Sword & Shield

IT came, IT saw, IT conquered

Megan Leiter, Copy Editor & Centerfold Editor

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It all began with a paper boat and an innocent boy. A story of friendship, “your mom” jokes, and a child-eating clown. Stephen King’s beloved story was remade with a modern edge, but it definitely has not lost its ability to make all ages tremble in fear.
IT is a film circled around a town named Derry and the horrors that occur every 27 years. The disappearances of adults, and children in particular, seem to have been overlooked–until now.
Young Georgie was given a paper boat, made by his brother Bill, to play with in the rain. The boat begins to glide further from the boy and ends up slipping into a sewer. Georgie is distraught and stares into the flowing water, hoping the boat may still be in reach. Slowly, two yellow eyes appear in the murky darkness.
Within that moment, the story goes from lighthearted and innocent to dark and grim. The figure in the sewer introduces himself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” and offers Georgie his boat back. Despite being quite stunned by the clown’s appearance and behavior, Georgie wants nothing more than to bring the paper boat back to his brother.
Pennywise offered to return it and asked Georgie to reach in and retrieve it. Naive Georgie puts his hand a little too close to the clown, and you can imagine what happens.
I walked into the theater with my expectations at rock bottom. I’ve never been a horror movie junkie. I usually begin a scary film, but never make it to the end because I am scared of practically everything.
Once the opening scenes began, I knew I was not going anywhere. I was immediately captivated by the demonic entrance of Pennywise into the film and hung onto the lingering question: “What happened to Georgie?”
The main characters were lovable from the start. The seven Misfits of Derry gave a sense of ‘80s nostalgia and kept people laughing during a movie that felt very heavy. Each character had their own fear and it explained a lot about their personalities and the things they have faced. A few of the members of the “Loser Club” were actors Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, and Sophia Lillis. They did an incredible job and the chemistry between them was undeniable.
Jump scares, gore, and wild visual effects kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt completely immersed in Stephen King’s fictional world and I could empathize with every character. Pennywise was absolutely terrifying and Bill Skarsgård portrayed him wonderfully.
The original film released in 1990 altered the way the world saw clowns. The once entertaining and silly birthday party essential had turned frightening. Dressed in the typical clown attire, but evil within. The first movie adaptation was created solely for television which provided many limitations for how close the movie would follow the book. However, the 2017 version could show Pennywise in his more monstrous form.
IT 1990 lacked action and character development. I was constantly waiting for something to happen and when the final battle scene occurred between the now adults “losers” and Pennywise, it was anticlimactic. The one redeeming factor was Tim Curry as Pennywise. While Bill Skarsgård was a refreshing twist on our favorite murderous clown, Tim Curry created an iconic character and was the perfect balance between disturbing and
amusing.
My only complaint is that I wish Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal was more clown-like. Overall, I do not think that the Original IT and this year’s release compare.
The main differences between the book and film were the time period of the story, the dynamic between the group
of outsiders, and no alternating timelines.
Stephen King’s second adaptation of IT has become the highest grossing horror film to this date. I recommend this movie to any audience–horror movie lovers and haters alike. Part two of the IT series is highly anticipated and I hope to also be as blown away as I was with chapter one.

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IT came, IT saw, IT conquered