BY MARIANA JARAMILLO ’20
Watching a horror film in theaters is a completely different experience from watching one at home on a smaller screen. Stephen King’s “It” is one for the theaters. The film is a perfect example of an immersive cinematic experience as it pulls the audience into the story’s world instead of just throwing random jump scares at the viewers. This adaptation comes 27 years after the original production in 1990, which — as those who have already seen the previous film may know — fits the timeline of the routine return of the film’s main fear factor, Pennywise the clown. This version is still based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and is directed by Andres Muschietti. Among the notable cast members are Bill Skarsgård as “It” the clown, Finn Wolfhard from “Stranger Things” and several other talented child actors with promising careers ahead of them.
At its core, “It” is a movie about the relationships between a group of friends and how they deal with growing up in a town full of violence and strange disappearances. The kids live in Derry, a small town in Maine. School has just been let out and they’re trying to make the most of their summer. In addition to the film’s many terrifying scenes, there are also a number of intimate and relatable moments between the friends that deepens the realistic and impending fear felt by the audience.
The movie goes to great lengths to provide in depth stories for all of the kids so that the viewer can understand from where their deepest fears stem. The character, Beverly, for example, lives a bit of a double life. She is barely a teenager, still trying to enjoy her childhood, but her father has made her far too aware of her sexuality. There are many instances where she is the sole subject of the male gaze as the other kids stare at her in uncomfortable ways and rumors spread of her supposed tendency to “sleep around.” One wonders if the subject of her sexuality was necessary to advance the plot in the story and, if there had been more women in the writing room, Beverly’s fears could’ve perhaps stemmed from something else.
“It” is definitely a movie worth watching in theaters, and it will go down as one of the best horror movies of the year. Horror fans are especially encouraged to watch the film because its style of storytelling is rare in the genre. Viewers are allowed to form a bond with the characters and actually care about what happens to them, instead of relying on shock value.