UTG’s 31 Days Of Halloween: Stephen King’s ‘It’

Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no single day is more loved by the UTG staff than Halloween. With the arrival of October, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a plethora of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day, including the one you’re about to read.

31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring daily feature that will run throughout the month of October. The hope and goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror (or Halloween themed) movie recommendation that is guaranteed to amplify your All Hallows’ Eve festivities. We’ll be watching every film the day it’s featured, and we hope you’ll follow along at home. If you have a suggestion, contact us and we may include your favorite scarefest in an upcoming column!

Day 5: Stephen King’s It (1990)

I’ve never personally had the irrational fear of clowns that many people do have, but I can certainly understand where it could come from. Bottom line, clowns are creepy. There is something about a clown that makes you just want to punch it in the face, and you can never pinpoint why.

For kids growing up in the early 90s, this movie would be a fair excuse to want to do so. It was actually a TV mini-series and was never released in theatres. It is based off of Stephen King’s book entitled the same. You’ve all heard of Stephen King right? He wrote this tiny novel called The Shining.

It is one of those movies that when I first saw it, I thought to myself, “It’s so bad, it’s good.” I kind of felt that way about listening to Waka Flocka, but after a while both of those irony-ridden obsessions turned into a genuine appreciation for something a little cheesy.

The plotline revolved around a small town called Derry, ME where a group of children grew up together. During their childhood, a monster in the form of a clown named Pennywise would torment and murder children, although all the naive adults of the neighborhood would never believe the silly kids. The real kick of it is, you could only interact with him if you gave him the power to do so. By acknowledging his existence you enabled him, whereas by reaffirming that he isn’t really there, you took back control.

Pennywise took many forms — yes, often a clown, but he would embody whatever his current victim feared the most. If he didn’t take the fear route, he would just find mediums of vulnerability. Pennywise could appear as a deceased father, an accosting shower head, or a werewolf.

After the “Lucky 7” gang of kids took on this monster and allegedly defeated him, it returned 30 years later, where the group was forced into returning home to take on the past demons they’d sworn to destroy forever. Unfortunately, only six made it back, as one character, Stan, decided he’d rather slit his wrists than return to the wrath of Pennywise and the deprived town of Derry.

The plot synopsis could go on for pages as this “mini-series” lasted over 3 hours (I had to flip over my DVD halfway through), but let’s just jump into my favorite parts of this story.

If you were to analyze it as a whole, it’s got some really corny aspects and some really good ones. First off, it was written very well and the character development is great. It has that awful 1960s jargon that just makes you want to vomit, like, “Mom will have a bird,” or “cooties.” But undeniably, any movie starring Tim Curry and John Ritter is awesome at its inset.

The film also features child Seth Green, a little schmuck with broken glasses, a prankster you just want to smack, but he’s a good guy all around.

All the kids took on cliché adult forms, the fat kid became fit and successful, the funny guy is in show business, the chick became a fashionista, and the nerd, well, he’s still a virgin. The profound leader became the iconic horror writer, conveniently expressing his demons in written form. He had a creepy pedophile look and had a British wife who is way too sexy for him.

What’s ironic about this 90s TV horror, is that despite that fact that it isn’t scary per se, it still does something. I’ve watched this a few times, and I still get chills at certain moments. That is one creepy clown and his awful dialogue makes it even better. It’s more suspenseful than horrifying, but if you’re shook of clowns, good luck getting to sleep without his face haunting your nightmares.

The ending is pretty awful. Spoiler alert. Whatever. Maybe when you read the book it’s a lot better, because it does make sense, but in this rendition it’s brutal. When the six friends finally return to the sewage system where Pennywise supposedly lives, they come to terms with the fact that they can’t necessarily kill whatever “It” is through the clown. He is only a metaphor of fear. When the leader of the pack explains that this monster comes out to feed every 30 years, they realize there must be a physical being of it somewhere.

In the back of the sewer, the gang finds a little Hobbit sized door. Inside they find a giant 6-legged crab spider thing, which turns out to be the monster. Luckily, they only brought two silver rocks to shoot at it from a 30 year old slingshot. Why would they need more than two bullets? Psh. Come on. They end up beating it to death, overcoming IT and the trouble it has caused the town of Derry.

This movie is so bad it’s good, but not because it’s actually that bad, because it’s pretty damn good. Does that make sense? Well, that’s why I love It. If you don’t understand, watch it/IT (clever eh?), hopefully you’ll see where I’m coming from.

Editorial written by: Derek Scancarelli —
Last year’s Day 5 film: Grave Encounters 2

Derek Scancarelli
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