IT is now in theaters, giving movie audiences a new vision of Stephen King's famous horror novel and coming-of-age story. However, King's novel has long been viewed as being too big and richly detailed to ever fit within the span of a feature-film, which is why Warner Bros. decided to separate the movie experience into two parts, with this new film covering the first half of the book.
To that end, viewers who head to the theater to see IT but never really read the book or watched the TV miniseries (loose) adaptation from the '90s, may be genuinely confused by how the IT movie ends. If you are one of those people, then we're here to help!
Read on below for breakdown of IT's climatic moments, and how the film's ending sets things up for the already-greenlit Chapter 2. Obviously, there will be MASSIVE SPOILERS that follow.
The finale of it sees young Bill Denbrough and his misfit friends in "The Losers Club" venture into the sewers of Derry to confront Pennywise and rescue their friend Beverly, after Pennywise takes her.
In King's novel, there's a lot of mythos built around how the Losers Club train themselves (with help from a turtle) to resist Pennywise's psychological tricks through the strength of their friendship bond; IT the movie simplifies this by explaining that, as long as The Losers stay together (both physically and emotionally) then they can overcome Pennywise.
If you were confused why the final battle between The Losers and Pennywise involves stops for big group hugs, this is your answer: The Losers make sure to constantly re-center themselves and emotionally support one another while fighting the evil entity, and in doing so, they each are able to overcome their respective fears and traumas, leaving Pennywise weakened and starved, with no fears left to feed on.
Once Pennywise is weakened, the Losers Club kids are able to beat him into submission, and the evil entity flees down a dark hole, while seemingly falling apart in the process. In the end, The Losers triumph over evil... or do they?
After Pennywise is gone, we jump ahead a few weeks, to wear the Losers Club is meeting up to say goodbye to Beverly, who is leaving her life of violent abuse to stay with a benevolent aunt in Portland.
During that last meeting, Bill talks the group into swearing a blood oath. Knowing that Pennywise traditionally returns every twenty-seven years, Bill proclaims that should the evil entity return again, The Losers Club will also return to the town of Derry and rekindle their bond, in order to once again defeat it. The kids perform the ritual and go their separate ways, with Bill and Beverly hanging back for a final kiss, before saying goodbye.
But there's just one problem (SPOILERS for IT part 2 follow)...
The second portion of IT takes place when The Losers Club are all adults, and one of their members (now working as the town librarian) discovers that Pennywise has returned, and calls his fellow Losers back, to fulfill their oath.
The problem? None of the Losers Club members who left Derry can seem to recall their battle against Pennywise - much like adults in the film can't see the evil entity, either. This sets up a massive challenge for The Losers who do remember the horrific events or their childhood to convince the other members of Pennywise's threat, before the evil entity can get revenge on them.
While exact details of this second chapter are sure to change a bit in the next film (like Ben being the librarian instead of Mike), The overall story arc about the Losers' troubled adult lives and fearsome second battle with Pennywise should remain generally the same.
Be sure to read our official IT review, and catch the film in theaters now.
And if you're curious to know: Here's What Happens in IT Chapter 2
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment