By Tiara Jade
One of the top movies at the box office right now is “It.” The new movie is an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1984 novel featuring Pennywise, the murderous dancing clown.
Now, if you’re a fan of killer clown horror, or just looking for a good thrill, this movie is for you. Within the first few minutes, you’re acquainted with Pennywise and his antics. His voice and smile are enough to give you chills. If you’ve seen the 1990 version, this is much more intense. The look of Pennywise is much more exaggerated and he has more teeth than ever. Once your attention is grabbed, the plot switches and continues with the storyline allowing us to meet the characters, a group of young teens.
Growing in the small fictional town of Derry, Maine, six boys and one girl make up the group of heroes. The group of young teens gives a good performance as you can see there is chemistry between them all. There are plenty of funny moments between the friends. The hilarious back and forth banter is used at just the right times to slightly distract you from the chilling scenes in between.
The movie isn’t particularly gory, although there are definitely blood scenes. Pennywise has a tendency to lunge out at you which usually leads to a ‘jump out of your seat’ moment. The trailer really only shows a couple teaser moments, but the movie is much more frightening than what you see there.
The abandoned house at 29 Neibolt Street is iconic to the movie. Even better, the shots of the house were filmed right here in Ontario. The exterior of the house was shot in Oshawa where a broken-down old house was built on a vacant lot.
The interior shots were done at the Cranfield Mansion, a historic site not too far from Centennial’s Story Arts campus. According to Heritage Toronto, the house was built in 1902 for William Harris, a butcher, and his wife Caroline. The family transferred the house to the Salvation Army in 1930 where it was used as a social aid centre for 75 years.
After hearing the house was so close by, a photographer and I went to check it out. A few other people were there as the site has now turned into a bit of an attraction.
The home is beautiful. If you’re into architecture, the tall chimneys and columned porches truly represent a different time. Looking through the windows, you can see some of the empty rooms that are filled with cobwebs and dingy furniture in the movie. We also noticed a piano that was likely a prop in the movie. If you take a walk around the property, it’s huge. A fire escape around the back is covered in plants and vines; really looking like a scene out of a movie.
The original movie follows the life of the children into adulthood as well, as Pennywise returns every 27 years. The ending has a few holes and questions, but the movie ends with a subtitle that says ‘chapter 1’ hinting that the second part will carry on where they left off and of course fill in what the audience is wondering.
With the Halloween season approaching, “It” is certainly a must-see. If you’re a fan of Stephen King or the original film, it’ll be worth comparing and contrasting. If you’re looking for an ‘out of your seat’ thriller, this new adaptation will definitely get you. With the film’s success, the studios have announced that Pennywise will be returning to theatres in 2019, in the second chapter.