by Julia Vaccarella ’20
Since its Sept. 8 release, the cinematic remake of Stephen King’s 1986 novel, IT, has caused a profound explosion in the box office.
IT has even surpassed The Exorcist (1973) as the highest-grossing horror film in the United States.
Starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, IT centers on Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher) and his friends and takes place in Derry, Maine, a suburban town with a history of disasters involving children.
The film follows their battle to defeat Pennywise, who depends upon the fears of the children within Derry as a means of power. Bill and his friends discover a pattern between the incidents themselves and a consistent period in between them.
IT has been greatly revered in comparison to the original television production of the same name, which aired in 1990. The film released this year is presented as a reference to the return of Pennywise himself. As in the plot of King’s original text, Pennywise is speculated to reemerge in Derry every 27 years.
Much of the appeal for the 2017 version comes specifically from Director Andy Muschietti’s vision to create a more chilling adaptation of IT than the miniseries. Muschietti has made a name for himself within the horror genre through prior involvement directing Mama (2013), based on his own 2008 short film.
Marketing advantages like the Internet and social media, which were not accessible in 1990, have also played an integral role in the popularity of IT.
Trailers for IT had millions of views even before the movie was released and various memes of Pennywise have circulated through communication platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Although the debate between book versus film continues, one thing is for sure regarding this film: a lot of people want to see it.