Stephen King’s IT is already weird enough with a demonic shapeshifting clown-thing that lurks in the sewers and has an appetite for children, but the sequel to last year’s onscreen adaptation of the nightmarish book is about to get exponentially weirder.
The Ritual of Chüd is an element from the novel that many King fans were disappointed never made it into the first film. IT might seem like it was left behind in the depths of the Derry sewers, but for the IT: Chapter Two, screenwriter Gary Dauberman went there.
“The Ritual of Chüd is challenging, but it’s such an important component to the book that we had to address it,” Dauberman told CinemaBlend. “That stuff is difficult to balance, but because [director Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti and I] worked with each other before, when I’m writing pages and all that stuff it becomes more of a conversation and less like ‘Hey, here’s what I did.’ It’s sort of organic; it’s really kind of just chipping away at the stone and trying to find the most focused, accessible way into some of the more metaphysical aspects of that book."
Of course, a ritual that involves a brutal battle of wits that sends Bill Denbrough shooting through the Macroverse is not going to be the easiest thing to pull off. Opponents are supposed to (literally or figuratively) bite each other’s tongues and tell jokes until laughter defeats one of them. This goes from what sounds like a drinking game to a ghoulish struggle for survival when Bill faces off against IT, which catapults him deeper and deeper into the Macroverse and past the turtle Maturin — the so-called source of wisdom who does just about nothing — all the way to where IT’s deadlights wait to consume him.
Bill bites back using the power his preteen beliefs. His bonds with his friends and parents, even with the spirit of his dead brother Georgie, and conviction that Santa Claus is absolutely real are what begin to weaken IT.
Then there's that whole orgy scene which most people would rather not talk about on the internet, mostly because it involved kids who weren’t even in high school yet. Let’s just say it was the last phase of the ritual which was supposed to create a stronger bond among the Losers’ Club. Didn’t they end up doing that anyway by cutting their palms with a soda bottle shard and holding hands while they swore they would return to Derry if anything paranormal started going on?
When IT reemerges 27 years later, Bill finds it more difficult to battle the entity after being jaded by adulthood and finding Maturin nothing but an empty shell floating among alien nebulas, but he isn’t alone. You need friends like comedian Richie Tozier and hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak in this situation. When Eddie believes his asthma medicine is poison, that is what it becomes to IT.
“Andy [Muschietti” would kind of go off and think about Chüd and how he wants to visually represent all that stuff,” said Dauberman.” He just came up with some brilliant, brilliant stuff…it really is going to be amazing.”
IT: Chapter 2 will crawl into theaters on September 6, 2019. Keep yourself up at night imagining what kind of special effects will bring this twisted circus to life until then.