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It Review

Gary Casey

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Nice guys finish last…sometimes.

In Andy Muschietti’s spinoff to the classic Stephen King novel It, we see some things that are a little unusual to horror: mainly, a happy ending for the main characters. By the end of the movie, the viewer is perhaps left with more questions than answers, but that must just be the mystery of Derry.

In Muschietti’s remake, Pennywise is a six-foot-tall sewer-dweller with a subtle lisp and a bad habit of drooling, but that doesn’t stop him from living up to his reputation as the scariest clown in pop culture. Off-putting and sometimes downright scary are his childlike diction, his bright red makeup, and a slight lazy eye.

In terms of character, however, Pennywise shows more of it than you’d expect. In most horror movies, the antagonist can be simplified to a great evil entity, but Pennywise is a rounder character than what’s typical. In intimate one-on-one scenes with the kids, the viewer catches glimpses of a real person with motivation, and it is exactly this realization by the children that defeats him. Pennywise is like the schoolhouse bully who never had anyone stand up to him before because they were too afraid.

And larger than the clown was his whole influence on the town of Derry. Pieces of It could be found in places he wasn’t, even in people. One of It’s special abilities was to form illusions around his victims, similar to the illusion of illness placed on Eddie Kaspbrak by his abusive mother. Appearing in a television show, Pennywise persuaded the neighborhood bully Henry Bowers to murder his father while his father was sleeping in on the couch.

Interesting about this movie was the importance of comradeship between the children. As opposed to most horror movies where the antagonist’s victory is guaranteed, there was a real battle taking place between good and evil. The combined strength and bravery of the children proved to be too much for the seemingly all-powerful circus clown.

“Either you’re out here, or you’re in there. Decide before someone decides for you.”

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The student news site of Austin College
It Review