Stephen King’s Pennywise Prequel Must Avoid It Chapter 2’s Biggest Mistake

Stephen King’s It receives a prequel TV show, the creators of
Welcome to Derry will need to avoid the biggest pitfall that led to the sequel
It: Chapter 2’s humdrum reception. 2019’s
It: Chapter 2 was far from terrible. The sequel to 2017’s blockbuster horror hit
It was featured a stellar turn from
Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, and the movie was successful enough to prompt the creators to pursue a prequel series, the upcoming
Welcome to Derry.,However,
It: Chapter 2 did have some major issues. Perhaps the most pressing was that the sequel’s tone was inconsistent, resulting in broad comedic scenes arriving mere minutes after deeply disturbing, self-serious horror moments. This meant that
It: Chapter 2 was never sure what sort of movie the sequel was supposed to be, something that will be a much bigger problem for
Welcome to Derry if the prequel series repeats this issue.,Related: Why Stephen King’s It Prequel Series Is A Bad Idea,It: Chapter 2 failed to win over critics who praised 2017’s
It because the sequel’s tone was way too bleak and grounded (evidenced by the opening murder of Adrian Mellon) and too comedic (the infamous “Angel of the Morning” sequence) all at once.
Jack Nicholson’s role in The Shining‘s classic adaptation proved that a little black comedy could work in Stephen King movies, but the funny scenes of
It: Chapter 2 were outright comedic while some of the horror scenes were jarringly dark and grimly realistic.
Welcome to Derry, as a TV show, will have a longer runtime and thus more room to bounce between widely different tones — something the prequel series needs to avoid.,The balance between horror and comedy achieved by 2017’s
It is not an easy one to nail, and the ending of the earlier 1990 miniseries adaptation of the novel proved that shoddy special effects alone were enough to derail the good work done by Tim Curry’s impressively creepy performance as Pennywise. However, like
Stranger Things, A Nightmare On Elm Street
, Scream, and other successful fusions of coming-of-age comedy with teen horror, the first half of
It’s cinematic adaptation played its darker genre elements straight and mined humor from the way the characters reacted to and coped with Pennywise’s attacks. In all the above examples, and ideally 
Welcome to Derry, the monster is a real and really serious threat, even if the character’s reactions to it can often be comical.,In contrast, what derailed
It: Chapter 2 more than anything was the movie’s inconsistent approach to its villain. In scenes like his goofy singalong and subsequent transformation into a lumberjack statue, Pennywise is a comical threat, something also seen in the Chinese restaurant sequence’s
Evil Dead 2-esque gory slapstick. However, when he brutally murders two children onscreen (a taboo rarely broached in big-budget horror), Pennywise is a terrifying, deadly serious threat. Like
Nightmare On Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger, the original
It’s monster succeeded because the movie took him seriously despite his fantastical origins and abilities. Now, for
Welcome To Derry to succeed, the
It prequel must make Pennywise more of a threat than
It: Chapter 2’s inconsistent villain.,More: 1408 Is Stephen King’s Most Underrated Short Story Adaptation