It (2017) – CBR’s Halloween Horror Recommendations

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CBR’s 31 Days of Halloween is a daily feature highlighting our staff’s favorite horror movies to watch during the month of October. Reader beware – you will be scared!


Stephen King sold his first short story in 1967, and it all went downhill from there. He wrote in various genres, but anything and everything, horror was his forte. Over the years he has written all kinds of bestselling books, including The Shining, Carrie (whose trailer smeared Stephen King) and the stranger. Given his fine work, it makes perfect sense that Hollywood would want to capitalize, so King’s material has also inspired countless horror movies.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, four Stephen King adaptations ranked in the 90th percentile. These movies are Carrie (93 percent), support me (92%), The Shawshank Redemption (91%) and Misery (90 percent). Right behind is the one from 2017 This, which hits a solid 86%. Even with this impressive score, This is still underrated as it’s definitely one of King’s best adaptations. Here’s why it’s essential viewing for Halloween.

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What’s it all about in 2017?

by Stephen King This novel is a lengthy dueling work with a great combination of spooky, spooky, and downright terrifying. Fluent with this source material, Andy Muschietti adapted two separate films. This showed the first timeline of the novel when the protagonists were children, and It Chapter Two focused on the same characters after they were adults. While both films are worth watching (and why watch one without the other?), the original far outclasses the sequel. There’s even a prequel series in development at HBO Max.

It all started in the rural town of Derry, Maine. The year was 1988, and “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” was out for blood. Every 27 years, the ancient demon resurfaces and takes children for food. The opening sequence shows Pennywise dragging a child named Georgie into a storm drain. The following summer, Georgie’s older brother Bill attempts to search for Georgie with the help of his outcast friends, who dub themselves the “Losers Club”. Amid their own personal struggles and constant bullying, the group of misfits find a way to defeat Pennywise and send him back into the shadows for another 27 years.

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Why the first chapter is mandatory for Halloween

There are many reasons which This is a great movie. For starters, Derry’s small community gives viewers an impressive setting to explore alongside the characters. On top of that, the cast – which boasts the talents of Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher (who also starred in Mr. Harrigan’s phone), Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton and Jackson Robert Scott – was excellent. The group of kids really bonded onscreen as they figured out a way to fight Pennywise. Additionally, the combination of visual, dialogic, and personality-driven acting leads viewers to see the film as a realistic character-driven story rather than just a plot-driven horror movie.

The casting was great, but it’s just a vehicle to show This‘s theme as a genre film. In its most basic sense, This is a horror film, but it’s also a narrative study of fear and a call for self-acceptance. To start the film, the Losers Club is afraid of everything and nothing: bullies, germs, loss, clowns and rejection. And that’s exactly what Pennywise feeds on – fear. So to begin with, they are all deathly afraid of him.

However, as the film progresses, the children learn that Pennywise is helpless when they refuse to be afraid. Thus, bravery and self-acceptance are the themes that This tries to show, which is not always common in horror movies. More importantly, the breadth of the characters and their lack of trouble allows viewers to cathartically see themselves in the film and experience its themes.

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It’s not just casual viewers who enjoyed This, either, because critics loved it too. The film earned two Washington DC Area Film Critics Association nominations, including Best Actor Ensemble. This was also nominated for the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Sci-Fi/Horror Film. In addition to that, This won three Bogey Awards and, according to Metacritic, topped several critics’ year-end lists.

How to Watch It – Is The Pennywise Movie Streaming?

If all this convinced you to see This for the first time or the hundredth time, there are several ways to watch the classic horror film. In addition to finding a DVD copy, several streaming services are streaming the film. This is streaming on Netflix and HBO Max with a subscription. Alternately, This is available to rent on ROW8, Prime Video, Vudu, and Apple TV starting at $3.99. With all these options, finding a way to watch This is an absolute must.

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