Clowns have never been one of my fears. I’m more the ghost fearing type. Though, I never liked costumed adults as a kid–the Easter Bunny, Mickey Mouse at Disney Land, and mall Santas were always on my “avoid at all costs” lists. Perhaps I never developed the clown fear because I never saw any in person as a kid. I wonder if the 1990 It movie had something to do with that, or if clowns just were no longer in fashion. The movie was certainly something everyone knew about–something that even elicited a slight bulge of the eyes when mentioned. Pennywise, the clown, is a face known by most, even if they’ve never seen the film. It’s an iconic horror that despite its age has persevered in our minds as one of the classics.
I never watched much of the original It. The few times I tried was when I was young and didn’t realize it was actually a four-hour mini series. However, I am excited about the new It movies coming to theaters on September 8th. Here is the trailer:
Creepy! What this film is all about of course is a Stephen King book by the same name. The story revolves around a shapeshifting, immortal alien that terrorizes and murders the children in Derry, Maine. This alien is most commonly referred to as Pennywise and frequently takes the shape of a clown. A group of somewhat awkward kids band together to form the Losers Club and decide to fight against this creature to stop the killings of children.
Now, this It film has cast Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. He has big [clown] shoes to fill considering Tim Curry played the original. You know, the actor who starred as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror, as well as roles from a long list of other great movies. However, I have high hopes for Bill Skarsgård. I enjoyed his role in the Netflix original show Hemlock Grove. In that show, he plays a vampire. Which is a little funny considering his older brother was none other than Eric–the Nordic vampire–from HBO’s True Blood. However, Bill didn’t appear to have gotten his vampire role because of big brother connections but because his acting was really great. I’m curious to see how he captures Pennywise.
The new It movie is expected to make an absolute killing at the box office. One huge reason is that it doesn’t have any competition. September films aren’t really known for their eye popping box office earnings, but people are hopeful nonetheless. Right now is also a revival of Stephen King on tv and in movie. Dark Towers just released this month in theaters. That film is about a gun-slinging Idris Elba trying to rid the world of the evil sorcerer played by Matthew McConaughey. There is also Mr. Mercedes, that is still at the start of its first season. That show is about a psychopath driving a stolen Mercedes into a crowd–killing and injuring many–and a retired detective trying to capture him after.
Despite how much interest there seems to be in the It film they, of course, want to bolster even more. Therefore, they made a game. That’s right, there is now an It game. The game is an 8-bit online game where you maneuver a paper boat in the underground sewers of Derry, Maine. The aim is to collect red balloons for points and avoid things like sewer walls, missing posters, and Pennywise the clown. You can play the game here.
The game is actually pretty fun! You use your right and left arrow on the keyboard to attempt deftly moving around the tunnel. The biggest enemy to your ship is the cinder blocks in the path. Those things take me out every time! It’s easy to get a little obsessed trying to get a high score. My measly high score is a mere eight thousand points at the moment. What scores can you manage?
I think this is a great marketing strategy for the movie. Who would think otherwise with a free, addictive game available to anyone with internet access? It certainly is a simple game, something reminiscent of older times. Which appears to be something the film as a whole reaches for. The It movie takes place in 1989–unlike how the original was in the 50’s–and really takes the era by the bull horns. I’m sure you didn’t miss the dated clothing and atmosphere in the trailer. This nostalgia in horror movies and tv is becoming a thing in my opinion. Other examples are Stephen Spielberg’s Super 8 and Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Speaking of Stranger Things, it only exists because of It. Apparently, the Duffer Brothers who created Stranger Things wanted to make an It adaption but were not allowed the rights. That is when they moved on to make Stranger Things instead. Which is still inspired by It in ways. The show has tons of Stephen King references (something Stephen King even mentions in this tweet).
Are you all going to watch It? This looks like a horror film with an enormous potential for quality–something I think doesn’t happen often. That means I’m definitely going to watch it, even though I’m a complete scaredy cat when it comes to scary movies. Also, don’t forget to check out the It game!