IT Chapter Two is causing an uproar in Brisbane, Australia. Concerned parents have been filing complaints over large billboards depicting Pennywise the Dancing Clown's face because they are giving their children nightmares. Bill Skarsgard's take on Pennywise has been frightening people ever since Andres Muschietti unleashed his first installment of Stephen King's iconic source material back in 2017. Both kids and adults have found themselves having nightmares about the supernatural clown, and it's only going to get worse with the highly anticipated sequel hitting theaters this week.
Parents in Brisbane, Australia have contacted Ad Standards to get a few IT Chapter Two billboards taken down. In Australia, the movie is rated MA15+, which prohibits anyone under the age of 15 from seeing it. However, that doesn't mean children under said age can't see the posters on the highway depicting Pennywise with blood dripping from his mouth. One mother told local news, "Some people do enjoy going to horror movies and that's fine and that's their choice, and I understand that but we're not choosing to see this poster."
Parents are making the argument to Ad Standards that posters for movies attached to MA15+ ratings should not be placed in areas where children frequent. The IT Chapter Two billboards have been freaking out a lot of people, but they might not fall under Ad Standards guidelines cause for concern. Ad Standards did release a statement which in part says, "generally has no jurisdiction over the placement or timing of advertisements, except when considering the use of language or sex, sexuality or nudity in advertising."
Warner Bros. has recently been ramping up the promotional campaign for IT Chapter Two since it hits theaters this week, which means that these parents in Australia might be out of luck. "It just totally freaks them out," says one concerned mother about the billboards, who even had her young daughter weigh in on the situation. The daughter had this to say about the IT Chapter Two billboards.
"I get really scared because it's hard to go to bed when you have a scary picture in your mind. Before I go to bed, I have to check the whole room. And when I finally go to bed I will wake up after a nightmare."
IT Chapter Two has been getting positive early reviews and is well on its way to becoming a huge hit just like its predecessor. The first installment is currently the highest grossing R-rated horror movie of all time and hopes are high for the sequel to repeat and possibly beat the past success. So far, pre-sale tickets have been pointing towards a strong opening weekend, which should come as no surprise since people have been waiting 2 years to see how Andres Muschietti puts an end to one of Stephen King's most-beloved stories. Ladbible was the first to report on billboard controversy.