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Stephen King’s “It”: The Best Movie to Kick Off Halloween Season

It’s that time of year again, folks. As the weather (finally) begins to cool, as the leaves change color and as pumpkin spice takes over the world, we enter what is arguably the best time of year: horror movie season. Yes, it’s the time of year when skeletons and ghosts emerge, and here to kick off Halloween Preparation Month is the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It

Photo via IMDb


Seven lovable misfits, who jokingly refer to themselves as “The Losers Club” are separately confronted by Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a dark entity that returns to their hometown of Derry every 27 years. Pennywise, whose original clown form is scary enough, morphs into each of the children’s worst fears, terrorizing them and attempting to consume them with his lamprey-like jaws. 

The genius of this movie is in the atmosphere. Similarly to Netflix’s hit TV series Stranger Things, It maintains the feels of a small town in the 1980’s. Because the film centers around young teenagers, there’s a sense of childlike innocence. With every character commuting via bike, the viewer is transported back to their own childhood. It’s the childhood adventure (or perhaps nightmare) that you had when you were a kid. 

What also rings true about It is the character development. Again, I was reminded of Stranger Things, as I developed such a deep attachment to each of the kids. They are well rounded, fully realized characters; these kids have heart. It capitalizes on the “band of misfits” trope — and it works on every level. 

Photo via IMDb


In general, I am a movie traditionalist, meaning that I can’t stand remakes. The original It TV series starring Tim Curry as Pennywise is a beloved cult classic. As an avid Tim Curry fan (and I am willing to admit that I have attempted to watch his entire filmography), I was both excited and worried to see Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise. I am happy to announce that I was blown away. Skarsgård has an entirely new take on the role; he doesn’t attempt to replicate Curry’s Pennywise, and that is the key to his success. Where Curry’s portrayal was greasy, lurking, and menacing, Skarsgård brings a childishness to the role. His demeanor more closely matches the children’s, which brings an unpredictability that heightens the horror. 

Now, if you’re looking for a deep, edgy psychological thriller, you’re looking in the wrong place. There’s no gore or gratuitous violence; in fact, the only reason It was awarded an R rating is the language (Finn Wolfhard’s Richie Tozier is hilariously foul mouthed. My favorite character by far, he left the entire audience laughing throughout the otherwise scary movie). Overall, It is meant to be a fun movie. Its horror relies predominantly on jump scares and on on your pre-existing coulrophobia

I cannot recommend It highly enough. It’s the perfect movie to watch with a big group of friends to start preparing for Halloween season.

Feature image via IMDb

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Mary Chamberlain Harlan is a junior at Southern Methodist University majoring in English and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. An ardent liberal, she is passionate about human rights and works with Spectrum, LGBT Panels, and TEDx SMU to raise awareness for the LGBT community. She has been obsessed with horror movies since age 8, when she first saw Poltergeist, and plans to write her senior thesis on the impact of the horror genre on the modern world.
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