IT: Redefining Horror

Watching IT chapter one and reviewing its affect on horror films

Daniel Espinoza, Staff Writer

The horror film franchise, based on the Steven King novel “It”,  has taken the concept of fear and horror to new levels. The movie reflects a vastly different approach to the art of horror, as the film takes its time to set up a proper story, and provides a backstory of the cast before the monster. The previous factors are different from many horror films, which jump straight into fear. A story told without the use of needless jump scares and hastily written dialogue, “It” wants you to feel the fear and unease its cast of child characters experience, as fear is amplified in childhood. 

A typical horror flick will contain a cast of stereotypical archetypes that have been overused far too many times, but “It” defies these stereotypes by focusing on a band of weaker middle school kids, which contrasts the norm of casts within the range of teen to adult. The cast is brilliant; they perfectly portray the fear and immaturity of children who are forced to deal with the horrifying threat of monsters. “It” is also a coming of age story which depicts a group of young kids as they escape the dangers of parental abuse and violent bullies, which allows them to finally discover their passion. The characters were brought together against a common enemy, both supernatural and physical. When trying to conquer their enemies, the importance of youth and their character arcs were revealed to the audience, similar to how the horror and suspense was gradually uncovered throughout the movie. 

Pennywise, the focal point of the movie was terrifying and unsettling in the perfect ways, from the incredible sewer scenes to the monster spying on the kids from the background of major scenes. “It” made the titular being something to be feared and despised, as well as an unpredictable element within the story. However, this unpredictability wasn’t distracting, the mysterious, suspenseful nature of the movie added more to the audience’s experience by forcing them to remain on the edge of their seats throughout the entire movie. 

Although a remake, the creators of the “IT” reboot took the plot of the original Steven King novel and adapted it perfectly for modern cinema, creating a horror epic that will be concluded with “IT: Chapter 2”.