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We Need to Talk About This Triggering Scene in ‘It Chapter Two’

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

Editor’s note: this article contains spoilers for “It Chapter Two”

I love horror movies. I watched them with my father growing up, but once I got to college, I struggled to find someone who would even stay in the same room as me if one was on. Thankfully, I eventually found a great friend and we commenced our tradition of “horror movie Wednesdays” together. This week, we decided to go see “It Chapter Two.”

He had already seen it, but happily joined me since there’s just something different about watching a horror movie in theaters. Before the movie started, he turned to me and said, “Oh I forgot, I wanted to tell you something before the movie starts.”

I laughed and asked him, “What?”

He said, “I don’t really know how to say it… hm. So there’s a scene where, um…”

I interjected, “Oh God, is there a scene with a bug?” (I have a severe phobia of bugs.)

He laughed and said, “No but there’s a scene where someone dies by self-harm. It’s not like ‘13 Reasons Why’ level, but I just don’t know how sensitive you are to that and definitely wanted to let you know since I know you’ve been struggling lately.”

I am so thankful to have friends I can be honest with. I am so thankful to have friends who care. I am so thankful to have friends who speak up about mental health even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable. I am so thankful to have friends who look out for me.

I sincerely thanked him for letting me know, but was extremely surprised this was the first I was hearing about it. The media tends to be all over this type of thing and the movie had been out for almost a month already — I was shocked I hadn’t seen anything on Twitter or any other social media platform about it. People tend to be really good at letting other people in the community know when there are triggers or things to look out for in a new movie or TV show.

Nonetheless, the movie started and within the first 15 minutes, the scene he was talking about was shown. Though I still struggle with constant suicidal thoughts and have attempted suicide multiple times, I knew I would be OK to watch, especially since I wasn’t watching alone. The scene wasn’t too graphic, but it could still be triggering to people who are struggling. While they didn’t explicitly show the act of suicide, there was a picture of the man in the tub with blood everywhere. It was hard to watch. If you’ve seen “13 Reasons Why,” the scene in this movie could definitely bring your mind back to that place, which can be difficult.

Throughout the movie, the character’s suicide is referenced several times and the friends’ grief displayed. While Hollywood doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to depicting mental illness (though they have been improving), I thought the movie handled the topic well overall. However, as the movie was ending, I was still left feeling like they didn’t do enough with the character who had died by suicide. Yet, Stephen King came through and the movie ended with a note the character had left for his friends before he died. It was a beautiful ending. Being the crier I am, I was sobbing through the credits at such a beautiful piece of cinema.

So yes, the movie was incredible. However, while I loved the movie, I do wish there had been some sort of trigger warning beforehand. People deserve to be informed enough to keep themselves safe and a simple notice or warning is not too much to ask for. It’s not being “overly sensitive.” Your health is more important than any box office record. So please spread the word and watch safely.

Image via YouTube

Originally published: October 15, 2019
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