Happy Belated Halloween! Today I am going to be discussing why I believe IT (adapted from the novel by Stephen King) is the greatest horror film of all time. Firstly, if you’re wondering which version I like better, I would definitely have to say the latest one featuring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Beware…spoilers ahead!
And speaking of clowns, this movie is very misunderstood due to the fact that people believe it’s all about a demon eating children. Well it is…but there is so much more to it than that! Set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine a group of boys and one girl come together to face their fears and confront the darkness in their own personal lives. Pennywise is not actually a clown but rather an entity (an IT) that manifests itself in the form of whatever scares a person most. He reappears in Derry every 27 years to feed off evil. As most of you may know, the film is set in two parts. You see The Losers Club (as they are known) as children in Part 1 and them as adults in Part 2. This coming-of-age story sees boys become men and a girl become a woman through shared experiences and traumatic events.
This film is so much more than your typical ‘jump-scare’ horror. It has deeper layers and themes of friendship, unity and self-belief. Only when The Losers Club band together, are they able to defeat Pennywise. The book provides an in-depth backstory to every character. Be warned, there are many triggers including: sexual assault, physical abuse, suicide, death of a family member and more. You cannot even begin to fathom what these children have gone through and it begs the question, is IT (or Pennywise) actually the true villain in this story?
What I love about it most is the characters. We have Billy (unofficial leader of The Losers Club) whose brother Georgie was eaten by Pennywise. Beverley is the female of the group; a confident and kind girl with a possessive and abusive father. Ben is the tortured, bullied chubby boy who has recently moved to Derry and is fascinated by its dark history. Mike is the quiet, sullen one; tormented by the death of his parents who died in a fire. Richie is the prankster who is unfortunately terrified of clowns. Eddie is the hypochondriac, allergic to life due to his mother’s coddling and Stan is the timid Jewish boy; full of anxiety and unable to cope with the return of Pennywise in Part 2. This ragtag group of misfits are the underdogs. They are the subject of bullying and are ostracised for being different. Through it all, they are the ones who take on a monster with bravery, strength and determination.
Pennywise is known for his trademark saying: ‘You’ll Float Too’ which makes sense later in the film when you see his collection of floating children in his lair. He has ‘Deadlights’ which emerge from his unhinged jaw and have the ability to cause permanent insanity or death. This is how he is able to immobilise his victims. In Part 2, you witness Pennywise evolve into his final form, which is interestingly a female spider from another dimension. Oh and did I mention the giant turtle from space? You will just have to read the book to learn more about that! It’s such a unique horror story. So different to what I’ve seen before in my time.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you haven’t seen IT, please check it out on Netflix. I have watched it 3 times already and I’m going to do so again soon because it’s just that good! I also really like the original with Tim Curry. Let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo