If you think It Movie is limited to horror, you are dead wrong. In fact, to me, it even didn’t feel like one. So what is it that makes Stephen King‘s It one of a kind? The metaphor, yes! If you are watching the flick reading between its frames, you are definitely going to enjoy the flick more. I will acquaint you with how beautiful Stephen King’s fancy is by doing a proper analysis of the movie. Even though this years’ The Dark Tower failed to do him justice, It Movie succeeds in a lot of ways.
It Movie is really beautiful if you see what it wishes to show you, the allegory in it and how wonderfully it builds itself on children’s fear and fantasies. Andy Muschietti, who was also the director of Mama, understands what Stephen King had in mind when he put a fantastical clown to paper. His direction provides perspective to the concept of a monster that emanates from a whimsical head.
Without wasting any more time let’s skip to the plot; there’s so much to share.
Plot of It Movie Full Analysis (Spoilers)
The movie picks pace caving in on a tragedy in Derry, a fictitious town that Stephen King often uses. Like any other place in the world the town has a history with accidents, where children have gone missing, people have ended up being dead, and stuff like that. But just like any other grown up who terms it as nature’s wish, or calls it something inevitable, something one doesn’t have control over, people of Derry too, don’t bother to investigate such matters.
Unless the thing happens to you, of course, and boils down to a personal level, no one really cares to bat an eye. So it happens with Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher). His little brother Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott) goes missing one day. The primal reason why things become more personal to him.
Prologue of IT Movie Explained
As part of the prologue of It movie, we see Bill making his little brother Georgie a boat to help him go play in the rain. In one of the scenes where he asks him to fetch him wax from the cellar, we can see Georgie being really afraid of the dark and fidgeting before venturing there.
As he makes his way down, he finds his mother playing the piano busy in her own world. The lack of conversation there as little Georgie makes his way down is suggestive of how the grown ups are always lost in their own work. It is a child’s perspective about a grown-up’s world. They don’t wish any part of a child’s life. A child’s fancy, his insecurities, his fear have no effect on them. Once we grow up we all grow out of the things we once held close to our heart.
Georgie somehow manages to grab the wax despite being absolutely terrified. Remember this bit because it will be important in figuring out why Pennywise attacked Georgie in the first place.
Pennywise the Clown
We understand how close Bill and Georgie really were in all those moments of Bill helping Georgie out with the boat. Georgie thanks him as he makes his way out in the downpour to test the sailboat. That’s where we see his boat ending up stranded and then him being attacked by a psychotic clown named Pennywise living in the sewers.
A storm blew me away. Blew the whole circus away.
We see Pennywise sweet talking Georgie before chopping his hand off and then taking him into the sewers with him.
Eight Months Later
Eight months later, we see a homeschooled boy Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs) unable to pull the trigger on a sheep. His innocence is being stripped away by the business he is in. His parents had died when he was young, and he is given a hard time by his guardian who is trying to make a man out of him so young.
There are two places you can be in this world. You can be out here like us, or you can be in there like them.
The world is full of two kinds of people. The weak ones who take orders submissively and the ones who sit in the driving seat giving orders to the forbearing. You have to take charge, overcome your fears, and insecurities or you will end up being pushed around. This dialogue, in fact, is the entire crux of It Movie.
Just then we see a sheep being pushed in for slaughtering as the camera switches to another flock of sheep – Bill and his friends Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard), Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer), Stanley Uris (Wyatt Olef) making their way out of their classes. The similarity is just perfect. They are meek and driven by a shepherd called School, just as the sheep in the real world have no choice but to get herded, they too are powerless insignificant entities who move around as demanded. They choose to call themselves the Losers club, because of how badly they fare against bullies.
Other Characters in It Movie
They dump their books since it’s the last day of their term at Derry High School. Meek as they are, they are constantly bullied by Henry Bowers’ (Nicholas Hamilton) gang. We see a minor face-off, the flow of which gets obstructed by Henry’s father, who by the way is a cop, overlooking them. The cops are there to help Mrs. Ripsom who has recently lost her daughter Betty Ripsom. You see Derry is notorious for such cases. But the police has been helpless all this time, unable to figure out the cause.
In answer to a remark made by Richie where he wishes the Bowers gang to go missing, Eddie replies:
They are the ones doing it.
We are introduced to the character of Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis) another unfortunate kid who is constantly bullied by a girl gang.
There are rumours about her being a slut which she can’t control and has learned to live with. She runs into Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor) a sweet kid, who secretly has a crush on her.
Your hair is winter fire,
My heart burns there too.
As Bill returns to his house he finds his dad working in their workshop, and that he has discovered that Bill has stolen the sewer plans of Derry and that he was secretly working on a project. It is hard for Bill to accept that Georgie is dead, and according to his theory, Derry dumps everything into The Barrens underneath so it’s possible that Georgie must be in The Barrens. Furious at Bill, his father storms off taking away the sewage map.
Next time you wanna take something from my office, just ask.
The above dialogue is quite ironical because we know that his father will never give in to his wants.
The Fear Quotient
As we chug forward we notice that each character is afraid of something. Call it their vivid imagination as we often tend to have as a child. All their fears have unique characteristics. It amplifies whatever they are afraid of, and even though we as an audience might feel uncomfortable with it going nowhere, like how can a child stay normal after experiencing a terrifying event like that, right?
But if you pay attention, we have never really paid heed to a child when he talks about a monster under his bed, or in the closet. We have never really understood their perspective, and that’s why it is hard for us to get them when they see what they see. We are watching the flick from the perspective of a child, and that’s why it bothers us when we see them in pain. But as a parent, we fail to be on their very own pedestal to fathom them truly. How badly could they be needing us when they claim to have seen something formidable!
That’s what happens in IT Movie as well. Even though frightening things keep happening, one after the other to all the children, there is no closure. Because, it is a subconscious fear factor that stays with us when we are alone. And it’s not like we are all alone by ourselves the entire day as a child. So that fear factor keeps coming and going all the time.
This is probably one of those difficult bits to understand, only when you are not thinking about it from a child’s perspective. It confuses you because you think the movie is going nowhere, but in a way it is. Soon we find out about that.
Mike is afraid of people in a burning house since it had to do with his parents who were burnt alive. Stanley is afraid of a surreal portrait in the library a painting he wishes he hadn’t seen. Eddie is afraid of his mom who worries too much about him and his allergies, of not taking his pills on time, and sick lepers. Ben is afraid of bullies, being a part of history of Derry, of Easter Eggs, of being left alone, of grown up people from Derry who never stand up for the underdog. Beverly is afraid of her leering father. Bill is afraid to let go of Georgie. He still hopes he is alive even though he knows deep down the truth. He hates the fact that everybody moves on as if nothing has happened.
Why Nothing Happens to the Kids
Interestingly, all the weird happenings end up not hurting the kids. The reason being they are all an abstract amplified versions of their fear. They vanish when that modicum of fear goes away. In case of Mike, that fear of watching hands coming out of a slaughter house, gets interrupted when Bowers and his gang intercept him with their car. His attention then goes to the mundane where a butcher was coming out of the open door. In case of Stanley, the portrait lady chases him out of the library he was in. Going to another room he wasn’t as afraid eliminated his fear. His fear was limited to that library.
For Eddie, he is more afraid of not taking his pills on time, afraid of catching allergies and an image of a leper that chases him into the haunted house.
If you lived here you’d be home by now.
Pennywise appears then but since Eddie was already close to making an escape, paving a ‘way out’, the chance of him running away had made him a little bold from inside, thus somewhat curtailing his fear. It should be noted that the fear takes form when he sees the haunted house, and hears his pill alarm.
For Ben, it was the librarian who accidentally barges in as Ben bumps into her. With the presence of someone else, fear becomes nil almost instantly, and thus we see Pennywise giving up the chase.
Everyone has experienced their bit of qualms except Richie whose blunt brazen remarks help him to stay confident most of the time. He isn’t as afraid as his friends, yet at some point, we discover that he is afraid of clowns too.
Meeting with Ben
In one of the scenes where Ben is harassed by the Bowers gang, a car passes by as Ben shouts at them for help. But the people in the car, show sheer indifference and disregard to his plight. It’s like Derry deliberately chooses not to see the misdemeanors around the town. They see something bad happening, they look the other way. We see a balloon showing up there, placing Derry’s disregard once again to the real clown story. It is a perfect set up.
Ben manages to escape somehow as Bowers tries to carve his name on Ben’s tummy.
The Losers club meanwhile stands in a sewage tunnel where they discover Betty Ripsom’s shoe connecting more dots leading to the sewers.
If I was Betty Ripsom I would want us to find me. Georgie too.
Just then Ben runs into the losers club as they take him to a local pharmacy to treat him. That’s where the Losers club run into Beverly and their friendship thrives thereon. Meanwhile one of the members of the Bowers gang Patrick Hockstetter (Owen Teague) ends up getting lured into the sewers. He is then attacked by Pennywise and goes missing too.
History of Derry
As the kids hang out together, Ben acquaints them with the history of the town.
Derry is not like any town I’ve been in before. People die or disappear, six times the national average. And that’s just grown ups. Kids are worse. Way, way worse.
Ben shows them more of his researched work where he tells how Derry used to be a beaver trapping town first and how the entire camp disappeared with rumors of plague or Indians.
It’s like one day everybody just woke up and left.
From there they gather that the trails of people missing ran dry at the Well House. In hopes to find the Well house someday, children retire.
The World of the Fearful Kids
Beverly hears voices coming from her wash basin. It’s all the children who went missing calling her out to “float” with them. When she tries to investigate, her hair that she had cut some days ago ends up strangling her, and the whole basin bursts open with blood. It paints the entire washroom in red. On listening to the noise her father shows up, but he couldn’t see the blood.
This is another one of those moments wherein you can say grown ups are blind to the world of children. They fail to understand the fancy a child deals with. For children everything is real, but from a perspective of a grown up man, who has outgrown childish imagination, things don’t make sense.
The fact is once again proven when she invites The Loser Club to clean the bathroom.
Beverly: My dad couldn’t see it, I thought I might be crazy.
Eddie: Well if you are crazy, then we are all crazy.
Bumping into Mike
You see Richie is deliberately kept as a lookout by Stephen King. The lad is bold, and he might not have seen the blood in there. With children cleaning the bathroom it might have seemed stupid to Richie. Later Richie brands them as imagining things. He easily demarcs the boundary of fear and courage. Fear – the only thing that helps feed the clown which they all fail to get.
It is good that the kids begin to talk about their fears, which so far they had kept repressed and to themselves. It was Beverly’s incident that led the talk to happen. They all talk about how they have been witnessing a clown when they find out about Mike being in trouble. The Bowers gang is trying to beat the crap out of Mike, as Mike is dead scared, the fear making him see the clown. That’s a spooky scene, by the way, Pennywise eating a hand, and then using it to wave at him.
The Losers Club intervenes and a rock war ensues. Saving Mike the Losers club storm out victorious against the gang of Bowers. It’s clear that when they are together they can overcome fear. Only a glint, the fire they are yet to see.
The Research in It Movie
Bill is staring at a poster of a new missing child. Underneath is the poster of Betty.
It’s like she has been forgotten now that someone else is missing.
Ben figures out that all the historical happenings and destruction have a pattern to it.
This stuff seems to happen every 27 years.
That after 27 years it returns, and then goes into hibernation for another 27.
They also figure out that it might be affecting those who are afraid. Each one of them is afraid of different things, and all these things are frightening them to the core.
Maybe none of this is real.
They rule out the possibility that it could all be a bad dream which, as a matter fact, everyone was secretly thinking about till this point.
Going After the Clown
They all step in to do more research in Bill’s workshop where they discover that every incident ends up connecting to the Well House. They figure out the location of the Well house to be 29 Neibolt Street, but the frames begin to play all by themselves and there’s this old picture of Bill’s mom where her photo is not visible. Pennywise replaces her in the picture and then spooks the children out by stepping into the workshop in a gigantic form.
Now the only way to overcome fear is to create an escape route or maybe open the blinds for the daylight to come in. So that’s how they narrowly escape Pennywise by opening the shutters.
Bill wishes to go after It. When his friends begin to chicken out, he goes by himself. They follow him to the creepy house as Bill tells them how he feels without stuttering for the first time:
What happens if another Georgie goes missing or another Betty or Ed Corcoran or one of us? Are you just going to pretend it didn’t happen like everyone else in this town? Because I can’t. I go home and all I see is that Georgie isn’t there. His clothes, his toys, his stupid stuffed animals but he isn’t. So walking into this house for me is easier than walking into my own.
In the Well House
Richie finds his own missing poster in the house that freaks him out. Something that Pennywise wanted to happen – to make every character afraid. Fear makes them vulnerable and that’s how Pennywise becomes stronger. In the Well House, Eddie falls from the first floor owing to his own fear of leper.
Richie and Bill are individually isolated in different rooms, however, they are together and that’s why they are a bit stronger.
With Eddie left alone, Pennywise appears from a fridge and tries to attack him.
Bill and Richie find three doors and on taking one of them they are scared shitless. But then Bill tries to embolden Richie by reminding him about how nothing is real.
This isn’t real. Remember the missing kid poster. That wasn’t real. So this isn’t real.
That is like a stake in the heart for Pennywise because it beats fear. He was about to harm Eddie, when he realizes that Bill and Richie, despite being really afraid of what was behind the door, have managed to reenter it. It vanquishes fear, the very purpose of It. Walking through the same door they end up to assist Eddie where Pennywise says:
This isn’t real enough for you, Billy? I am not real enough for you? It was real enough for Georgie.
Overcoming Fear in It Movie
As he tries to attack them Beverly barges in lancing Pennywise with an arrow. Fear is unkillable. It can only exist or feel itself withering. It can intensify itself or can be belittled by lack of it. So, Pennywise doesn’t die with that arrow in his head. He turns around using the arrow as a prop to scare the kids even more. Yes, he looks scary and he becomes successful in making the kids more afraid. But who is more afraid? We can see Beverly being terrified so he draws his attention towards her.
As he turns around with the arrow he injures Ben.
Fear takes a different form then. It becomes contemptible and less pure. Kids were all together, they were worried about each other, besides Pennywise was hurt and looked vulnerable, so he decides to take a back seat there. Bill isn’t afraid of Pennywise and wishes to end his reign once and for all.
Don’t let it get away.
He follows him to find his true lair which was inside a well into the sewers. But has to come back owing to Eddie’s condition.
The Breakup in It Movie
Eddie’s mom takes away her child cursing the kids to be akin to monsters. (Irony?)
Bill is keen on getting back at Pennywise but the madness is too much for the rest of the kids to take. Bill and Richie get into a fight.
This is what it wants. It wants to divide us. We were all together when we hurt it. That’s why we are still alive.
The Losers club split with that, getting consumed into their boring lives once again, the one without each other. We see each one of them taking up chores as asked by their parents or guardians. So why is their world without the influence of It?
You see the mundane is jaded. A world full of adventures is when you begin to imagine things. That happens when you are happy, excited, psyched or afraid. None of them happens for the kids when they are not with each other.
The Bowers Quandary
Meanwhile, we see Bowers being given a hard time by his father.
Look at him now boys! Ain’t nothing like a little fear to make a paper boy crumble.
Bowers is really afraid for the first time in his life. And he finds a balloon too with a gift in his mail box – a knife. It should be well noted how manipulative Pennywise is. Throughout the movie, we see the TV always talking about the clown. It is a beautiful hint at our subconscious trying to play us to the tune of our fears.
Bowers is enraged with embarrassment and wishes to get back at his father. So he drives a knife through his neck while he is sleeping. One might say it was Pennywise who did it by manipulating him. But if you really look at it, the clown is a figment that simply amplifies what you wish to do, or whatever you are afraid of. Since Derry is a forgiving forgetting town where crime walks loose, it gives wings to people who wish to get involved in criminal activities.
In the end, he sees the clown on the TV asking him to kill them all. With that, he meant the Losers club who had hurt It.
Beverly’s Stand in It Movie
If you notice every child from the Losers club had a fairly normal life except for Beverly who was forced to live under the ogling eyes of her father.
Are you still my girl?
In an unseen set of events, Beverly takes a stand against her father and hits him with a toilet lid in self-defense. Pennywise shows up because with his father gone she was all alone, and quite petrified, consumed by the fear of what she had done, and what she would do.
When Beverly doesn’t show up to meet Bill, he gets worried about her and decides to pay her a visit at her house. There he finds her father in a pool of blood, and the wall is painted with:
You die if you try.
Bill goes to Richie for help and they reconcile because Pennywise had attacked one of them.
It got Beverly.
Eddie stands up against her mother too, overcoming his fear for the first time. She tries to stop him from going out with his friends.
You know what these are? They are gazebos! They are bullshit!
Children get together and prepare for war.
The Ending of It Movie Explained
As they enter their doom, Stanley is reluctant for a while to which Bill says:
If we stick together, all of us, we will win.
They all go to the well, (Pennywise’s entry exit point) and go down one by one. When Mike’s the only one left, Bowers shows up attacking him from behind. Mike spears him into the well as Bowers dies.
Meanwhile, Beverly wakes up in It’s lair and sees all the floating children that had gone missing. Pennywise shows up to hurt her but she says:
I am not afraid of you.
Which bothers Pennywise.
You will be.
It uses his power to make her float like the others, showing her a different world.
Stan ends up getting isolated. His nightmare – the painting lady shows up and attacks him. It hurts him however the rest of the kids show up in just the nick of time to help him. Bill starts seeing Georgie and follows him. Ends up in the lair of Pennywise where he sees Beverly floating mid way in the air. His first priority, however, is Georgie.
I will come back for you Beverly.
Meanwhile the rest of the kids find Beverly floating moonstruck.
They bring her down and Ben kisses her bringing her back to life. You see love overcomes fear. Fear is faltering, hesitation and lack of confidence. Love is bold, confident and strong. Right after the kiss, Beverly realizes that it was Ben who had written that poem for her.
My heart burns there too.
Probably the most emotional scene in the entire movie is when Bill finds Georgie.
What took you so long?
All the emotions gush out when you feel the empathy kick in.
I was looking for you all this time.
All this time Bill secretly knew that his brother was dead. But he hadn’t given up on hope. He hadn’t grieved for him the way he should have. He was yet to acquaint himself with the bitter truth.
I wanna go home.
He wanted that moment of reconciliation with his loving brother. Because it was hard for him to accept that Georgie was dead.
I want more than anything for you to be home.
But he finally comes to term with reality and shoots Georgie believing what the world had been telling him all this time. Finally accepting the truth with a heavy heart.
It Means War
Georgie becomes Pennywise and attacks everybody, as the concluding war begins.
In those final moments, Pennywise grabs hold of Bill and says:
I’ll take him! I’ll take all of you! I’ll feast on your flesh as I feed on your fear, or you’ll just leave us be, I will take him. Only him, and I will have my long rest and you will all grow to live and thrive and lead happy lives until old age takes you back to the weeds.
It is a choice Pennywise offers the kids in IT movie. If they were to think like adults, they wouldn’t mind leaving one of them behind. Like the people in Derry who were alright with people missing and disappearing, as long as it didn’t bother them.
The Final Assault in IT Movie
But these kids stood for each other and so they attack the clown until it takes different forms to scare the bajesus out of them. Together they get rid of the menace by destroying him (overcoming their own fear).
You couldn’t kill Beverly coz she wasn’t afraid, and we are neither, not anymore. Now you are the one who’s afraid because you are gonna starve.
In the end, we see the clown fragmenting before disappearing into a pit.
For the first time, Bill truly accepts the death of Georgie as he sees his clothes in the sewer. He cries like he has never before, coming to terms with the fact that his brother has really died.
Guys kids are floating down.
The Epilogue of It Movie
We see The Losers Club together once again. Beverly is telling them about how it felt when she was floating.
We were our parent’s ages. I just remember how we felt.
With that, it is hard not to tack “floating” against something that shows a kid the dreams about growing up. Kids always fantasize about growing up, what will they do, what will they become. It is a life they imagine to be living. While for the kids in the movie growing up is like being killed, killing your fantasies, imagination and the beautiful world that no one sees.
They swear in blood – a symbolism for them not being afraid, to have finally overcome their fears.
Swear! If it isn’t dead if it ever comes back, we will come back too.
Eventually Bill the lad who had been afraid of things who had finally learned how to overcome his fears runs up to Beverly to plant a kiss on her.
You can order It movie 2017 from here:
Thinking Out Loud (Theories Behind IT Movie)
I understand It movie is intended to be seen the way it is presented without any hidden meanings. But the work of Stephen King is a result of careful thought. To the people who fail to read between the lines the story could be just about a clown from a different world who has come to live on earth, who wakes up every 27 years to feed on children and their fear. But for me, I think Pennywise is more of an abstract form.
I will try to explain:
Derry is a notorious underdeveloped and lawless town where people have to deal with crimes on a daily basis. The disappearance of children I like to think is as a result of bullies, perverts and child molesters (an exemplary form we saw in Beverly’s father). Children disappearing is a thing that bothers only the children who wish to do something about it. Those are the kids imagining a villain trying to stop them from uncovering the truth. Fear is their enemy and all the elements that try to stop them from uncovering the real truth, right from Eddie’s mother to Beverly’s father to Bill’s and to Bowers, are all companions of that enemy. They are trying to stop their crucial summertime research about the disappearance of kids.
Another theory I can work up with is what if Pennywise had been some kind of a real neglected person who had wished to make Derry laugh once? He could have been a regular person, who must have been admired for his circus. When he said, “A storm blew me away”, I think it is a crisp metaphor for Derry’s disregard for the circus that once might have existed in the town. Something might have happened to him and his business that would have forced Pennywise down the gutters, taken his life in the process. Derry is a repulsive town with its dark secrets and one could only imagine as to what might have happened to the real clown whose abstract is now such a terrifying reflection as Pennywise.
Another Weird Theory for IT movie
Another theory that I can think of deals with the term floating. Floating is something that insinuates that people are moving away towards better prospects. Derry isn’t the town that it once used to be. They have been leaving Derry in search of better jobs, as Beverly’s vision stated. It was a pleasant vision for her that showed them how they could come out of that hell hole called Derry and become something substantial in life. She didn’t remember what they were doing but she remembered how they felt like. So they could be just leaving the town and the term ‘missing’ could be just implying that. Kids think a lot of things. So everything could be just their rare form of imagination.
The Final Verdict of IT movie
Whatever must have been the original thought that forced Stephen King to present such a beautiful novel, the movie adaptation nails it. It movie is beautifully done by Andy Muschietti who forces us to live the flick as if it were our very own story. It takes you back in time, when you used to dream, imagine and fantasize.
It movie should not be missed, should not be just watched for its horror but for its insane story that forces you to think.
Highly recommended for everybody.
You can check out the trailer of It Movie 2017 here: