Halloween came a little early this year, with horror films completely taking over the summer lineup. From “Annabelle Comes Home” to “Midsommar” to “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” theaters across the country have been filled with shrieks of terror (and the nervous laughter that often follows) for the past two months. Luckily for us self-proclaimed horror movie enthusiasts, the fun is not over. In less than two weeks, “IT Chapter Two” hits theaters, providing a highly-anticipated conclusion to the highest grossing horror film of all time.
And according to director Andrés Muschietti, fans are in for a treat.
“I tried to do justice to the spirit of the book, of the story,” Muschietti said of the adaptation, set to release Sept. 6. “Probably the most unique thing that you get from it is that it’s a horror film, but it’s also filled with emotions and fun. We’re not used to seeing those kind of movies, and I think that people appreciate that kind of roller coaster, you know?”
That “roller coaster” seemed to really resonate with Muschietti, who frequently referred back to depth and versatility of the story as one of its biggest selling points.
“It’s not just about the supernatural monster; it also talks about adult fears based on childhood trauma,” he said. “It’s a pretty rich landscape of the human journey. It offers a little more than just one source of dread. It goes a little deeper— more real.”
For those unfamiliar, “IT,” the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name, follows seven kids through a horrifying summer of battling Pennywise, a murderous clown who lives in the sewer. 27 years later— in “IT Chapter Two”— Pennywise returns, and the now grown up children must come together to end the madness once and for all.
Why did this 30-year-old tale do so well in the box office? Muschietti had a very simple answer.
“Because it’s great,” he said through laughter. I could hear the excitement in his voice as he spoke about the project he had dedicated so much time to.
“But really, I think there’s a few factors that come into play there,” he said. “One is that it’s a story that has been sort of dormant for a while. Of course, the book was a big success, but the miniseries from the 90s left a big dent on a generation of people.”
Muschietti made sure to pay homage to IT’s dedicated fan base before moving on, adding that their support really helped the first film thrive.
A main concern among fans regarding “IT Chapter Two” is the adult cast and whether they will be able to achieve the same chemistry as the children did in the first film. But according to Muschietti, that was not a problem at all.
“[My favorite part of filming] was the Chinese restaurant scene. It’s not an action scene or a horror scene; [the characters] are just catching up,” he explained. “It was the first week of shooting and that was— when I saw them perform— confirmation for me that it what working. I could see the bonding happening before my eyes.”
Careful not to give too much away, that was all Muschietti said.
However, he did have a message for anyone planning to watch this beloved story come to an end: “I want them to know that this is the conclusion of the story. I want them to know that they are in for a bigger adventure, not just a horror or drama. I want them to know that they’re going to have a lot of fun.”