By Shimla Rahman
“It features children who find the courage to confront their own personal fears manifested in a shapeshifting monster, It.””
It is More than Just Another Horror Story
September 29, 2017
ENTERTAINMENT: Terror, nostalgia, tenderness and an iconic red balloon.
Since his debut 27 years ago, Pennywise the Dancing Clown has returned.
“It” has managed to become the highlight of horror films in 2017 by breaking numerous box office records and earning $179.2 million during the first week of its release.
Based on the 1986 novel written by Stephen King, the big screen adaptation is directed by Andy Muschietti, known for directing the 2013 horror film “Mama.”
“It” features children who find the courage to confront their own personal fears manifested in a shapeshifting monster—“It,” also known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, played by Bill Skårsgard.
The kids form a group called the “Losers’ Club,” which includes Jaeden Lieberher as Bill Denbrough, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom, Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh, Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier, Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak, and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris.
The story takes place in the town of Derry, Maine where a shapeshifting monster appears every 27 years to feast on the fears of children—and the children themselves.
Unlike the book, which is set in the late 1950s, the film takes place in 1988. After killing Georgie Denbrough, played by Jackson Robert Scott, Pennywise reappears eight months later to prey on Georgie’s brother, Bill, and his friends.
Skårsgard, with excessive clown makeup and a devilish smile, elicits the audience’s fear by depicting a haunting child-feasting entity.
Pennywise is much more than just a scary clown; the monster represents a child’s sense of innocence and brings ghastly manifestations of terror. “It” shows how haunting and disturbing a child’s fear can be—from something as simple as a creepy painting or a sexualy abusive father—and the effect it can have.
As the protagonist, Bill Denbrough, struggles to accept his little brother’s mysterious death, he faces an emotional battle every time he comes home and realizes his brother is not there.
Not only does Pennywise create feelings of intense fear, but the story also brings comic relief through the brilliant acting of the “Loser’s Club” cast.
This group of adolescent outcasts—who are going through puberty—show how intimidated they are about approaching a girl, which adds much needed humor to the story.
The comical characteristics of the kids, such as Richie’s jocular profanity and Eddie’s hypochondria, also add lighthearted moments.
The boyish friendships and the story’s retro setting gives the audience a nostalgic mood reminiscent of other ‘80s films like “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me.”
The vivid special effects and dark tone create the perfect ominous atmosphere of the best horror movies.
Despite “It” being a horror film, the story also manages to inspire audiences, because it shows that individuals can be strong enough to overcome their personal fears to stick with the people that they care about.
Rumors of a sequel are looming as the movie is still raking in business at the box office. Fortunately, audiences won’t be needing to wait another 27 years.