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Nightmare Fuel / It (2017)

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Welcome to the funhouse.

"It's summer. We're supposed to be having fun. This isn't fun. This is scary and disgusting."

You know this movie is scary as hell when its Nightmare Fuel page was created after one trailer. The movie itself did not disappoint on the scariness. And as much as we'd like to say that the whole movie is nightmare fuel and leave it at that, we shall elaborate further below.

Examples from the book go here, and examples from the original TV miniseries go here.

  • The poster is all kinds of Adult Fear in and of itself. It shows a child facing an adult roughly twice his height, enticing him with the balloon used to obscure his face. And while his face isn't entirely visible to the child, it is to the audience.
  • The new Pennywise in general. Let's take its new look and go from there. It looks almost... predatory. Feral. Also, while Tim Curry was brighter and colorful, this Pennywise looks to be almost devoid of color; even the white parts in the clothing looks dark as anything. It's supposed to be the Earthly manifestation of an Eldritch Abomination, and it looks the part.
    • Pennywise's Voluntary Shapeshifting abilities come to the forefront, as it grows larger when he grabs Bev in her bathroom (though that may just be because Pennywise's actor is a whopping 6'4") and sprouts claws (which appear to tear right through its glove-covered flesh) when IT corners The Losers at the Neibolt Street house. There is also a hint of Glamour Failure when IT meets Georgie in the sewer opening — upon closer inspection, the clown's prominent buck teeth are actually fangs.
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    • Speaking of fangs, whenever Pennywise is well and truly pissed off or when IT's about to eat someone, IT leans its head back as its gums come out of its mouth with a seemingly endless amount of pointed teeth. And when IT shows Bev the deadlights, its mouth expands over its entire face with a light in the middle. Jesus.
    • Its eyes. They are gleaming with a little brightness, even in the dark sewer when IT met Georgie.
    • Also, the way its eyes roll back when his teeth come out as it's getting ready to feed. Almost shark-like.
    • The way Pennywise progressively looks degraded throughout the film. It starts off bright and cheerful, even in flashback photos, but as the movie rolls along, IT becomes grimier and more decrepit as if IT is having a harder and harder time holding its Monster Clown avatar together...
      • Fun fact. An eagle eyed viewer pointed out something regarding it's entire mouth opening to show The Deadlights...... that's not make up. THAT'S ITS LIPS.
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    • Even the way Pennywise moves is unnatural. It's so obvious with the jerking, inhuman movements, and the occasional Glamour Failure that the clown is only a form that IT takes and not anywhere close to what IT actually is. Notice that Pennywise's stage is at the very bottom of IT's tower o' kill trophies. And that the director said that there was probably an original Bob Grey/Pennywise that IT took IT's favorite form from. This hypothetical original may have been the clown in the picture Ben found. Wonder what happened to him, being IT's "favorite."
      • An excellent example is his dancing scene. As IT dances wildly, its head stays perfectly in place, giving Bev a Death Glare. While the scene itself is an unexpected Funny Moment, its head not moving at all as IT dances brings it right back around to creepy.
      • Another one is the moment IT crawls out of a fridge, twisting its lower half as if screwing itself back into place. Bill Skarsgård's contortion lessons really paid off.
  • The entire encounter between Georgie and Pennywise.
    • After Georgie and Pennywise have a laugh over their mutual love of popcorn, Pennywise abruptly stops laughing and just stares at Georgie, mouth agape and drooling. Georgie is a little creeped out and says he should be going. But we all know how this scene ends up...
    • This shot makes it look like Pennywise is looking at Georgie with one eye and looking directly at you with the other.
      • And it's not just that shot, either; its eyes are like that for the entire movie. Yes, It can see you.
    • One eagle-eyed fan noticed that Pennywise lets Georgie reach for the boat before pulling it away when Georgie almost has it in his grasp. The simple act of Pennywise toying with his prey really gives some good insight to its feral, animalistic nature. You can hear the eagerness in its voice when IT almost has Georgie in its grasp...
    Pennywise: Here. Take it. (beat) TAKE it, Georgie.
  • If Pennywise the clown wasn't frightening enough, the bullies are pretty intimidating, too.
    • Henry carving an H into Ben is a pretty unsettling scene, even Belch doesn't see this as as a normal thing for someone to do.
  • When Bill and his friends walk by Patrick at school, Patrick licks his lips in a rather unsettling, lascivious way.
  • Beverly's bathroom scene also becomes the subject of some major Adaptation Expansion, too. You think blood only you can see spewing out of your sink is bad? Try having living tentacles of human hair wrapping around your face, choking you as they drag you closer and closer to the drain.
    • Not to mention those tentacles hold her down with HER MOUTH OPEN as the blood sprays into her face for SEVERAL seconds.
    • Even worse: it's implied that some of that hair is Beverly's.
  • The goddamn projector scene. We all saw in the trailer how Pennywise showed up in the pictures, right? What they didn't show was that Pennywise then proceeded to manifest Itself in the projection. The same size as the projection. If you thought clowns were scary before, just wait until they're the size of a small kaiju with razor sharp teeth.
    • You will never forget that straight-up frightening roar IT emits when it pops out. Or that face (pictured to the right). *shudders*. That, dear readers, is the moment you truly realize that there is nothing human about Pennywise - he's just a straight-up Lovecraftian Eldritch Abomination with a bare layer of glamour on him.
  • The scene where Mike is being bullied by Henry Bowers and his gang, not only are they trying to force him to eat raw meat, but in the midst of it all Mike looks over to see Pennywise eating a child's arm like it's goddamn chicken wing. Easily one of most disgusting scenes in the movie
  • The various forms Pennywise takes to scare the Losers' Club have all been updated from the books, and typically feature some form of Body Horror or Adult Fear.
    • Stanley Uris's rabbi father keeps a deformed portrait of an elderly flute player in his office, and Stanley is clearly disturbed by it when it's just hanging on the wall... so you can imagine what happens next when its subject disappears from her frame.
    • And in the sewers, when Stan gets separated, the flute player returns... and actually starts biting into Stan's face. Luckily, the fellow Losers save him, but he's still wearing bandages a month later.
    • After reading about a terrible accident in a factory during an Easter event (where 88 children died), Ben gets chased around the archives of the library... by a headless boy... suddenly the boy DOES have a head. The head of Pennywise!
    • Eddie meets a horrifying 'hobo' who suffers from leprosy (also called 'the leper' in the book). This is once again one of IT's many forms because, when the Leper disappears, his clown form appears in its place.
    • Mike's is the most personal of them, with the charred, burning hands reaching out and the screams for him to help. Mike's parents died in a fire set by local racists and he saw them reaching for him but couldn't get to them because of the heat of the blaze. Nightmare Fuel and Tearjerker all in one. IT is freaking sadistic.
  • The "You'll float, too" scene. While the trailer makes it seem like it's just Georgie screaming at the camera, in the actual movie, Georgie starts rotting and screaming "You'll float too" in an increasingly demonic voice.
    • The real kicker? When Pennywise comes up out of the water, IT's miming the words and has his hand behind Georgie. IT is using him like some horrible ventriloquist's dummy.
    • Satisfied with scaring the utter shit out of Bill, the scene closes with Pennywise slumped across the stairs, its eyes roll up into the back of its head, and it SLITHERS off the stairs more akin to a snake or some tentacle... as if this was just some appendage of an even larger creature, not unlike how Georgie was a "puppet" to Pennywise just moments before.
    • When you learn the true meaning of "floating", it becomes clear that the whole scene is just Pennywise screaming "I'm gonna fucking kill you" over and over.
  • As Ben is researching the history of Derry in the library, eagle-eyed viewers will note that as he's flipping through pages of the Ironworks disaster an older woman is lurking behind him staring at the back of his head and grinning. Even before he catches sight of the balloon, IT is toying with him.
  • When Patrick ends up in the sewers to chase after Ben, things get spooky pretty fast, when he starts seeing a little army of undead children. Of course he tries to get away, but gets cornered and finally meets his demise in the hands of Pennywise, who suddenly appears behind a big, red, popping balloon while jerking his head in all sorts of directions as he approaches Patrick.
    • Patrick uses a makeshft torch when looking for Ben though the sewers. Suddenly he hears "you found us Patrick". Patrick uses his makeshift torch to see who it is, only to find out, it's fucking zombies. Understandably horrified, he attempts to get the hell out of there. Only to go the wrong way and get himself trapped when he finds bars blocking his exit.
  • Bowers starts off as a particularly sadistic but otherwise fairly "normal" bully. Then, after his policeman father humiliates and terrifies him in front of his friends, IT uses this mental unbalance to "open a channel" to Bowers... and convince him to murder his father. That is shown brutally, with Henry pressing a switchblade to his sleeping father's neck, then releasing the blade so it springs into his father's neck and he starts bleeding onto Henry. With the connection complete, IT exhorts Henry to go after the Losers, and he leaves, fully intending to kill them all. Meanwhile, on the TV, the children in a TV show (all IT's victims) are chanting "Kill them all!"
    • Later when he confronts the Losers' Club in the house during the climax, it is quite clear he has gone off the deep end, as he becomes laughing mad and tries to use the sheep-killing bolt on Mike. Even more telling, he's driving Belch's car and Belch and Victor are nowhere to be seen. The implication is clear. The deleted scenes make it much worse where we see Henry driving the car with both of their dead bodies, complete with a slit throat, in the passenger seat.
  • Beverly, leaving her house, finds the door locked from the inside and her predatory father, who's been incredibly creepy towards her throughout the movie, confronting her about her supposed promiscuity. Then he attacks her, with the strong implication being he's going to molest her — and when she hides in the bathroom, he kicks the door open. She ends up hitting him with the toilet lid, knocking him to the ground, bleeding. Then, just as she thinks she's safe, she turns around... and there's Pennywise.
  • The House at Neibolt Street deliberately invokes this and is when Pennywise formally introduces itself to our heroes. After attempting to divide the group and separating Eddie from them, Pennywise opens a cabinet door and begins unfolding its limbs in an unnatural fashion until IT's towering above the terrified boy before cheerfully saying "time to float!" before sadistically toying with Eddie by miming bites at him, commenting on Eddie's "tasty, tasty beautiful fear." Once this is done, its human guise just slips away to reveal a fanged monster.
    • The grin, the snarling grin IT gives when IT decides to cut to the chase.
    • And that damn sadistic laugh IT gives with said smile... not an over-the-top cackling laugh, not a small laugh — IT gives just the right laugh to let you know that you are well and truly fucked if IT gets a hold of you.
  • Richie finding the small dummy of himself inside a coffin in the Neibolt house. Even before Pennywise pops out of the coffin, the dummy just looks freaky, and it's understandable that Richie himself is creeped out before the clown shows up. Not to mention, the dummy has maggots crawling around in its cheeks.
    • The scene beforehand just makes it worse when Richie finds his own missing persons poster and you can just feel the exact level of fear and panic he's experiencing when he notes how everything's the exact same, including that day's date.
  • "You'll float, too" isn't just metaphorical. IT keeps its victims' ravaged corpses in its lair, floating above a literal mountain of trophies the beast has taken from its victims as a monument to its depravity.
    • How does he do this? Simple. It makes you look into its Deadlights... only this time it's represented by IT COMPLETELY opening up its face and revealing three little bright orbs that circle around.
      • The further horror, especially if you think about the ultimate form IT takes in the book, is that the kids are all suspended there as if in a web. Like flies, paralysed by the Deadlights, strung up and potentially being devoured slowly, while still alive...
  • Pennywise's Sadistic Choice to the group: as a complete coward, IT's realized that the kids stand a good chance of defeating it, so IT takes Bill hostage with the offer that if they leave IT and Bill alone, it'll only eat him and go back to its long sleep while they get to grow old... or it'll simply eat them all alive if they refuse. The notion of being forced to face a child-eating Eldritch Abomination or abandoning a friend to a horrible fate is a terrifying concept.
  • When Ben is in the library paging through books on the history of Old Derry, he reaches a section in a book about Derry's industrial buildings, showing black-and-white photos of the mills and factories in operation and so on. Then he reaches a section detailing an Easter egg hunt held at the Derry Ironworks... and how that went horribly wrong, in an industrial explosion killing 88 children and over two dozen others — including photographs of the immediate aftermath in increasing closeup, achieving a stop-motion effect by graphically showing the mangled dead bodies of children and culminating in a child's severed head blown clean off its body and all the way to the top of a tree. The way the turning pages zoom in closer and closer on the image can't be natural, and it sets up Ben's first encounter with Pennywise in person as well as foreshadowing the havoc with the slide projector later.
    • Also while Ben is looking through the book, in the background, an old lady is grinning and staring at him rather creepily. What makes it especially creepy, is that the old lady is out of focus and blurred, but we can still see the massive and evil grin.
  • A special mention has to go to It's score, composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. The score itself is throughout foreboding and tense, while other times it can be very much of a throwback to a John Williams score.
    • Deadlights is one of It's most well-crafted pieces as it plays during the scene when Pennywise opens his mouth and reveals the Deadlights to Bev, complete with a pulsating overtone to start and pops up here and there.
  • The Deadlights... holy shit, the Deadlights. When Bev is about to be eaten by IT, its face just unrolls backwards starting from the mouth to reveal a cavernous maw filled with lamprey-like teeth and the Deadlights at the end of it, ready to devour the poor kid.
    • If one listens closely, you can hear loud screams of children — likely previous victims — coming from inside of IT's mouth. Which makes one ask where IT possibly gets its mimicries from.
    • One voice distinctly yells "Help me!", and sounds like Patrick Hockstetter, lending credence that the victims' souls are not only stolen, they might even be aware of their situation.
  • Did anyone hear what sounded like a baby crying when Pennywise first encounters Mike? And did anyone notice that Pennywise seems to have been feeding?
  • One thing that the 1990 miniseries seemed to have tried too hard at, and failed with, was making balloons scary. This film arguably does much better. For one, they're limited to red, and they appear in bizarre formations or gliding across an area in a way no air current could explain. So, remarkably enough, they actually invoke the balloon Uncanny Valley with their appearances.
  • The Flute Lady scene. Oh boy... Never again will you look at a Modigliani painting without a shudder. And that sound of the flute falling onto the floor...
  • When Pennywise turns into Georgie for the final time, Billy shoots him in the head with the sheep killing gun. Suddenly Georgie begins to writhe and scream in pain. Screaming even more when Pennywise' limbs grow back.
  • One more scene from the Neibolt House: when Bill and Richie barely manage to evade Pennywise in the clown room, they see a mattress on the other end of the hall. It's squirming, and out of it pops Eddie's head, charred, with glowing eyes. The head looks at them and says "Wanna play loogie?" It then belts out an Evil Laugh as inky bile starts pouring from Eddie's mouth, and then even more bile starts streaming out from the bottom of the mattress. Eddie's head disappears back into the mattress as the bile - apparently acidic if the smoke rising off it is any indication - increases in volume and barrels ever closer to Bill and Richie.
  • ALVIN MARSH. The man is terrifying. Pennywise may be a demonic clown, but nothing can match the horrifying reality of a parent sexually abusing their own child.
  • Pennywise, having been clearly outmatched by the Losers Club, is forced to retreat and go into its 27-year-long slumber. But not before it gives us one last dose of nightmare fuel by having its head crack open slowly, and then delivering its chilling final line.

We all float down here...


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