Film Theory: IT – Pennywise’s Greatest Fear (IT Movie 2017)

Hey! Hey, you! Would you like a balloon? Don’t be shy! I’m MatPat, the YouTube Clown! And we’ve got a WHOLE circus down here… ..with memes, and puns, and theories galore! Oh, we all theorize down here. Yes, we do! And when you’re down here… You’ll theorize, too. You’ll theorize, too! YOU’LL THEORIZE, TOO! yOu’Ll tHEorIzE, tOo! *Demonic voice* YOU’LL THEORIZE, TOO. *Dramatic Music* HELLO, Internet! Welcome to… FILM THEORY! ( not as catchy as game theory, unfortunately. 🙁 ) So! After last week’s “Emoji Movie” episode, I figured we’d dial it back this week, and talk about a film that’s a little less scary. IT. Chapter… One. Ohhh, sure. “It” hides the fact that it’s a two-parter until its final moments and everyone gets SUUUPER excited about it! I do it and people complain about clickbait! Double standards here, guys, double standards. Huh! Just like the FTC guidelines we talked about last week! So ~thematic!~ Regardless, I LOVED this movie! You see, I was never a big fan of the original 1990 version… Don’t get me wrong! Tim Curry is one of my favorite actors of all time- and can do literally no wrong in my eyes. But… ..popping blood-filled balloons in the library? Is that… scary? Especially cause you can see the actors responding to the popping, but they’re not supposed to sense what’s going on. It’s just…it’s just cringy. And I should know a thing or two about cringe. “Will you go to prom with me, Medina?” *DING* Anyway, between the imaginative scares, creepy(??) imagery, and solid acting, this reboot had it ALL. Well, maybe not it ALL, since the original novel also has a big, celebratory preteen, sexual ROMP for the Losers Club after defeating Pennywise… Yeah. Yeah, no joke. Apparently in addition to being the master of horror, Stephen King wanted to be the master of the awkward chapter. Well, after reading how Bill, Ben, Bev, Richie, Eddie, Mike, and Stan show their… …affection for each other.. the sewers of Derry after defeating an evil clown…. *OH GOD IT’S GONE THROUGH THE ROOF* (uncomfortable hum) Mission accomplished, Steve… At any rate, for as much as I loved “It”, y’all know that I couldn’t go see it without getting the old “Theorist Gears” a-greased! And I had a thought towards the end of the movie– How are these kids able to survive all of Pennywise’s attacks? Pennywise successfully targets other children, like Georgie and Betty Ripson, (Rest In Pepperoni) but even when alone with individual members of the Losers Club, Pennywise can’t make the kill. I mean, obviously as main characters, the easy explanation here is that they all have plot armor! But after doing my homework into “It” and the rest of Stephen King’s work, I found my answer… The Losers Club isn’t just a group of ordinary kids, all of these kids SHINE. *OH YEAH MY THAT’S MY JAM* (lmao, agreed) No, not like a giant supernatural crab– though, come to think of it, that’s more of Pennywise’s domain…and oh boy, for those of you who don’t know how the rest of It goes, you are in for a WEIRD ride! No, what I mean to say is these kids shine like Danny Torrance from another Stephen King work you’ve probably heard of: The Shining. If it’s been a minute since you saw that movie, let me help you out. Shining means having some level of psychic ability. In The Shining, Danny’s shine gives him the ability to communicate with others telepathically and interact with supernatural beings. He’s basically Bran from Game of Thrones, but with more emotions and more working legs. (ding! ding!) And when you look at the evidence, it’s pretty clear that the Losers Club also has this psychic shine ability. So, in today’s episode, I’m gonna break it down for you like a crazy man with an axe! Heeeeere’s MAT PAT! Now some people might think this theory is over before it even begins Since nobody in It references psychic powers, the Overlook Hotel, or the fact that the moon landing didn’t happen. You know, all those things that are normally associated with the Shining. But here’s the thing– Stephen King puts Marvel and Pixar to SHAME with how interconnected his universe is! He was doing a dark connected universe before the Dark Connected Universe began! And also apparently after it ended, too…Here are just a few ways It connects to the wider Stephen King-averse. The Losers Club is mentioned by name in his novel, “Dreamcatcher” Mike Hanlon, one of the club’s members grows up to be the town’s librarian in Derry, which we see in another King novel, “Insomnia,” and somebody even sees glowing clown eyes in a storm drain in the “Tommyknockers.” But we’re not just talking about a general shared universe here– It has direct connections to the shining through one man– Dick Hallorann. Chef of the Overlook Hotel. In a scene in It, Chapter One, Ben recaps some of the past tragedies that have happened in Derry. One of them is a fire that happened at the “Black Spot”, an African-American nightclub that burned down during a past visit from Pennywise in 1962. (why do ppl like him so much) One of the people who survived that fire: Dick Hallorann. In fact, Dick actually saves Mike Hanlan’s father from DYING in that fire! And here’s the best part– Dick possesses the Shine himself. In fact, throughout the Shining, he teaches Danny about the gift and communicates telepathically with him! How’d you like some ice cream, doc? (he’d make a great grandpa, y’know.) So having a character with psychic abilities serve as the bridge between the two stories not only shows us that we’re working in the same universe, but also that the ability to shine is definitely something that exists in the world of It. So what kind of indication do we have that the kids in the Losers Club ACTUALLY shine? We don’t actually see too much of it in this first movie, but you will DEFINITELY start to see it crop up in It, Chapter 2, because the clues are definitely there in the novel. You see, in the story of It, all the kids grow up to be unusually successful, but they all have to return to Derry to once again face Pennywise and finish him off for good. Bill as an adult fights It through a psychic battle of wills known as the “ritual of Chud.” Now, this is gonna sound really weird if you haven’t read the book– actually, scratch that, it’s pretty weird even if you HAVE read the book, but Bill is instructed by an interdimensional turtle, yeah, a, a turtle, (wh) that the only way to defeat It for GOOD is to engage in this ritual and use his imagination as a psychic counterbalance to It’s powers. The battle is done entirely telepathically. Now look at the description that Dick Hallorann uses when he’s describing what the shine is! At this point, some of you still might not believe– which is dangerous, because belief is what keeps Pennywise from eating you. :^) Nonetheless, you might be thinking that this theory has a few holes in it– kinda like Dick Hallorann at the end of the Shining! (NO!!!!!) BaDOOM ching! Let’s try to plug those holes in with more evidence, shall we? Towards the end of the novel It, Mike Hanlon is in the hospital, far away from the rest of the Losers Club who’re descending into Its lair. You would think Mike would be safe, but in actuality, there’s someone in his room waiting to kill him. Bill, again from deep in the sewers, suddenly senses that Mike is in trouble and instructs the group to quote, at which point the club locks hands and sends Mike psychic energy to fight off his attacker like a Goku-sized spirit Bomb. And it’s not just Bill! The novel clearly states that Bev feels something LEAVE them and go to Mike! Quote from — yeah, in case you didn’t know, It is a LOOONG book! End quote. And then a few sentences later, So again, we’re seeing references to these kids having a quote-unquote, “second sight” and feeling psychic power. transitioning BETWEEN them, and during the ritual of Chud, Bill isn’t the only one telepathically communicating with It, Ben actually begins the battle by reading Its mind! Quote, End quote. So that’s Bill, Bev, Mike, and now Ben, all with some sort of reference to telepathy or psychic ability. We can even include RICHIE in this because he ALSO engages in the telepathic ritual of Chud, and communicates with Bill psychically during that moment of the novel. We even see that Ritchie actually shares a psychic connection with other members of the town, specifically an Irish police officer named “Nell.” It’s not important for us to go into, just know that it happens. Anyway, VERY long and VERY complicated story short, the psychic connection is shared between all of the members of the losers Club. Its strongest with Bill, but all the others have instances where they feel or sense something telepathically, which begs the question. Why. Why these kids? What’s the probability of having so many shiners in the same town, let alone the same group? Well… there’s actually a pretty clear explanation. The shine tends to show up in kids were victims of abuse. In the Shining, Jack Torrance, Danny’s father, was a violent alcoholic.
We hear in the movie and repeatedly in the novel that he dislocated Danny’s arm during one of his drunken rages, and his wife Wendy’s description of it as just an accident certainly makes it sound like there’s either a lot more there…or that it’s happened before. …And then he had a injury. What sort of injury did he have? My husband had been..been drinking, and…he came home about three hours late, so he wasn’t exactly in the greatest mood that night… …on, this particular occasion, my husband just.. used too much strength, and he injured Danny’s arm. I guess that’s about the time when I first noticed that he(, danny btw,) was talking to Tony. Also notice that Danny’s psychic ability, which he’s nicknamed Tony, it’s weird, but don’t get confused there…Tony doesn’t appear until after this traumatic accident at the hands of his dad. In the Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, yeah, there’s a sequel… Today’s episode is just full of surprises…We find out that when Dick Hallorann was a child, he was sexually and physically abused by his grandfather. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that two characters who are confirmed to have the Shine were both victims of childhood violence. Now, let’s go through the Losers Club. Bill is bullied for his stutter, Bev is sexually abused by her creepy father, Richie’s abuse isn’t explicit in the movie, but he actually suffers from parental neglect which is the reason why he feels the need to constantly keep talking and be funny, he doesn’t want people to abandon him. Eddie is the victim of his mother’s Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, being diagnosed with fake ailments to make him think he’s sick so that she can control his life. Mike is called an outsider in the most recent movie, but the old miniseries and novel make it pretty clear that Mike is the victim of racial slurs and racially motivated violence. Stan is bullied for being Jewish, and Ben is bullied for being overweight in the original movie and for being the new kid in the reboot. Given the fact that all these people share a history of trauma and exhibit some level of telekinetic ability, isn’t it possible that shining is developed as a coping mechanism? So there you have it! A shining theory not rooted in moon-landing conspiracies. But so what? Even if the kids in It are like Dick and Danny and the Shining, does any of that really matter? Well, yeah, actually it does, ABSOLUTELY it does! It might not just be that the kids have the same power, it might also mean that they’re fighting the same EVIL. Considering that It is a shapeshifter, and is really just a manifestation of evil energy from the multiverse, why couldn’t It be the evil at the Overlook Hotel? A deeper look into this is probably a theory for another day, but let’s just do some quick detective work to talk about how the evil operates in both the Shining and It. Towards the end of the Shining, Jack, crazy and completely consumed by the spirits of the Overlook Hotel, is locked in the pantry by his wife Wendy. Near the end of It, We catch up with adult Henry Bowers who’s gone completely crazy and is locked in a mental asylum. In both instances, a ghost appears to the men. For Jack it’s Delbert Grady– the former caretaker of the hotel who killed his family and wants Jack to do the same. For Henry Bowers, it’s his old henchman Belch who wants Henry to go kill the Losers Club. Both Jack in the Shining and Henry in It are imprisoned, but their respective ghostly visions say that they can get him out in exchange for the respective men committing murder. And we know in both of these instances that they aren’t hallucinations because in both situations, the ghosts provide them with a physical murder weapon. The croquet mallet for Jack, and the switchblade for Henry. It’s the exact same tactic with the exact same goal. Maybe it’s not so much that Pennywise can’t kill people who shine but rather just knows how dangerous people who shine can be because they can use the ritual of chud By employing Jack Torrance to kill his son Danny and Henry Bowers to kill the losers Club the threat to it is Effectively wiped out and it can continue to terrorize and feast on others who are less psychically Inclined and when you consider that all these Stephen King’s stories share a universe does it have to stop there I couldn’t evil energy that creates Pennywise possess a dog like in Cujo or create a bunch of pet zombies like in Pet Sematary Or convince a girl to murder her classmates in Carrie if Pennywise is a shapeshifter That opens the door for it to be the evil in pretty much every Stephen King story Ever a clown a hotel an evil car or anything else it might even mean that Pennywise doesn’t go into hibernation Maybe he just moves somewhere else in those thirty years between appearances in Derry But that’s all speculation that might lead to a video another day for now remember It’s all just a theory a film theory and this theory is battery acid and it’ll melt your face off You’ll subscribe too you’ll subscribe too you’ll subscribe too you’ll subscribe too you’ll subscribe too subscribe – you’ll subscribe – you’ll subscribe – Subscribe do y’all subscribe galz subscribe

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