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No Rational Explanation for “It”

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After a miserable summer for movies, with the box-office down some 15 percent across the board, September brought a big surprise: a modestly budgeted fright-fest with no big names smashed all records for horror films and for September releases in general.

It, based on a 1986 Stephen King novel and a 90s TV miniseries, centers on an ageless cannibal clown who arises from the sewers of a Maine town every 27 years to murder and mutilate local children. A group of outcast 13-year-olds does battle with this demonic force, while the film’s only adults engage in incest, sadism, attempted rape, child abuse, and wanton cruelty.

As in many Stephen King stories, supernatural power functions only on the dark side, never balanced by the goodly or the godly. The only genuinely scary aspect of the whole It phenomenon is the public reception for this mediocre product: the $117 million in opening weekend business is as grotesque as anything on screen.

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