What Are The Deadlights In It Chapter Two? And 11 Other Questions We Still Have
Beware scary clowns and It Chapter Two spoilers below.
It Chapter Two didn't seem to electrify horror and Stephen King fans the way the first movie did. What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Whether or now you found It Chapter Two to be a satisfying movie or a decent follow-up to the beloved first movie, one thing is undeniable: It left us with plenty of questions. We've already compiled all the Easter eggs and references we could spot, explored Richie and Eddie's relationship in-depth, and broken down the movie's ending--so now, let's try to dig into some of our biggest unanswered questions.
What did you think of It Chapter Two? Let us know in the comments below.
1. What are the Deadlights?
If you were hoping for an actual explanation of just what Pennywise is, Chapter Two definitely disappointed. The Losers have more run-ins with the Deadlights, but besides the fact that Pennywise arrived from space millions of years ago, we didn't learn anything more about them. The implication is that they're Pennywise's true form, but we're about 90% sure that it was just Stephen King's excuse to make a "headlights" pun or whatever.
2. Why did Pennywise attack an adult man?
It may have seemed a bit weird that Pennywise attacked an adult man at the beginning of Chapter Two, since we've mostly seen him feast on kids. But Pennywise's overall history is full of adult kills too, so this one isn't that big a problem.
It Chapter Two Spoiler Review: A Messy Finale
3. How was Pennywise able to kill Eddie?
This one is driving us nuts. Pennywise stabs Eddie right when Eddie is the least fearful he's been since this ordeal started--he's at the top of his game here, and he's stoked on the belief that he just killed a monster and saved the day. But these movies established a clear rule: Pennywise can't hurt you if you aren't afraid of it. Remember Bev back in the cistern during Chapter One? It wasn't able to do anything but grab her the moment she said she wasn't afraid, which led to the whole deadlights situation. Bill later addresses this rule directly before the kids finish Pennywise off: "That's why you didn't kill Beverly. Because she wasn't afraid of you. And we aren't either."
If Pennywise could kill these kids whenever he wanted to, fearful or otherwise, why didn't he just demolish them back in 1989 and be done with it? He's had so many of them quite literally on the ropes and has done nothing the second they tell him they're not scared--what made Eddie so different?
4. Was Pennywise actually a real clown at some point?
It Chapter Two features a strange scene in which a seemingly human Pennywise taunts Bev during a hallucination in her father's old apartment. It raises the question: Was there ever an actual clown named Pennywise in the town of Derry? Maybe the monster from space, who we know from these movies can take many forms, "borrowed" the form of the real Pennywise and found it so effective that he wound up adopting it as his primary identity. Or maybe the Pennywise in Derry's history was always the monster, or there was never a historical Pennywise at all, and it's just another trick to scare the Losers.
We could dig deep into the source material to try and answer this question, but the bottom line would be the same: We're just not sure.
5. What is Pennywise's true form?
Are the Deadlights Pennywise's "true form"? It's possible, though that's never really made explicit--unless you count the fact that the Deadlights are what the Losers tried to trap during the ritual in Chapter Two. But what about the spider? Pennywise's spider incarnation could be his true form, but that possibility seems more likely in other versions of the story, like the original book and the '90s miniseries, where it's a lot more spider-y and doesn't retain the Pennywise clown elements. It's even possible that Pennywise doesn't have a true form--the Deadlights might be its essence or something, while it can take on any shape in physical space. Again, the short answer is simply that we don't really know.
6. When did It first arrive on Earth?
The best information we have as to when It/Pennywise first arrived on Earth comes from a semi-throwaway line in Chapter Two, when Mike claims the monster's been around for a few million years. Where he got that information is never explained, but it's safe to assume this is accurate. What it ate before people arrived on the scene, however, is anyone's guess.
7. Is Richie gay and were Richie and Eddie in love?
Richie was absolutely, without a doubt, in love with Eddie; his subplot made it explicit in Chapter Two. But whether or not Eddie knew or felt the same is a total mystery. In the books, Eddie's dying words are cut off, but he's trying to tell Richie something and it's heavily implied that it was going to be a loving confession. In the movies, we functionally get the opposite--Richie outright has a crush on Eddie, but we're never clued in at all to what Eddie feels about anyone and his last words to Richie are a gag--it's endearing, sure, and in character, but not narratively satisfying in the least.
It only gets more frustrating with the total lack of closure--re-carving the initials "R+E" at the end seems to symbolize Richie finally accepting himself, but does he ever get to come out to his friends? Does he just go on living his life with this secret weighing him down? Why is he the only surviving Loser not to get an overtly happy ending?
8. What about Stanley and Bill? Was there anything romantic there?
This is an odd one, because unlike Richie and Eddie, there's not a ton of subtext or pretense for any relationship between Stan and Bill. Yet for whatever reason, during Stan's suicide, we get that really beautiful and tender flashback with Stan and Bill watching each other as kids. It's pretty impossible to miss the blatant romance of the moment--Bill's practically haloed in sunlight, making direct eye contact, while Stan is focused on the way his lips move, and so on. That's some serious subtext. And then, as Stan kills himself, he whispers "I swear, Billy" in the softest, saddest voice. So were they in love? It's doubtful--but the choices made in this scene imply that there's more to their story than we ever got to see.
9. Why did Stanley kill himself?
In the novel, Stan's suicide is pretty well taken at face value. It's a show of just how terrifying Pennywise is, even after all these years, and the big galvanizing event that forces the Losers to take action. And while there are plenty of problems with that logic, its place in the narrative is pretty clear. In It Chapter Two, they go for a different explanation with Stan's letter to each of the Losers, in which he says that he knew he had to "take himself off the board" because he was too scared to return to Derry. How did Stan remember enough so quickly when the rest of the Losers took days to regain their memory of Pennywise? How could facing Pennywise and potentially dying be scarier than definitely dying on purpose right away? Why then try and color a horrific and tragic thing like suicide as this ultimately heroic act? It's not clear.
10. When and why did Bev have visions of everyone's deaths?
It Chapter 2 plays pretty fast and loose with the timeline of the first movie, so we get a very overt retcon to the final scene of Chapter 1 when the kids were making their blood oath. In the new version of the scene, Bev explains that she had visions of everyone back at the cistern, but older--except for Stan, which she tries to hedge around as best she can. That set of visions makes sense, given that none of the kids have left Derry and their memories are still intact. But Bev's visions didn't stop after Derry--she's been dreaming about the Losers' deaths for apparently quite some time, which is pretty odd considering she didn't remember any of her friends until she returned home. Has she just been dreaming about the deaths of people she thought were total strangers for the last 27 years?
11. Why did Pennywise help Henry Bowers escape from the asylum?
The logic of Henry Bowers actually works in the novel, and to some degree the TV miniseries. Pennywise needs Bowers to hedge his own bets: He can't kill the Losers if the Losers don't believe in him, but Bowers, being just a regular dude with a knife, absolutely can. He's the failsafe if Pennywise can't make the adults fear him all over again. The new movies don't commit to that set of rules for Pennywise, however--he can apparently kill whoever, whenever--for example, take Eddie--whether or not they're scared in the moment. So that leaves Bowers as a very confusing and seemingly unnecessary loose end.
12. How did Pennywise survive after the kids beat it in the first place?
The final fight of It Chapter One is amazing, not just because it features a bunch of thirteen-year-olds beating up a demon with garbage, but because of how ultimately victorious it feels. They get Pennywise on the ropes, where Bill tells it directly to its face that it's going to starve now--which makes sense, considering Pennywise seems to operate on a sort of feast/hibernation cycle. If it doesn't consume enough food to last it for its 27-year sleep, it would logically follow that it would starve to death. The kids effectively prevented it from eating its last few meals during the 1989 cycle, so it seems like starvation is imminent.
Except that's clearly not what happened. Somehow, Pennywise emerged from the encounter completely fine--there's nothing in Chapter Two to even support the idea that it was somehow weakened by not being able to eat enough back in the '80s. What the kids did in the cistern wasn't even a minor set back. What's the deal?
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