keep him the pathetic puppet that Pennywise made him into when he slinks into Derry after torturing Beverly’s friend to find her location, but let’s give ol’ Bevvy her moment of autonomy. How he ultimately meets his end is dealer’s choice, but Beverly’s transition from victim to survivor is something that the audience deserves to see.
Keep Derry Weird
Not just Pennywise the clown weird, either. It’d be difficult (and possibly a little too weird) to go full on Ritual of Chüd, but both it and Maturin should be involved in the story in some capacity. We’ve already seen an acknowledgment of the Turtle in the story’s first chapter with the falling Lego turtle, but let’s explore more of the absolutely bananas cosmic backstory that is how Pennywise came to Earth. How to take down the clown should be equally as bonkers!
The story of Stanley Uris is another opportunity for the writers of IT: Chapter 2 to shed light on an important conversation. Suicide has a lot of stigma surrounding it, and while Stan Uris’ death isn’t the result of ongoing mental health issues, there’s still plenty to be acknowledged in the dialogue. The Losers mourn the loss of their friend in each iteration, but they all understand why he did what he did. Unlike the rest of the group, Stan’s memories come flooding back all at once, and the thought of facing those horrors again is too much to bear. Let’s keep an important second-half scene in the story, but don’t shy away from tossing in a line or two acknowledging the moment!
Henry’s Gone Bye-Bye
Henry Bowers is the type of monster character that was written before redemption arcs hit mainstream popularity, and IT: Chapter 2 should keep him that way. Too often Hollywood stories glorify young men growing into terrible adults because of their upbringing. When we meet Henry in the latter half of King’s story, we find him in a mental institution after he was framed by Pennywise for all of the murders that occurred that fateful summer. Henry’s grip on reality does slip more and more as Pennywise toys with him, but here’s hoping the film avoids trying to use the forced insanity of a violent psychopath as a flimsy comparison to critical mental health discussions.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in IT: Chapter 2. Hopefully we’ll see a little bit of cultural commentary woven into the terror that it will undoubtedly bring but, at the end of the day, we’ll be happy so long as it continues to illustrate the unshakable bond of the Losers. The second portion of the story won’t be here until 2019, so best stay away from any sewer grates until Bill, Beverly, and the rest of the kids take that nasty monster down.
IT: Chapter 2 hits theaters September 6, 2019.