The remake of Stephen King’s classic clown thriller IT is now in theaters, and a group of people are showing up in theaters dressed up as Pennywise, the killer clown from the popular movie, and it’s basically making everyone else lose their minds. To the credit of these Pennywise cosplayers, at least they’re doing it before the movie (for the most part) and not waiting in the parking lot afterwards because that would be even more terrifying to the people that think this is scary. A lot of people just think it’s funny, too.
Have you watched the original IT recently? It terrified a whole generation, but in hindsight it doesn’t necessarily hold up – but now the remake is here to scare a whole new generation of horror fans. The thing with really influential movies and games and any art, for that matter, is that when you revisit it, it might not seem as special, because you’ve seen so many things that came afterwards and were strongly influenced by it. A good example of this is the game Bioshock. It was hugely influential, and many games that followed it borrowed bits and pieces from it, so for somebody who went back and played it for the first time more recently, they might not see what all the fuss is about, since they’ve played so many other games that drew from the best parts of what made Bioshock so special. The horror movie genre has come a long way since the 80’s and 90’s, so that’s why the original IT might not hold up as well in terms of being scary, and it’s also probabally why we see a lot of horror movies getting re-made or revisited in different ways. There’s all these classic franchises, and all they need is a fresh coat of paint to make them scary to today’s generation of movie-goers.
Went to see IT, I’m first in the screen and this fucking guy’s just sitting there. pic.twitter.com/b3oatLGdrs
— Chris (@HG_Hohbes) September 8, 2017
If that wasn’t enough, you’ve got these people dressing up as Pennywise and showing up to movie theaters all over. Like this guy, for example, who was the first one in the theater, just sitting there dressed up in his Pennywise clown costume holding the iconic red balloon. Could you imagine walking into the theater and seeing that? Even if you aren’t familiar with the original IT, you’ve probabally seen the red balloon imagery already.
It’s up for debate whether the original Pennywise, played by Tim Curry, or the new one, played by Bill Skarsgård, is the scarier looking version of the clown. Regardless of which Pennywise is creepier looking, seeing either one sitting alone as you arrive in an empty theater is going to leave you feeling at least a little bit squirmish.
This has been happening all over the place during the initial screenings of the movie. Over the years, IT has built up a big cult following, so it shouldn’t come as any big surprise that people are going to want to get into character before the movie, but it’s still pretty surprising when you lock eyes with Pennywise out of nowhere.
Some of the clowns are just sitting there minding their own business, or walking around, but this next one is just a savage. This clown decided to wait until the movie was halfway done and THEN walked into the theater. Imagine that. You’re watching this movie, you’re terrified, things are right in full swing, and then in walks none other than Pennywise himself. You can bet that at least a few of those movie theater seats had to be hosed down afterwards.
Stephen King’s IT novel, which the original movie was based off of, came out in 1986. The original movie was released in 1990. It played a big role when it comes to people being scared of clowns, and now a whole new generation of kids are going to be scared to shower at the gym or really careful to make sure that their paper boats don’t fall into the sewer.
This isn’t it for the IT franchise, there’s already talks about a second part. The first movie was technically a miniseries, and here’s what the director of the new IT had to say about a follow-up: “We’ll probably have a script for the second part in January. Ideally, we would start prep in March. Part one is only about the kids. Part two is about these characters 30 years later as adults, with flashbacks to 1989 when they were kids.”
It will be interesting to see how far they carry this franchise into the future with further sequels, spin-offs, maybe even crossovers with another horror franchise? Pennywise Vs Leprechaun in Space, anybody? Unlikely, certain horror cliches are better kept in the past.
What would you do if you walked into a theater early to get the best seats, thinking you’d be all alone, and you came face to face with Pennywise in the back row? Would you be comfortable sitting down with your back turned to him, or would you try to play it cool and act like you forgot to buy some snacks and leave the theater until more people showed up?