It (2017)

You’ll float too

There is something fundamental about the scariness of clowns. The clown persona seems to be at the root of what inspires the classic horror genre. I nervously wanted to see It as it approached release in the same way I wanted to ride a roller coaster. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it but still very eager to get on board because I knew how glad I’d be that I’d done it once it was over.

The newest adaptation of Stephen King’s It is a compelling dive into how childhood fear manifests, as an external threat – literal and terrifying. You will be on the edge of your seat from buildup after buildup from one scare to the next.

Pennywise’s portrayal left me eager to learn more. He is presented with alluring imagery. I found myself very interested in the mythology of the entity and wanting to know more about his (its?) backstory. Bill Skarsgård gives the role a physicality which is almost trancelike. Pennywise almost seems like an inanimate object come to life. At one point he (it?) postures himself in the way those little wooden dolls that stand up do when you squeeze the base of it. The action is complete with the sound of wooden blocks clacking together as if he is such a figurine. The movie is filled with nuance surrounding the clown which is mesmerizing to an extent.

Coming of Age

King’s focus on the supernatural has always been woven into what was occurring on an emotional level in the narrative, which is how the unbelievable still ends up feeling so personally relatable. The clown in It serves as a representation of other more real fears which are not as addressed, and how those fears thrive when denial seems so pervasive. The silly fears which adults know are nonsense are able to come to life because of this. Each kid’s fear is depicted in their own unique and individual way, but it all stems from the same source. The bond that strengthens amongst the young cast is one of the best elements of this film. The hilarious chatter back and forth from each personality is an excellent source of comic relief, even at moments which are downright horrifying.

The film is very bold and it completely deserves the absolutely explosive release it’s had. I fully look forward to seeing how many people’s costumes were inspired by this movie this upcoming Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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