‘It’ is the of Stephen King’s novel, which was published in 1986. This author, who is closely associated with the supernatural horror and psychological thriller genres, again explores the topics of childhood trauma, the power of memory, and the hidden values of the rituals of a small town.
It has been in the process of being adapted and developed into a film since 2009. The name Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) was attached to this project, along with Will Poulter (We’re The Millers) who will play the character Pennywise. However, in 2015, film distributor New Line Cinema announced that Andrés Muschietti (director of Mama) would now helm the film It.
It is one of approximately 15 Stephen King novels that have been adapted into films. In total, there are more than 50 adaptations, including both novels and short stories, which have been turned into films, television series, and theater plays. Some of the famous ones include ‘The Shining,’ ‘Carrie,’ ‘Misery,’ ‘Cujo,’ ‘Children of the Corn,’ ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ and ‘The Green Mile.’ Scheduled to be released earlier than ‘It’ is the adaptation of ‘The Dark Tower,’ starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. ‘It’ was released on September 8, 2017.
The film begins with children in a Maine town who mysteriously disappear. A group of other children is then terrorized by a clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), who is actually a demon with the ability to change shape and appears among humans once every 27 years. Pennywise hunts his victims by exploiting their fears and phobias, changing his form to match their deepest fears. However, he primarily appears in clown form to easily approach and prey on his child victims.
Pennywise’s presence prompts a group of children, who are members of the Losers’ Club, to decide to fight back. Their determination intensifies, especially because one of the children’s brothers has been killed by Pennywise. They manage to locate Pennywise’s lair and seek vengeance. However, Pennywise makes a promise not to leave forever and vows to return to seek out the seven children in the future. True to his word, Pennywise resurfaces and resumes terrorizing the members of the Losers’ Club as adults, compelling the seven childhood friends to reunite and confront Pennywise and his reign of terror.
It Plot Summary
In 1957–1958, a fierce hurricane struck the Derry, Maine area. A six-year-old boy named George Denbrough was chasing a newspaper boat that had drifted into a ditch. The boat was a gift from his older brother, Bill, so George was determined to retrieve it.
As George reached the drain, he noticed a pair of orange glowing eyes, which he initially mistook for a cat trapped inside. To his surprise, a man dressed as a clown, with red hair and orange pom-poms, appeared. The clown introduced himself as Mr. Bob Gray, also known as Pennywise the dancing clown. He offered George a balloon, but when George declined, Pennywise persuaded him to reach for his boat in a nearby storm drain. Tragically, George’s attempt to retrieve the boat resulted in his hand being severed, causing profuse bleeding, and ultimately leading to his death.
Neighbors, alerted by George’s screams, arrived on the scene, but sadly, they were too late to save him.
In June, a overweight boy named Ben Hanscom becomes the target of bullying by a gang led by a psychopath named Henry Bowers. On his last day of school, Ben hides in a field to avoid the gang and encounters Eddie Kaspbrak, who is always paranoid about his health condition, and Bill Denbrough, George’s older brother, who has a stutter and a cherished old bicycle named Silver. These three young boys quickly become friends.
As time goes on, they befriend other socially awkward children: Richie Tozier, Stan Uris, Beverly Marsh, and Mike Hanlon. Together, they form a close-knit group known as the Losers Club. What bonds them is a shared encounter with a mysterious figure that takes the shape of their deepest fears: Ben with the Mummy, Eddie with leprosy, Bill with the spirit of George, Richie with the Werewolf, Stan with two drowned young men, Beverly with the sound of a tortured child and flowing blood in the bathtub, and Mike with a flesh-eating bird.
They collectively refer to this enigmatic entity as ‘It’ and connect it to a series of unsolved murders involving young children.
Meanwhile, Henry is targeting Mike, his neighbor, especially because Mike and his father belong to different ethnicities. Henry and his gang engage in a fight with the Losers Club, resulting in Henry’s gang losing. Wounded, Henry vows to seek revenge. As the Losers continue encountering various forms of ‘It,’ they create an American-Indian style smoke pit, utilized by Richie, while Mike contemplates the origins of ‘It.’ They come to the realization that ‘It’ arrived in Derry millions of years ago, predating the asteroid’s fall, and every 27 years, the entity awakens from its slumber in the water pipe. Typically, this occurs following a disaster or tragedy, and ‘It’ preys on small children for 12-16 months.
Bill discovers the Ritual of Chud, an ancient rite that allows him to enter the Macroverse, the source of the monster’s origin. There, Bill encounters Maturin the turtle, the creator of the universe and the true adversary of ‘It,’ who imparts more information about the entity.
In late July, Eddie is hospitalized due to a retaliatory attack by Henry and some of his friends. Beverly spies on them and witnesses one of the bullies, named Patrick, opening the refrigerator. Suddenly, ‘It’ manifests in the form of a blood-sucking insect and swiftly eliminates Patrick.
Then, the Losers’ group receives a message from the monster written in Patrick’s blood, where he threatens to kill them. After Eddie is released from the hospital, Ben creates two silver bullets believed to be capable of injuring the monster. The Losers visit one of the houses on Neibolt Street, where Eddie, Bill, and Richie last encountered ‘It.’ The entity appears in the form of a Werewolf and attacks them. Beverly shoots it with a bullet, managing to injure the creature, which then retreats into the water pipe.
By the end of August, ‘It’ begins to feel threatened by the presence of the Losers and manipulates Henry into killing his own father. Henry, along with his two friends, Vic and Belch, follows the Losers into a water pipe, intending to trap and kill them. However, ‘It’ attacks Henry’s friend in the form of Frankenstein, decapitating Vic and mutilating Belch. Henry becomes unhinged and continues to pursue the Losers until he becomes lost. He is swept away by the current of a waterway into a nearby river and is blamed for his best friend’s death.
Meanwhile, Bill entered the monster’s mind through the Ritual of Chud and discovered its true form in the shape of a collection of dazzling orange lights, commonly referred to as deadlights. With Mataurin’s assistance, Bill managed to defeat it and put it back to sleep. After the battle concluded, the shaken Losers began to lose control and become disoriented in the pipeline. Beverly formed intimate connections with all her male friends, restoring their bond. The Losers made a blood pact to return to Derry in the future to confront the monster once again.
1984–1985: During the annual Derry Festival in July 1984, three youths assaulted a gay man named Adrian and threw him off a bridge. The three were arrested after Adrian’s mutilated body was discovered. However, one of them claimed they had seen a clown mutilating the body beneath the bridge. The tragedy of child murders resurfaces in Derry, and the adult Mike Hanlon, now a librarian and the only Loser still living in Derry, contacts the other six members, reminding them of their agreement.
Bill has become a successful horror writer and lives in England with his wife, Audra. Beverly became a fashion designer in Chicago and married an abusive man named Tom Rogan, who frequently beat her. Eddie moved to New York City and ran a car rental business. Richie lives in Los Angeles and is a professional DJ thanks to his talent for imitating sounds. Ben is now thin and a successful architect in Nebraska. Stan has become a wealthy accountant living in Atlanta, Georgia. All the Losers appeared to have forgotten about each other and the terrible memories of their childhood. However, they agreed to return to Derry, though they were somewhat hesitant, except for Stan.
After receiving a call from Mike, Stan is overwhelmed and slits his own wrist in the bathroom, writing ‘IT’ on the wall in his blood.
Tom didn’t allow Beverly to leave, and he was about to harm her. However, this time, Beverly fought back and injured her husband before leaving. The five return to Derry, feeling uncertain but remembering their dreadful memories and their promise to return. The Losers gather for lunch, where Mike reminds them about ‘It’ awakening every 27 years and preying on children for 12-16 months before going dormant again.
They agreed to kill ‘It’ this time. At Mike’s suggestion, each person explores a different area to jog their memories. It was while they were scattered that they encountered different forms of ‘It’ and attempted to confront and scare them. Bill finds his childhood bicycle, Silver, and takes it to Mike’s house. Three other individuals are also heading to the city: Audra, who wants to help Bill; Tom, who intends to harm Beverly; and Henry, who has escaped from a mental hospital with the help of ‘It.’
Mike and Henry engage in a fierce fight in the library, with Mike nearly being killed, while Henry escapes with serious injuries. Guided by ‘It,’ Henry arrives at the hotel where the Losers are staying, with the intent to kill them. Henry attacks Eddie, re-injuring his hand, but he is ultimately killed there.
The entity known as ‘It’ shifts to Tom and instructs him to capture Audra. Tom takes Audra to ‘It’s’ lair, and they are shocked to witness the monster’s true form. Audra becomes paralyzed, and Tom dies instantly. Audra is left alone in the nest.
Meanwhile, Bill, Ben, Beverly, Richie, and Eddie realize that Mike is dying, compelling them to confront the monster once more. The five of them descend into the drainpipe and channel their energy to aid Mike in his battle against the nurse possessed by ‘It.’ The monster takes the form of George, but Bill manages to overcome it. They reach the monster’s lair, where Bill initiates the Ritual of Chud once again. Richie assists Bill, defending against the Deadlights’ attack and successfully injuring the monster with his voice. Sadly, Eddie, who attempted to help, loses his life.
Beverly accompanies the traumatized but still living bodies of Eddie and Audra. Bill, Richie, and Ben pursue the injured monster as it flees.
They discover the monster, which turns out to be female, and she has laid eggs that are on the verge of hatching. Ben proceeds to destroy all the eggs, while Bill and Richie continue their pursuit. In the ensuing confrontation, he renders Richie unconscious, while Bill stabs the monster in the heart, killing it.
Simultaneously, the worst hurricane in Maine’s history strikes Derry, devastating the urban area. Mike concludes that Derry is finally doomed. The Losers return to their homes and promptly forget about ‘It,’ Derry, and each other. As a sign that ‘It’ is truly dead, Mike’s memories of the incident begin to fade, much to his relief.
Ben and Beverly depart together and become lovers, while Richie returns to California. Bill is the last to leave Derry, and before departing, he takes Audra, who is still traumatized, for a ride on Silver. This seemingly helps revive her from her condition.