By Karen Eva Chin
SPOILER ALERT! This article reveals plot information that some may prefer to read about only after seeing the movie. This is just fair warning, in advance.
With earplugs in hand, I went to watch Stephen King’s It (2017’s remake of the original 1990 cult classic – a fact that surprisingly a lot of people around me do not know!).
I had been traumatized by the movie once when I was a child (not remembering much except for the creepy clown sneaking children into underground pipes), and later I watched it again when I was an adult when movies were already so technologically-advanced that the outdated effects were not believable enough for me to get scared. However, at an ATTEMPT to read the massive book (written in 1986), I could not keep up – and worse, got a bit sick to my stomach (I felt like I was listening to a schizophrenic person ramble about his delusions and hallucinations). My jaw dropped at how the book was inappropriately sexual (was the orgy scene between Beverly and the rest of the Losers REALLY that necessary?). But that is the greatness of Stephen King.
Anyway, those were distant memories until now. Here are some interesting (to me) thoughts and theories I have about this remake.
Weird-ass Creepy Shit Parents (and other adults)
Note that most of the parents (if not all) were fucked up in their own way; a paranoid mother, or a sexually-abusive father – and some adults (I mean the seemingly-pedophilic pharmacist). My theory is that – 27 years ago (that was It’s hibernation period in between feeding), these parents were kids and they had seen some shit that affected their psyche. In the book, it is mentioned that, the Losers (after 27 years later) could not really remember their past with It nor each other because of a paranormal explanation and also selective memory after a form of PTSD. So I am guessing, their parents were also haunted by It as well back then, but they just don’t remember it.
We All Float Down Here
It is said in the book that It feeds on flesh. So why are the bodies floating down there? Shouldn’t they be mangled? Some have asked why Beverly didn’t float like the rest? Here’s my theory: she was not afraid of him. In the book, it is explained that It does not exclusively eat children, but he targets them because their fears are simple – and fear releases a bodily chemical that makes flesh taste better to It. In conclusion, It did not feed on Beverly (who was fearless) because she will not be tasty enough. *mind-fucked*
Beverly is the only girl in the group – and apparently, in the movie, it is heavily-hinted that she is sexually-abused by her father. As It focuses on each person’s fear to make them as tasty as possible before feeding on them (read #2), you can try to guess what Beverly’s fear was. First, she was seen buying a box of tampons. She was seen using her budding sexuality to manipulate a pharmacist. She was bullied for being an alleged slut in school (she later confesses that she has only ever kissed one guy and it was nice – I am hoping it was not her father). She cuts her long hair (this is a common thing with victims of sexual abuse – to make herself less feminine or desirable). The classic scene in which her bathroom sink started spurting out blood signifies her new menstruation and her fear of entering womanhood – this is just my theory. And in the book, she engages in sex with each member of the Losers’ Club – I believe it helped her to get over her fear.
Henry The Psychopath
Henry is a budding psychopath/potential serial killer – classic and interesting to watch; all right down to the abusive parent and animal cruelty. He was not haunted by It, but was guided by It to murder his father. It also has telepathic and mind-control abilities, according to King. I’m entertaining the thought that It might have a soft spot for psychopaths.
The original actor who played the young Bill hung himself in 2003. RIP Jonathan Brandis. According to the book, one of the Losers (Stanley) killed himself as an adult, when they initiated a reunion to fight It, once again because he couldn’t face It or his fears anymore. It is just sad to me that, one of actors of the group eventually did commit suicide, and kind of like fulfilled a prophecy or some sort.
(Maybe I am reading too much into a simple movie – but isn’t that what enthusiasts do?)