The anticipation for It was tremendous, and in its first weekend at the box office, It earned 123 million dollars, shattering the record for the most money earned in a single weekend by a horror movie. While critics have pointed to the source material’s nostalgic elements and the buzz surrounding the casting of actors from Stranger Things as padding for these box office draws, the revenue is well deserved.
This rendition of It features a more subtly creepy Pennywise than the clown of the 1980s It minisiries. His lazy eye, buckteeth, drool, lisp, and more cartoonish appearance make him even scarier in comparison to the Pennywise from a few decades ago.
Another aspect of the film is its ability to capture the essence of the 80s. It excels in creating the small-town environment reminiscent of The Goonies or Stranger Things.
Not only is the film sentimental and nostalgic, but it is also relatable to audiences via its perfect encapsulation of high school life. It has the mean girls, the tomboy, the “new kid on the block,” the bullies, etc. Even the “loser’s club,” the film’s main group of friends, embodies a high school trope as they are all a bunch of nerds. They are simply fun to watch.
Fear serves as an illusion and a roadblock throughout the movie. In the end, Pennywise is the embodiment of fear itself. All of the children’s fears are exposed through exposition in the movie. The childish fear of the painting in the father’s office, the disgusting leper, the fear of being unclean, fire--- all of the kid’s fears are regarded and treated differently in the movie.
Audiences, including the MBA crowd, loved It. After screaming for three hours, Ben Jablonski was somehow able to utter the words “I thought it was a stream of jump scares that made me spooked yet the story kept me captivated.” Andrew Falls, a little more well put together, agreed with Ben, further elaborating, “I thought it was one of the few horror movies with a decent plot that still managed to get the scares right.”
Although many loved the new It, many realized it was not perfect. One reason for this was due to the predictability of its plot. Moments such as the early scene involving the use of a cattle prodder as a weapon obviously foreshadowed the following events. Also, certain plot points fell flat such as when Georgie, an innocent child, was killed on screen three times Also, the morally ambiguous love triangle stays stagnant and boring, adding nothing to the overall effect of the movie.
Several theories have been developed regarding It, relating to the parents in particular. All of the adults act strange and look grotesque in the film. Eddie’s mother, Beverly’s father, Henry’s father, and even the doctor and the librarian look almost beast-like, and loom over the children. Something is going on with the adults.
Perhaps they are portrayed like this to symbolically allude to the parents and their true value to the film. Because, in truth, the parents are the root cause of Pennywise’s existence. All of the parents belittle their children and cause them to be afraid, with Beverly and Eddie’s parents serving as perfect examples.
All of the children are the results of their abusive parents. When the children are not able to move past their fear, they are unable to further themselves. In extreme examples, like with Henry, they fall.
However, this theory could take an even deeper turn. Take the example of Ben reading up on the explosion in the library. In the part where the pages are flipping, viewers who pay attention can see the librarian staring directly at Ben the entire time this is happening. Even if all of this are just random ramblings from various fans of the movie, the fact that these theories are possible at all show the depth and quality of the film.