YMMV / It

  • Author Phobia : Stephen King wrote an essay wherein he described the "ten bears" of various common fears. Rats, the dark, squishy things, closed-in spaces, things from outer space, fear for someone else, and a few others were all on the list. He pulls out all the stops with the creation of It, since It is a shapeshifter that takes on the form of the victim's greatest fears.
  • Complete Monster: It, a.k.a. Pennywise the Dancing Clown, is without question one of the most horrifying characters ever written. A primordial being as old as time, It awakens from its hibernation every three decades and proceeds to murder and devour the children of the town of Derry, often using the avatar of a jovial clown named Pennywise to lure children into its clutches. It prides itself on using its shapeshifting and hallucinogenic powers to torment its victims, preying on their phobias and acquired fears and likening the cultivation of their terror to "salting the meat." From 1740 to 1743, It was responsible for the disappearance of three hundred Derry Township settlers. In 1957, It killed Bill's six-year-old brother, George, and devoured Patrick Hockstetter alive while in the form of his greatest fear, leeches. It also drove Henry Bowers to madness, then killed Bowers' friends after they succeeded in luring the Losers' Club into the sewers. After waking up in 1984, It kills a man named Adrian Mellon before resuming its violent killing spree of children. It proceeds to manipulate Henry Bowers into trying to kill the Losers; drives Bill's wife, Audra, catatonic by exposing her to its deadlights; and manages to kill Eddie before its final defeat.
  • Critical Research Failure: In the book, the producer of Audra's movie (being shot in England) is stated to have once bowled a century at cricket. Anyone who knows anything about the game will be howling with laughter at the concept.
  • Freud Was Right:
    • It is implied that Beverly's father was attracted to her. Also, she later states she married her father in Tom.
    • Eddie also marries a woman quite like his mother, in both general appearance and behavior. And in the movie, he lives with his mother into his 40s.
  • Foe Yay: It's movie only, but the scene where Adult Ben thinks he's kissing Beverly when it turns out to be It in drag, who then shouts "Kiss me, fat boy!"
  • Genius Bonus: When the Losers go into the house on Neibolt Street to have their first confrontation with It as a group, Richie finds a bunch of rats with their tails tangled up together. This what is referred to as a rat king, and it is considered a very bad omen.
  • Ham and Cheese: While Tim Curry's performance as Pennywise, in the movie, is viewed as pretty scary by many, he also gives it a healthy dose of this, and it is ever so glorious.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "Tell Stan unless he's on his way to Derry, he's a dead man!"
    • Also, "Take it from me Spaghetti Man (Eddie), better dead than wed!"
    • One character commits suicide in this. Jonathan Brandis, who plays the young Bill, would later hang himself. What's more is that his co-star John Ritter would also die in the same year.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Pennywise is a male persona played by Tim Curry. The monster is revealed, at the end of the book to be female. Tim Curry is therefore, once again, playing a transvestite. What's more is that It is from another planet, just like Frank.
    • For that matter, Tim Curry playing a Monster Clown. He almost ended up playing The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, but difficulty doing The Joker's voice lead them to casting Mark Hamill instead.
    • In the scene where they find Stan's talking disembodied head in the freezer, the head nonchalantly asks "How's your sex life?"
    • The homophobic teens who commit the first on-page murder of the book repeatedly profess their love of Judas Priest. Rob Halford, the band's lead singer, came out in 1998.
    • Richie is scared of werewolves. He's also played by Seth Green, who would go on to get the role of the werewolf Oz in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • An In-Universe example: After reading one of Bill's early "horrorbooks" about werewolves, Patty Uris thinks: "Werewolves, shit. What did a man like that know about werewolves?" We find out what Bill knows about werewolves in Chapter 8.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Ben, at least in the film. In the books he's described as being quite obese, but he's in good enough shape to keep up with the others because he walks everywhere he goes. The main reason he's fat is that his mother overfeeds him and he has a massive Sweet Tooth.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Henry and Patrick alone in the town dump...
    • In the movie, Eddie mentions that he could never be with anyone he didn't love, and he's never loved anyone but the rest of the Losers. In the book, Richie is the last person Eddie talks to, and Richie and kisses him goodbye after he dies.
  • Jerkass Has a Point : Mrs. Kaspbrak usually doesn't let Eddie do anything, because she lives in terror of him dying of illness or injury. In the case of the shoe store X-ray machine, however, she was quite correct when she screamed at Eddie that those things give you cancer.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Pennywise.
  • Memetic Molester: Guess.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • It crosses the line when it kills and feasts on Bill's brother George Denbrough (who is only 6 years old), tearing his arm off. It has also probably done the same thing to God knows how many other children before him.
    • Henry almost crosses this when he begins to carve his name into Ben's stomach with a switchblade, and eventually crossed it when he stole and poisoned Mike's dog and just For the Evulz and gleefully rubbed it in Mike's face. In the movie, he crosses it when he tries to kill Stan before being interrupted by It.
    • Patrick crosses it when he smothers his baby brother.
    • Tom crosses it in the book when he beats Beverly's friend Kay nearly to death until she reveals where Beverly went.
  • Narm: Many scenes, but "Kiss me, fat boy." is probably the narmiest.
    • Also "Why is it so mean?"
    • 5 words: DOG IN A CLOWN SUIT. It Makes Sense in Context (the security guard had a phobia of Doberman pinschers), but still.
    • Almost any time the word "deadlights" is used. It's Narm in the book, but Mega-Narmtastic in the movie.
      • Similarly, every time Penneywise mentions balloons, particularly when they float.
    • The final scene in which Bill "cures" his wife merely by riding with her on his bike. In the book, it becomes clear that "Silver" is being used by the Other as much as Bill is, but the movie fails to make that clear, leaving the final scene as a great big "WHAT??"
    • The book makes it clear that Bill's phrase used to help him with his stutter ("He thrusts his fists against the post and still insists he sees the ghost") becomes a sort of mystic chant that he can use against It. In the movie, the phrase is introduced exactly once before the dramatic confrontation, making you wonder why Bill is standing there repeating it to It.
    • Honestly, the fact that the mini-series leaves out the entire fact that there actually is a sentient force guiding the Losers Club makes Narm out of every scene where one of them says anything akin to "I feel like we're supposed to do this."
  • Never Live It Down: The infamous sex scene in the book (you know the one) and the giant spider in the movie, especially after Nostalgia Critic's review.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Any scene in the TV movie with Pennywise is scary, especially if you are afraid of clowns. Tim Curry did a good job at being a Monster Clown in that movie.
    • Take a listen to the audiobook for another fantastic performance, this time from Steven Weber. Some of his readings will give you goosebumps, in particular the scene where Beverly confronts the old woman, and his interpretation of Pennywise.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Whenever Tim Curry's Pennywise goes over-the-top and silly. "Excuse me sir, do you have Prince Albert in a can? You do? Well ya better let the poor guy out! WAHA! WAHA! WAHA! WAHA!"
  • One-Scene Wonder: Patrick Hockstetter only gets one fairly brief chapter from his POV, but God is it memorable.
  • Playing Against Type : Many of the cast members were primarily known for comedic roles (Tim Reid for WKRP, John Ritter for Three's Company, Richard Masur for One Day at a Time , and so on) and guest appearances on television series. Few were known for horror films.
    • Harry Anderson (best known as the zany judge in Night Court), also applies, but at least his character is mostly the comic relief.
  • Production Foreshadowing: In the story "Gray Matter" from his book Night Shift, King tells us about a sewer worker who went down into a pipe one day and allegedly saw "a spider as big as a good-sized dog settin' in a web full of kitties and such all wrapped up in silk thread."
  • Slut-Shaming: Many critics subject Beverly to this for having sex with the boys to keep them from freaking out after their first fight with It. The scene was only present in the book, but even movie-Bev gets hit by it. Many others, however, just object to the scene in general due to the character ages and situation. A more direct in-universe example happens when Mrs. Kaspbrak confronts the children, describing Bev's eyes as "decidedly slutty jade's eyes." If Bev had spoken, Mrs. Kasprak would have told her "what sort of girl ran with boys."
    • It also exists in Universe in the form of Beverly's father as well as her abusive boyfriend, Tom Rogan. Both of which accuse her of being one when the mere mention of a boy is uttered by her.
  • Tear Jerker: The ending.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Seth Green is Young Richie. Also check out young Emily Perkins and Chelan Simmons. Both would have plenty more horror credits as they grew up.
  • Special Effects Failure: It's spider-form at the end of the movie. The true metaphysical nature of IT is only vaguely referenced. It looks very cheap and results in quite an Anti-Climax. To be fair, the cosmic elements of the novel would be tough to replicate on the screen. The stop motion effects are pretty cheap too.
  • Squick: In the novel, the gang, drained of energy after their first encounter with It in Its lair in the sewers, re-power themselves by losing their virginity with Bev. Is it emotionally significant to the story? Yes, but it's still a bunch of under age children having sex one after the other in a sewer.
    • There's also the scene where Beverly encounters an old woman who is It in disguise. See Nightmare Fuel for details.
    • To say nothing of the scene between Henry and Patrick.
  • The Woobie: Every one of the Losers qualifies, with the possible exception of Richie (as he has a good home life and he invites some of Henry & co.'s bullying by being unable to keep from making smartass comments to them).
    • Poor, poor Dorsey Corcoran. And Georgie, particularly in the movie.

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