After 27 years, “It” has happened again. If you are an avid classic pop literature reader or a movie buff in your own right, you’ll notice a little coincidence with the time period between the release of the original film in 1990 and the remake in 2017. According to the book and film, It (also known as the character Pennywise the Clown) apparently comes out of hibernation every 27 years to “feast on children and their fears.” It has been exactly 27 years since the original 1990 release…creepy, right?
So now, dim the lights, kick back, relax and let Pennywise the Clown take you to your happy place of subtle frights and thrills. I know I did. The remake of this Stephen King horror/thriller classic just had its opening weekend and is already the talk of the town with box offices sold out everywhere. According to Variety magazine, the film’s first two preview nights grossed over $50 million with $13.5 million of those earnings coming from Thursday’s preview night, giving “It” the third largest preview number for 2017.
“It” isn’t only centered around the clown, but it also follows a group of seven young, bullied kids (Bill, Ben, Beverly, Richie, Mike, Eddie, and Stanley) who live in the small town of Derry, Maine. They are on a mission to find out who the clown is and why he has chosen to terrorize their town’s children.
The entire epidemic starts out in the opening scenes of the film. It’s pouring rain and Bill and little Georgie are bonding over a toy boat in their parent’s home while their mother awkwardly plays the piano in a melancholic minor tone. After spending some quality time together, the brothers decide it’s a great idea for Georgie to go play with his boat outside…by himself.
The rain is getting worse and poor Georgie begins to fall behind the water currents, pulling his boat downstream. He slips and hits his head on a construction piece in the street before shortly realizing his trusty boat fell down the sewer. Then comes Pennywise, who pops out of the sewer drain and holds a full-blown conversation with little Georgie about cheering up his brother Bill and getting treats like balloons, popcorn and cotton candy. The two share moments of uncontrollable laughter until Georgie suddenly stops and realizes something isn’t quite right. Pennywise is obviously trying to get Georgie to come down drain to get his boat—don’t do it Georgie! But alas, Pennywise gets his way and they go down that darn drain together.
And that’s the tragedy that sparked this movement of seven friends trying to find It to put an end to his shenanigans before he puts an end to them. Although the diabolic clown truly sets the dark tone of the film, the wit, charisma and potty-mouth humor from the kids had myself and the entire audience filling the auditorium with laughter, which is not the first thing you would expect when thinking of a horror film. The adolescent cast also played off the nostalgic vibe well, with the style, music selection and their witty reference to the Molly Ringwald look-alike character. A big take away from the film: don’t converse with random clowns in the sewers. Also, if the films “The Goonies” and “It” merged and had a baby, this is definitely what it would look like, and I’m okay with that.
Coming from someone who is typically anti-horror, this film is amazing and really strays away from your typical horror film. I was so busy laughing I forgot to get terrified at times, but when I did I could not leave the theatre because the performance was so well played I was afraid I’d miss what would happen next. This thriller will have you on the edge of your seat with just the right balance of fear and humor.