Could It Be Real?


Grace Wilson, Web Assistant

Author Stephen King was actually inspired by a real-life “killer clown.” Pennywise, the dancing clown, is the star of Stephen King’s novel It, a 1990 miniseries on TV, and the recent Hollywood movie It. John Wayne Gacy, or “Pogo the Clown,” dressed up for birthday parties and kids entertainment.  Little did clients know that he would soon be arrested for multiple murders. Despite this disturbing fact, It is not the basic slasher movie that the horror genre can be associated with. Stephen King’s first half of the original novel, or “Chapter One” as they are calling it, is a collection of nightmares with brilliantly funny lines.

 The group of seven young teens, sometimes considered “losers,” form new friendships while facing their worst nightmare—a shape-shifting clown who torments and tries to divide them. Despite its R-rating, the movie is geared towards teens; however, anyone would enjoy it. Unlike films and shows made in the 90s, this blockbuster has realistic special effects that leave everyone in the theatre chilled to their core.

Set in the 1980s and filmed in Canada, the film follows the children who have no phones – a foreign concept to this generation. Forced to use their wits, teamwork and friendship, the teens overcome their fears, venture into the sewer, and try to put an end to the biggest problem facing their small town.

The book features the main characters in the 1980s flashing back to their childhood 27 years earlier in the 1950s. The current version is more relatable to the teen audience. Chapter Two has been given the “green light” for a sequel that will feature the characters in their forties having gone their separate ways but reuniting again.

From a novel of more than a thousand pages, not everything was covered in the miniseries or the recent movie. Although this movie is only half of the original story, It seems to have kept nearly everything the same. Even though Pennywise is no longer a shape shifter of iconic movie monsters, he still manages to terrify just as well. In the recent movie, Mike, the farmboy, trades his slingshot for a captive bolt pistol, and Beverly’s extremely controversial scene to unite them in the end, is converted into a blood oath, thankfully. The abusive parents, Georgie’s opening scene, Henry killing his father with Pennywise’s gift, the bloody sink scene, and more, remained the same, just updated.

If you liked the series Stranger Things, you will feel at home with It. Familiar to you will be  teen actor, Finn Wolfhard and some notable filming locations. Of course, nothing can compare to the red balloon wielding clown Pennywise.