Watching 'IT Chapter Two' as Someone Scared of Clowns

Well, here we are, in the months of September and October: the spookiest time of the year! With this season comes a plethora of horror movies composed of remakes, sequels and a few originals. Given that you're not living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of the cult classic, Stephen King’s IT, which tells the story of a group of kids who are faced with an entity that likes to take the shape of a dancing clown.

Now, I don’t have anything against Stephen King’s work—I just have a thing against that clown. Quite frankly, I am used to everybody’s exasperated responses whenever I tell them I haven’t seen IT. I never got the allure of the movie because I figured, “why even give myself those chills?” 

I mean, how can you actually like clowns? They're grown adults dressed up in whacky makeup who go around playing tricks on kids to "entertain" them. Uh, no thanks. My common sense (or maybe it's just everyone's lack of common sense) in the decision of not liking clowns comes down to the fact that I am totally okay with letting everything else in my life be a joke, and not letting it be from a clown. Not only are ordinary clowns unnerving, but Pennywise is dressed as a clown and lures in little kids just so that he can have a nice dinner every 27 years.

But I, for one, am all about staying up to date with any pop culture buzz, so I knew in my heart that I needed to get my spook on. Going in as someone who had never seen the first movie, everyone decided that I was insane for jumping into the series. As an avid Harry Potter fan, I knew I would lock into cardiac arrest if somebody had told me they were jumping into Goblet of Fire without ever watching the other movies (and don't even get me started on those people who critique it without having read the epic novels.)

Thankfully, during the movie, it was quite obvious when Pennywise the Dancing Clown was going to appear or when something out of the ordinary was going to pop up, which gave me time to brace myself. There were even times where one of the zombie-like creature's appearances were just a tad bit too hilarious, which lessened the feeling of suspense in that scene. There were many jokes thrown our way in the film, giving it a lighthearted tone that allowed me to grow my connection to the characters, both young and old.

The one thing I could not stop fixating myself on was the wicked casting of the adult characters based on their younger character counterparts. Typically in Hollywood, we’re so used to seeing a heavy amount of makeup dumped onto the stars of the film, but in IT Chapter Two, the casting is so on par that it almost looks as if the kids were cast just based off of the adults. Many of them are notable actors, and there were very serious moments in the movie where I just pictured James McAvoy, who portrays Bill Denbrough, bald and kidnapping young women in one of his many personalities.

In the very beginning, the sight of the clown was something that got the best of my nerves, whereas towards the end it affected me to a much lesser extent. One big thing that helped me to get over my fears was simply going with my friends. Rather than being alone and focused on how creepy the spectacle was, I was able to make jokes and comments to my friends throughout the move to release some of my tension.

Having a great support system—whether it is for your mental breakdowns or your totally normal fear of clowns—really gives you a push to do and see things you would never want to do on your own. Life is all about trying new things, no matter how uncomfortable or scary it may be. So, fellow people with clown phobias, I suggest you man up and see it in theaters, as it will be well worth it. Besides, if you never face your fears, how will you ever understand all the IT: Chapter Two memes on Twitter?

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