There’s No Clowning Around In It

Sara Raubvogel, Outreach Editor

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As the crowd slowly uncovered their eyes and unclenched their teeth, they looked around the Downtown Redwood City movie theater at the rest of the terrified audience, waiting for Pennywise the Clown to jump out again in the next scene of It.

Director Andy Muschietti brought back the story of Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel, It. The storyline follows a group of bullied middle schoolers, hunting the terrifying force of a clown, who is responsible for multiple disappearing kids.

With the novel being over 1,000 pages, It was difficult to adapt to a modern, 2 hour, 15 minute movie. The plot is fit into two movies, the first (Part 1: The Losers’ Club) following a group of preteens, and the second traveling with those same people as adults.

This “two-part” news was a shock to many people; however, Stephen King approves.

Stephen King’s twitter post on March 7, 2017 stated, “Andy Muschietti’s remake of IT (actually it’s Part 1–The Losers’ Club) succeeds beyond my expectations. Relax. Wait. And enjoy.”

It came to theaters on Friday, September 8th. Those students who saw the movie had good reviews, and for most, it was different than expected.

Katie Ryan, an 8th grader at Roy Cloud School, said “It was different than I expected because going into it, I thought I would be afraid, but it wasn’t very scary.”

Freshman Sofia Cloutier at Palo Alto High School agreed, “It wasn’t very scary.”

On Sunday, September 10, the Downtown Redwood City theater was filled with screams and swearing, so some must have thought it was chilling.

The talkative audience walked out of the movie with shocked, smiling faces. Hearing the bits of conversation throughout the mass of people lead me to believe that It lived up to the anticipation.

“That was amazing,” “There’s a second part?” and “I’m terrified,” were the three most popular comments of the night.

As far as plot goes, unfortunately, there is not much to report. The characters are strong and well developed, but there is not much of a storyline. Most of the movie is scene after scene of scares: clowns jumping out, blood, spooky disappearing kids, etc.

However, the little bit of developed plot does work well and definitely propelled the movie to an 85% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Those who have not seen It yet are excited to get the chance within the next few weeks. Apparently, the actors are drawing much attention to the movie, too. For example, Finn Wolfhard, who plays the young main character Richie Tozier, draws a viewer’s eye as Mike, from the Netflix Original show Stranger Things.

Hannah Wolfe, a junior at Buchanan High School in Clovis, California, said “I want to see it because the guy who plays Pennywise is very attractive in real life.”

Wolfe also expressed an interesting concern: “I am concerned that the movie will enforce the ‘scary clown’ stereotypes and cause the circus business to die out completely.”

Another reason people want to see It is for the scary aspect of the movie.

Julian Pierotti, a freshman at Jewish Community High School of the Bay said, “I want to see it because I want to get over my fear of scary movies.”

The film’s popularity attracts viewers as well.

“I want to see [It] because everyone is talking about it, and I have never seen a horror movie,” freshman Natalya Hotovec at Woodside High School mentioned.

Overall, It has mixed reviews, but most people seemed to like it. Controversy arose around how scary it was, but the acting was exceptional. Although the plot did not take up very much of the movie, it was easy to follow.

Cloutier agrees with the 85% of Rotten Tomato reviewers by saying, “I really liked it.”

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There’s No Clowning Around In It