This week Nikki and Kate watched IT Chapter 1 and talked about the history of clown panics in the US as well as the explosive volatility of clowns.


Rated R for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language

Content warnings for this movie:

animal death, blood, amputation, child abuse, implied child sexual abuse, incest, hate speech, slurs, ableist language, torture, bugs, alcohol abuse, cutting, flashing lights, jump scares, someone being burned alive, eye mutilation, broken bone, kidnapping, child death, clowns, stalking, audio gore, drool, vomit, anxiety attacks, shakey cam, domestic violence, someone struggling to breathe, guns


The Critical Role clip Kate promised.


Excerpts from Kate’s Notes

Rotten tomatoes: Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare — an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise.


Qualms: misogyny and Bev, racism and removing Mike’s history knowledge and giving it to Ben


Doesn’t jump back and forth like the 1990 version


Pennywise v different- no longer the jarring juxtaposition of childish and sinister, now it’s outright sinister. The cracks in the makeup, the darker tones. No bright yellow overalls here!


Costuming- Pom-poms off center to show instability and unpredictability 



Absurdly Spacious Sewer

Abusive Parents

Action Girl

Adaptational Attractiveness

Adults Are Useless


Batman Gambit

Batter Up!

Blood Brothers

Bloodier and Gorier

Body Horror

But Now I Must Go

Censored Child Death: Double Subverted. “When It was about to kill Georgie, instead of an offscreen death, we see him ripping his arm off, with Georgie trying to escape. Then It reaches out to get him. This time, his death is offscreen.”

Chekhov’s Gun

Clap Your Hands if You Believe

Cold Ham

Creepy Child

Creepy Children Singing

Damsel in Distress- w/ bait and switch subversion

Darker and Edgier

Darkest Hour

Daylight Horror

Does This Remind You of Anything? (Bev shoving a pipe through Pennywise’s mouth)

Eldritch Abomination

Everyone Has Standards


The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You- 

Funny Background Figure (Richie fighting with someone over a euphonium)

Hard Work Montage- cleaning the bloody bathroom

High Five Left Hanging

I’m Not Afraid of You

Important Haircut

Love Triangle

Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!

The Power of Friendship

Pre-Asskicking One-Liner

Sadistic ChoiceSecurity Cling

The Smurfette Principle 

Uncanny Valley


The way they set up the Neibolt house for Eddie is so campy and yummy. It’s like on a street where everything seems fine, blue skies trees full of leaves- a horror exists. 


2017 looked at 1990 and said “fuck you fuck this fuck that have some blood.” And by that I mean there’s a shit ton of blood and they say fuck literally over 60 times. 

Works Cited

Bartholomew, Robert. (2016, October 7). The Great Clown Scare of 2016. Psychology Today.


Caballar, Rina Diane. (2019, November 6). What is the Uncanny Valley? IEEE Spectrum.


Engelhaupt, Erika. (2016, October 7). The Real Reason Clowns Creep Us Out. National Geographic.


Fisher, Kieran. (2017, September 7). Clown Hysteria is Real and It’s No Laughing Matter. Film School Rejects. 


Koeler, Sezin. (2017, September 13). The Sexism and Whitewashing in IT is More Disturbing Than Pennywise. Wear Your Voice


Meinert, Kendra. (2016, September 28). ‘Gags’ filmmaker sheds light on his creepy clown. Green Bay Press Gazette.


Reidel, Sam. (2017, September 15). The Scariest Thing About ‘It’ Is The Misogyny. Medium.


Romano, Aja. (2017, September 12). It: the most surprising scene in the movie has nothing to do with clowns. Vox.


Romano, Aja. (2016, October 12).  The great clown panic of 2016 is a hoax. But the terrifying side of clowns is real. Vox. 


Weber-Smith, Chelsey. (2019, January 21). American Hysteria. Phantom Clowns. Retrieved from