Do the things we choose to remember make us who we are or rather the things we choose to forget? In truth, it’s probably a bit of both for most people. For some, a majority of positive experiences govern their lives and memories or vice versa. Whatever the case may be, it seems like an unlikely question for average people to ask themselves. However, this question will undoubtedly float across the mind like a red balloon after viewing It Chapter 2. The film poses this very question from the beginning and continues to inquire throughout until the ending credits roll, setting a persistent theme.

“The Losers’ Club” is back and in current day having aged 27-years. Each member is now in their late 30s and in personal circumstances that closely resemble the details of the book. Bill Denbrough is now a successful author (which no doubt mirrors Stephen King). Beverly Marsh, a businesswoman dealing with an abusive relationship. Ben Hanscom is an architect. Mike Hanlon is a recluse librarian, and the only one who remained in Derry. Eddie Kaspbrak is married to a woman who’s just as neurotic and paranoid as his mother. Riche Tozier has turned his foul sense of humor into a comedy career. And Stan Uris is a partner in an accounting firm. Each member has largely forgotten the past, however the trauma each endured can be seen at times seeping through a mask of well adjustment.

One character that hasn’t changed a bit is Pennywise. He, by far, is older than anyone else on screen and yet he remains perdurable, undiminished by time. This everlasting clown’s actions beckon his now-adult foes back home. Once there, “The Losers” try to recall memories in an effort to halt Pennywise but end up being treated to their very own personalized horrors as a result.

The special effects are a marvel to behold and in the form up jump-scares that launch toward the screen and bewildering to the eyes due to Pennywise’s unlimited ability to instantaneously shape-shift into whoever or whatever he pleases. Even non-horror fans must witness the effect reel less they deprive themselves of some real screen magic. The special effects are so otherworldly that in fact, the viewer may begin to wonder if the point of the film is to show off instead of tell a story.

It Chapter Two is a scary ride. Be prepared to witness Pennywise’s untamed cruelty limited not only to adults but children as well. To top it all off, there’s a sense of uncertainty about how things will end.

Is this movie haunting? Will it keep moviegoers up all night and in need of therapy? The answer is no. Much like the first film, it contains a good dose of jump scares and a more-than-healthy dose of humor. However, there’s not really anything bothersome that could be taken from seeing this that will carry over into personal life.

What can be taken from seeing “It” is an overall positive message: We should learn to face the memories we’ve chosen to forget as they often define the person we are in the present.

Tyler Spivey

Editor’s note: We were treated to IT Chapter 2 in the 4DX experience in Toronto.  It’s a movie sensory overload of movement, sight, sound, and scent in sync with the actions happening on the screen.  Balloons pop, and a rush of air blows through your hair.  A character gets punched, and your seat jolts from the impact. Wind, mist and even a wet splash from a broken champagne bottle are felt.  It’s not for everyone; the littered floor of spilled popcorn and drinks is evidence of just how much seat movement actually takes place, but for a movie like IT Chapter 2, it added a perfect dose of extra flair for a summer creeper film.

Look for the 4DX experience in major city theatres near you.