Classically, clowns are around to make you laugh – this is not the case in the film It.
The killer clown Pennywise is a shape shifter whose personal favourite form is a tall, balding, sharpen toothed grinning clown. His food preference: children.
Surprisingly, this horrifying enigmatic creature is not the centre of the film.
It focuses on the lives of a group of children, The Losers’ Club; a group of five boys and one girl are haunted and hunted by this creature living in the sewer system in their town of Derry.
These children bring a special quality to the film that softens the horror genre. Each kid in the group has a personal fear, or is going through a traumatic experience in their home lives; but they remain funny, honest and bound to one another.
Imagine taking the courage of the kids from Stranger Things and the lunacy and provocative nature from the boys in Stand By Me, smoosh them together to form a new group and you have The Losers’ Club.
There are moments of wide-eyed panic when the children come face to face with the clown creature. There is no consistency with Pennywise, because it changes frequently in its shape and its personality. The true horror of this creature is its specialty to cater to your personal, deepest, fears.
This film, unlike the majority of horrors, is heavy in dialogue, giving the audience the ability to know its characters well. Stephen King was the first to give the movie a thumbs-up of approval. It became the highest grossing horror movie in history in a matter of weeks.
The children in the Losers’ Club evoke not only empathy from the viewer with their tribulations, but put the audience at ease with their naive, childlike humour and courage.
It has a 1980s movie feel, with young love and kids whose mouths should be washed out with bars of soap (with really good CGI, of course.)
The anticipated remake is more a coming of age story with thriller qualities than it is a horror movie. Yes, there’s blood. Of course, kiddies are eaten, but there’s a lack of detachment from the film that regular horror movies have. The film ends and instead of being exciting for the theatre lights to turn on, you want more. Luckily, Pennywise returns every 27 years – the Losers Club will be back for a sequel.
Horror Rating: 7 — With coulrophobia (the fear of clowns)