Here's Why "It" Chose the Pennywise Mask to Kill Children

The monster in Stephen King's 'It' is much worse than a creepy sideshow attraction.

The Independent

The MTV Movie & TV Awards dropped the second trailer for Stephen King’s It film, set to debut this fall. We don’t see much more of Pennywise than we did in the first trailer, but we do get a ton more of the Losers’ Club bickering and discussing their classmates.

That’s the crux of Stephen King’s It — that the ancient evil creature haunting the Losers into their adulthood isn’t just a child-murdering clown. It has chosen the guise of a clown out of a twisted, misguided attempt to attract and stalk children. In King’s novel, the Losers understand this phenomenon better than the adults in their lives; after a hallucination session they initiate by inhaling smoke together, the Losers communicate with the all-powerful celestial deity in King’s novels. That god tells them It has been around since the dawn of time, and that Pennywise the clown was simply the form it took in order to entice Bill’s younger brother, whose arm It tears off in a gutter.

From King’s novel:

“Suddenly he thought he understood: It meant to thrust him through some wall at the end of the universe and into some other place (what that old Turtle called the macroverse) where It really lived; where It existed as a titanic, glowing core which might be no more than the smallest mote in that Other’s mind; he would see It naked, a thing of unshaped destroying light, and there he would either be mercifully annihilated or live forever, insane and yet conscious inside It’s homicidal endless formless hungry being.”

Of course, the Losers themselves have been socially forced into a codependent friendship because of their personal traumas, and because each of them is systematically targeted by the bullies at their school in Derry. In this new trailer, we see Bill and Bev — who share a life-long attraction — discuss how hanging out makes them all, by definition, “losers.”

It doesn’t simply attack all kids at night; the creature preys on children who feel lonely or rejected by their world. Once he kills Bill’s brother Georgie (arguably too good and simple for It’s usual taste), the creature uses Georgie’s body as a way to communicate with Bill. We see that horror show play out in the first trailer, in which It uses Georgie’s dead body like a meat puppet to scream at Bill.

Seriously, "Georgie", you can fuck right off with your rants about floating.

It’s not 100% clear in King’s text why It keeps the Pennywise disguise on for so long, but this year’s reboot film will evidently play with the circus-like imagery as much as the original TV mini-series did. The inverted balloon pyramid we see in the trailer below is effectively frightening at face value, but when you consider that the Losers are watching an ancient evil’s attempts to design a trap they might like … well, that’s even more chilling.

It hits theaters September 8, 2017.

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