It Chapter Two, the highly anticipated conclusion to 2017’s It, a film based on Stephen King’s horror novel, hit theaters last week and as expected, fans flocked the theaters to find out what would become of Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the now-adult Losers Club members.
Don’t worry folks, we’re not going to spoil the ending for you but for those who are curious what cool special effects It Chapter Two has in store, the film actually featured two special effects that were never done in movies before.
First off, the kid actors were de-aged for the sequel’s flashback scenes. As you might’ve guessed, the kid actors did a lot of growing up in between It (filming was done in 2016) and It Chapter Two that’s why director Andy Muschietti decided to de-age the actors for consistency.
The de-aging process was subtler than some VFX-heavy films. Most of the kids’ features were softened so the child actors would look like their pre-pubescent selves. But for Finn Wolfhard’s character, the VFX team has to be heavy-handed with the digital editing because the actor has gone through quite the growth spurt in between films.
Muschiett explained the reason for the de-aging in a Total Film interview: “Finn grew up quite a bit, and he’s a tall guy.” “It’s better to shoot it two years later than five years later but in those two years, they grew up quite a bit. Not all of them. Sophia looks exactly the same. Jaeden looks pretty much the same. Finn grew up quite a bit, and he’s a tall guy. But from the beginning, we knew that that would be part of the budget, the visual effects to address that. So we’re going to de-age the kids.”
The effect looks almost imperceptible, as seen in this still shot:
This is the first time that the de-aging technology was used to de-age teens in a horror movie. And since the first chapter was such a huge hit, Warner Bros. increased the budget for the special effects this time around.
Apart from restoring the child actors to their 2017 selves, the VFX team also altered their voices so the vocal sounds are consistent with the actors’ younger selves.
It Chapter Two breaks another record for using the most amount of fake blood in a film scene. About 4,500 gallons of fake blood were used to shoot some of Beverly Marsh’s scenes.
According to Jessica Chastain, she has to be submerged in fake blood for hours and had to remain bloody at the end of the production.
“It was really disgusting,” Chastain laughingly said. “It’s like slime, and it was up my nose, in my ears, and stuck on my eyeballs. I kind of did have some little fears, but I was happy to do it.
The fake blood was made using methylcellulose – a thickening agent – and red dye.
While the Academy-award winning actress had no qualms about being covered in blood during the shoot, cleaning up was not allowed until the production wraps up.
“I admit that was the only miserable part. Andy (Muschietti) had me dressed in blood for the whole end of the film. Before every take, they had a small kiddie pool filled with the cold blood, and (they’d) pour it on me.”
IT Chapter 2 is still showing in theaters.