You’ve Got to See “It”

by Hannah England

Growing up in a house where Harry Potter was next to Satanism and The Hunger Games was off limits because it promoted child murder, it’s not hard to imagine that R-rated horror films weren’t 

Movie poster for “It.” Image from flipboard.co

exactly on the list for my family’s movie nights.  I spent my younger years believing that horror films were inherently evil, and that “real Christians” would never watch them.  Looks like I’m no longer a “real Christian” by those standards, because I went and saw the new horror sensation, It, and I loved every second.

Although I can’t speak for all horror movies because this is the only real one I’ve seen (so far), It delivered the opposite of what I was expecting:  a well-written plot, genius subtlety, thought-provoking themes, lovable characters and humor. Steven King’s masterpiece-turned-movie had record-breaking sales at the box office for good reason, and I was shocked.  I went in thinking I would regret my decision, and I came out on an adrenaline high with a blown mind, gushing about how much I loved the movie.

I want to address two audiences herein. Firstly, to the people like me who grew up in strict (yet well-intentioned) homes who think horror movies are a one-way ticket to hell: don’t write all horror off.  I’m not saying I recommend watching a lot of horror movies.  It had some gore I found pretty disturbing (I had to shut my eyes sometimes), the kids swore a lot (probably at a realistic level for middle schoolers, but it was a bit overdone for a film), and if you truly feel convicted to stay away from horror-do it! It’s really not a good thing to get desensitized to violence and frightening images.  However, do not judge others for liking this movie, because It is more than just another cheap thrill horror film.

Secondly- to horror junkies who just go into the movie to get an adrenaline high and come out terrified: It probably will not be what you expect, and if it is, you’re missing a lot.  If you watch the movie (or if you already have) don’t get so caught up in the “horror” parts that you miss out on the story.  Look for the themes. Look for the balloons and think about why they show up where they are, and let the redemptive and overcoming nature of the film lead you to some deeper thought about what it means to overcome fear. You might just find more than some good jump scares and creepy-demon-clown action.

Will It scare you? It’s impossible to say. Some people I’ve talked to loved the film and were terrified, and some loved the humor and weren’t scared at all, (Others said it tried too hard to be funny, they hated the acting, and thought it was a stupid concept for a movie, but I heartily disagree; don’t let these people taint your joy). I was terrified at the horror, yet captivated and kept in good spirits by the story and humor, and I wasn’t scared for long once the movie ended.

If you go in to see It with an open mind, you will find a heart-wrenching yet hopeful, funny, well-shot film, and you might just get the scare of a lifetime (or maybe not, depending on how accustomed you are to horror and how scared you are of clowns). But, whatever you do, please don’t write It off as another mindless scary movie or write other people off for going to see it, because there’s much more to the story.