By Rylee Yerkes
Red balloons tied to sewer grates, weird clown sightings, and creepy circus music. All of this hysteria has lead up to the release of “IT”, a movie adaptation of Stephen King’s bone-chilling novel It. The release of “IT” was so highly anticipated; opening night brought in an incredible $13.5 million. In this film, we follow a group of seven kids called the “losers club,” who battle against a deranged clown named Pennywise. Pennywise is hundreds of years old, first arriving on Earth in the place that would eventually become the town of Derry, Maine. Hiding away in the sewers, the creature awakens every 27 years, usually following some sort of tragic event.
It’s never specified in the movie that Pennywise is a shape-shifting god that eats humans, which came from some dimension outside of space called the “Macroverse”. “It” can take up any form that it pleases, but his favorite is Pennywise, the Dancing Clown. This is mainly because it attracts innocent children, his preferred type of human to prey upon. In the novel, Pennywise, goes into more detail as to why children are his favorite. He says that frightened people taste the best, and the fears of children are often simplistic and easy to shape-shift into. Though the children’s fears are not exactly accurate to the novel, It can be seen in the form of each member of the Losers Club’s largest fear, making it easy to understand that It’s favorite meal is scared children.
Did this movie live up to the hype? Not everyone thinks so, but I certainly do. There is only so much that can be done to perfectly capture the atmosphere of King’s 1138 page novel. I found that the movie mainly appealed to teens around my age, providing unreasonably gory and disturbing scenes that not all can stomach. There was also a lot of comic relief in the movie, relentlessly provided by the character Richie Tozier. As for the people who didn’t find “IT” too disturbing, I definitely recommend all and any of King’s novels, as they are great reads for those fascinated by scary things. Nonetheless, the casting was excellent, and I enjoyed the small references to the novel that fans can acknowledge.
Some say that the movie was way too long, which is debatable, as it lasted for two hours. However, I believe the extra scenes that some find unnecessary were needed to show the underlying themes of Stephen King’s novel. These themes include the naivety and innocence of children, and the importance of friendship. Understandably, some scenes were omitted in order to keep the movie morally and socially “acceptable” enough to be enjoyed by a wide audience. In the novel, the story of the Macroverse and all of its inhabitants, as well as the fears and problems of the Losers Club, goes into extraordinary depth, which reasonably cannot be compressed into an already longer-than-average film.
Overall, I found that the most important and meaningful scenes were included in the movie, and the general dark and unnerving vibe of Stephen King’s novel was preserved. There absolutely has to be a second part, as the movie ended with a screen that branded it as “part one”. I highly doubt that they would leave out the part where the Losers Club comes back as adults to battle It once again. I am urgently awaiting the announcement of a second movie, and I definitely plan to see it once it’s in theatres.