There are concrete, biological theories concerning why we feel fear when something scares us, and then there are those explanations that are no less true but don’t rely solely upon fact to back them up. As children it’s both easier and harder to scare us since we don’t often know enough to understand the world as it is and tend to accept what we don’t know. As adults however, fear grips us in a way that is far more chilling and less apt to let go since once we feel our sense of reality and what’s allowable in this world being challenged, there’s often less to fall back on and a much longer way to fall into the abyss. Poetic in a way, isn’t it? When we’re younger we’re stronger since our belief system hasn’t hardened yet, but as we grow older we accept the realities we’re given and thus lose the escape hatch that imagination offers us when we’re younger.
That’s why the story of IT: Chapter 2, is bound to be so much more horrifying than the first chapter. Even for those of us that have read the book, seen the miniseries and the first movie, the second movie is bound to be worse (in the best way) for a few reasons. Joe Berkowitz from Fast Company touches on one at least reason why, and it’s that the movie already looks to be touching upon the favored scenes that helped make the miniseries back in the 90s so great. The meeting of Beverly Marsh and the kindly old woman who isn’t what she seems to be is only bound to get scarier since this time around the effects are even greater and the use of terror for the scene is dialed up to a solid, heart-thudding 12. If you recall the miniseries the old woman seemed to be a bit off her rocker in the first place, but thankfully in the newest trailer she seems just as addled but in a very different and much edgier manner.
Then there’s the matter of Richie Tozier and his serious fear of clowns. In the miniseries this wasn’t really touched upon, but in the 2017 movie this factoid was taken and exploited in a very big way that even included a fun little Easter egg when young Richie went walking into a room filled with clown dolls. Remember that? If you missed it then head on over to Looper and Andrew Handley and Amanda June Bell can clue you in to the Pennywise doll that’s seen in the shot as Richie makes his hesitant way towards the coffin at the end of the room. Stephen King has been scaring the living daylights out of people for so long that it’s been kind of a disappointment at times to see how his books have been translated onto the screen. But this newest version of IT has reminded us just why being scared stiff as an adult is even worse than being scared as a kid. In the new trailer after all Richie sees a veritable storm of red balloons in the sky it would seem as Pennywise sees fit to make an appearance once again to remind him just how scared he should really be. If you recall, in the miniseries Richie was confronted in the town library, but somehow being confronted out in the open seems so much worse.
One thing that’s bound to terrify people is the fact that, much like the miniseries, IT has grown so much stronger as El Hunt from NME would indicate. The creature hasn’t been idle in the time the Losers have been away from Derry, save for Mike, and it would seem as though IT has been doing everything possible to muster the kind of strength and power that’s needed to control the town and possibly draw back the small group of people that dared to defy a power that they never fully understood. And in truth I would almost think it’s better that we don’t understand such things when we’re kids. The horrors that we think about and then let pass over us like a thunder cloud when we’re young are fleeting things that may or may not last, but as adults we tend to make them last since we obsess about them and in many ways make them worse with the gathered insecurities we’ve built up over the years. If there’s any real reason why IT: Chapter 2 is going to be scarier than the first movie it’s because an adult’s preconceptions of the world and how it should be aren’t always up to bending or breaking when need be, where a kid can still believe in the impossible if asked to do so.
Sometimes it all boils down to a matter of perception and who’s willing or capable of allowing theirs to expand.