Plunged into a Lord of the Rings-like battle with a giant creature with a healthy appetite, the Losers do their best to fight off Pennywise and stay alive. Sadly, they're not entirely successful on that front. After saving Richie (Bill Hader) from an attack, Eddie (James Ransone) gets impaled by Pennywise, raising the movie's Loser Club bodycount to two after Stanley's suicide in the film's opening section.
Just when you think all hope is lost, the Losers stumble on a new plan: They'll make Pennywise feel small. Not just physically small -- emotionally small, too. In a sequence that wouldn't exactly hold up to much scrutiny if you tried to explain it to a friend after the movie, the group basically defeats Pennywise, a powerful being of unknowable origins, by being really mean to him and telling him they don't think he's scary. It's like a Roast Battle, which I suppose makes sense because Hader's character is a stand-up comedian in the movie.
But it works: Pennywise withers under the threat of verbal humiliation, shrinking into a tiny baby-like version of himself. Unafraid of the puny clown, Mike rips out its heart and the group finally destroys it together. When they emerge from the underground, the remaining Losers realize that the scars on their hands, which they made together as part of a post-battle ritual, have healed. The haunted house on Neibolt Street collapses. Dazed and covered in dirt, the group decides to go for a swim together in the quarry, a symbolic cleansing that also mirrors a scene in the first film. Beverly (Jessica Chastain) and Ben (Jay Ryan) even share a kiss underwater, which looks a little unsanitary.
In the final coda, each character gets their own little emotional beat, including the requisite scene of Bill getting to work on a new novel, presumably with a satisfying ending this time. Beverly and Ben are on a boat. Mike is shown finally driving out of Derry, which mostly gets off scot free here and remains largely unexamined. If there's something missing from It Chapter Two, it's the sense of a larger moral universe that exists in the town and in the country the Losers inhabit. Yes, King can occasionally be clumsy in the way he connects his terrifying stories to larger historical events and social issues, but It Chapter Two feels especially untethered to the horrors of reality and the texture of everyday life in Derry. Even at almost three hours, it's content with floating instead of really digging deep.