By now, many of you have probably heard of the author Stephen King. King
is responsible for some of the most terrifying books to ever touch the hands of readers; from Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, and Pet Seminary. King has earned his place as The King (no pun intended) of horror in American literature. Most recently, his epic 1986 novel It has been transformed into a miraculous motion picture that is every bit scary as it is touching.
To summarize, briefly, It takes place in 1989 in Derry, Maine, a small town that has its share of secrets and horrors hidden beneath the surface, in this case, these terrors are hidden within the Derry sewer system.
The film follows a group of children known as the Loser’s Club, that are terrorized
by a being that transforms into a person’s biggest fears and phobias to lure them
as prey. This being, which the Loser’s Club call “It”, or more commonly known as Pennywise, only comes out every 27 years, and has been terrorizing Derry for several centuries. The Loser’s Club, which is lead by “Stuttering” Bill Denbrough, decide to find a way to bring an end to Pennywise once and for all, even if that means risking their own lives along the way.
Now, although “It” does have its fair shares of scares (which director Andy Muschietti beautifully delivers to the audience), it also has themes that have become staples of Stephen King’s works, such as childhood trauma, the secrets that hide beneath the façade of a small town, and overcoming evil through trust, and eventually, sacrifice. What makes the lm and book so superlative is that before our very eyes, we see seven innocent, frightened children enter adulthood by facing their biggest fears, and learning how to trust one another along the way. The film is reminiscent of another King adaptation; “Stand By Me”, that deals with similar themes, when a group of friends goes on an adventure to nd the body of a missing child and along the way, they grow and learn about themselves, and each other.
What makes It so effective is that director Andy Muschietti wascable to capture the essence of King’s novel from both the horror and emotional standpoints. One of the beauties of this film is that one, in a sense, wishes that they could teleport to Derry and help the Loser’s fight off Pennywise, while also wishing that these characters were in fact real, and could
be friends with them. I think what stands out the most about “It”, is that it will always be more
than just a horror movie (or book); it is a piece of artwork that will transport us back
to our childhood, and make us relive, think, and face our biggest fears, while learning how to overcome these terrors and learning how to believe in ourselves.