In the past ten years, the idea that clowns are scary has scored some real PR victories. It went viral – fear of clowns went from a very rare actual phenomenon, to a joke, to a much-more-commonly claimed psychology, to actual people standing on street corners in the dark in blood-spattered costumes. Horrific monster clown masks are available on the shelf at any big-box retailer come Halloween time. And that’s almost, if not completely, It’s fault. The story of an ageless monster from beyond time who assumes variety of forms to pursue and annihilate the precocious kids of a quaint Maine town, It really orbits around Pennywise, the clown identity that the nameless horror frequently takes. Their story of working together to fight an evil they can’t possibly beat still resonates. And 2017’s full cinema version of Stephen King’s classic story doubles down on the otherworldly and ineffable terror of a cosmic demigod that can manipulate reality and very much wants everybody dead. We can’t wait for chapter two.
Support is provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.