IT and 80’s Nostalgia

JJ Wayne GrahamReviewsLeave a Comment

IT works well as just a movie. Even if I had not read the book I would enjoy this film. Why, because it does something that many films fail to do these days: make me feel something. While watching IT, I felt a longing for the moments of childhood when we would ride bicycles and find adventure. There were no killing clowns, but there was the intrigue to investigate and create our own storylines.

80’s nostalgia and the movies

IT really captured the look and feel of the movies I grew up loving and watching on repeat. Many of them were early 80’s release, but I didn’t watch them until my father procured a VHS player and a trunk load of movies from a friend who had to move overseas. Movies like ET and Goonies and the Lost Boys come to mind and they all centered around the not-so-popular kids.

Beverly Marsh played by Sophia Lillies.

The Characters

I was never a cool kid and that’s why I relate so much to Ben Hanscom. I wasn’t fat but I felt self-conscious about my big lips and gapped teeth and always, even to this day feel like an outsider.

I have to apologize for calling Bev a bitch. It was a reaction to the scene in the garage when she thanks Ben for saving her life but hugs Billy. I, as a self-proclaimed friendzone member, knew exactly what that character felt in that moment.

Oh, by the way, the friend zone does exist! More on that later or hear Josh and I hammer debate this topic in a very early episode of TWB.

What member of the Losers club do you best associate with?

Are you…

  • Bill Denborough, the boy next door?
  • Ben Hanscom, the lonely outsider?
  • Mike, the misunderstood?
  • Beverly, the strong person crippled by the perception of others.
  • Richie, the no fear jokester with a pretty stable life?
  • Stanley, the religious?


* Fate drew them together. Friendship put them in peril. #The Losers Club.
* Ritchie was a fave and Beverly Marsh, played by Sophia Lillies, commands the screen. Only someone with true, innate, acting ability could handle a role so fragile.
* It was something special to have this film set in the 80’s.
* The movie didn’t take its time getting the kids together and keeping the story moving forward.

Riding Bikes

Bikes were our vehicles to adventure. Riding bikes through the neighboring towns or to the store are some of the more memorable moments of my childhood. There was something so carefree about trekking to someplace with a gaggle of friends on bicycles, and there were several shots in IT that really made me quietly rejoice in those moments.

Bike Fall DownOne particular was a long shot of the six friends on bicycles riding up Neibolt street. They linger outside the house contemplating what to do before eventually hopping off their bikes and allowing them to fall over onto the street. Or, what about the coolness of riding up a house and hopping off your bike as it continues forward for a stint before crashing onto its side. I loved bicycles and I believe it was working on bikes that taught me how to take things apart and reassemble them again.

Spirit of Summer

Several times it was mentioned in this movie about the joy of summer. Your duties as kids should be out spending time with friends. If you lived with my MeMa, you had to get out of the house or she would find work for you to do. I don’t ever remember wanting to stay at home, that was face too boring. With no television rights, summer was definitely the time to get into trouble and find or create your own entertainment. Whether it was stickball, football, or talking to the girl whose parents locked her in for the summer there were times to be had.

We used to leave the house in the a.m. and not return home until dinner time. I can’t image a world now in which I would allow my children to do so—so freely. Some people blame the homebody kid phenomenon on television and computer games, or the fear that they will get hurt, kidnapped, or worse.

True, video games are a factor, but they are not the cause for our children’s reclusivity, it’s us, the parents. Video games provide Homebody Kids with entertainment. If we don’t allow kids outside, how else do they find adventure? Books, movies, music and video games are essential to satiating the minds of kids with some sort of worldly exploration when they can not go outside.

Same Creeps, Same Bad Things

The same creeps doing bad things these days are the same type of creeps who did bad things back when we [the parent] were younger. Your parents knew and now as parents, we are aware of the dangers of the world outside our home. When I was young, I lived in a neighborhood where everyone knew everyone — small towns like this and Derry are usually safer havens for children than large cities.

In this movie and the book, the kids from Derry had this hangout spot called The Barrens, which wasn’t exactly a safe place, but it was a place where the kids felt safe. I do remember hanging out in locations like this. We would create, play games, or just sit around and talk. It was in those moments you would usually reveal things about yourself that you swore to never tell a soul.

We, kids, always found consolation in each other in our more private moments. Like, in that scene with Beverly and Ben at the bike rack. There were any more moments like this in the book and they are so true to the relationships of people brought together out of the boredom of being in a small town with nothing better to do than befriends a stranger

The Iconic Clown, Tim Curry

Sorry, but Pennywise did nothing for me in the scare department. Bill Skarsgard did a great job at creating his own interpretation of the menacing dancing carnival attraction, however, the kids outshine him in this picture.

How to be iconic: Tim Curry and Heath Ledger. Once you set the bar, it’s sometimes too high to jump over. Listen here: Episode72

Look at Hellboy, later in news

As Advertised?

Yes, It is a great film but not a true example of horror from which it is inspired, for that read the book.