Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

This past weekend saw the release of It starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the deadly clown.

It is a horror movie focusing on a creature that kills children. Then a group of kids, those who are bullied the most, gang together to destroy this thing that they call It.

When I asked my boys if this is a movie I could see, knowing that I have a hard time with horror movies, they said emphatically that I should not see this movie. Both told me that there were a lot of jump scares, in which the movie scene is meant to make you jump out of your seat.

ITThen the older son stated it was a bit gory, that there was some bloody parts and that wouldn’t be good for me at all. Then he reported that the movie has a bit of a psychological element because the creature lives off of fear of the people and that is how he gets his real power although he eats people, too. He also reported that Bill Skarsgard was a great Pennywise, he was creepy and evil in all the right ways.

His description reminded me of how a friend’s daughter once described a frightening roller coaster “It was horrible . . . and great.”

Well, a lot of people must have agreed because the movie broke box office records with an $117+ million opening weekend. Considering the movie was made for $35 million, that is quite the payday. But for horror film wimps and smaller children, I would suggest seeing something else that is lighter and easier to deal with. Even my 20-year-old reported dreaming of clowns and he really wanted to see this movie.

I remember watching the TV Miniseries version of this movie. It made me realize how Tim Curry is such a great actor. Truth is, even in his bad movies Tim Curry makes it better than it should be just be showing up and being snarky.

But when I remember the movie, I remember the scenes in which kids are being bullied or beaten and the adults who witness it do nothing. Yes, there was the terror of something taking kids. But that was a special kind of fear. The worst fear was the everyday sort in which people are picked on or bullied or socially snubbed.

It - KidsThat trend continues in the new movie. One of the story lines in the current movie is how one of the kids in the group lives with an abusive father and, therefore, is not scared by the evil clown. Another is mercilessly bullied for being a fat kid.

The boys said they would watch this movie again and a part of me believes they would. Maybe they would look for all of the little details or maybe it would be so they could be scared just one more time. While I am not a fan of horror movies, I believe their value is in allowing people to deal with their fears in a ‘safe’ setting.

After all, movie scares are nothing like real life scares and there are enough of those to go around.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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