8 Things Parents Should Know About ‘It’

The 'losers' in 'It'

Stephen King’s classic horror story makes it to the big screen this weekend. Read on to find out if you should be OK with your teens seeing It.

1. What is it about?
In 1989 in the small town of Derry, Maine, kids are vanishing from the city at an alarmingly high rate. A group of young teenagers figure out what the problem is and try to fight back.

2. What is it rated?

The MPAA rated It R for “violence/horror, bloody images, and for language.” The violence/horror part should be obvious.

The movie isn’t slasher film violent, but there is still a high body count. There’s also a lot of blood. Lots and lots and lots of blood.

And the language? It would have been close to impossible to count the number of f-bombs in the movie. And they are almost entirely uttered by the kids.

3. Should I take the kids?

I’d say that if your kids are young enough that you need to take them to the movies, they are probably far too young to see it. The movie is quite intense, and I think there’s very little chance that smaller kids aren’t going to be scared by It. In particular, Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of Pennywise is the thing years of nightmares are made of.

As mentioned above, the movie is also extremely violent, with multiple very bloody scenes.

4. Will I enjoy it?

If you like well-done horror, then yes, you’ll probably enjoy the movie as an adult.

In particular, the acting in the film is exceptional. I already mentioned Skarsgård’s Pennywise, but the performances of the children in the film really stood out. Every one of them does a great job in the movie, not only in believably dealing with the horror they’re facing, but also the horrors of daily life in high school.

5. How closely does the movie follow the book?

Well, I need to start with a disclaimer: I haven’t read the book. So there’s that.

However, I have talked to my fellow GeekDad contributors who did read the book, and they agreed that the movie overall follows the book fairly well. Except …

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. Skip this section if you don’t want to know details about the movie before you see it.

The last image we see in the movie, just before the credits roll, is “It: Chapter 1.” The movie only covers the portion of the book where the characters deal with Pennywise as children. The rest of the book, where they return as adults, will presumably be the subject of the next movie. And, yes, particularly given how well It is performing in theaters, there will be a second film at some point.

END SPOILERS

6. When’s a good time to sneak out to the restroom?

The movie is pretty long–2 hours, 15 minutes–so while you really won’t want to miss anything, you may need to. I think the first two times recommended by RunPee work well. The first is at around 42 minutes, just after Bev cuts her hair and the scene shifts to the quarry. You have a couple of minutes where nothing major happens. Then, at around the one hour mark, there’s a scene that’s a montage of the kids cleaning up something (you’ll know it when you see it).

7. Is the movie worth seeing in large format theaters?

There’s nothing in particular that would lend itself to larger formats, like Cinemark’s XD. Better sound and a bigger picture will probably make the film creepier, but I saw It in a normal theater and didn’t feel like I missed out on anything.

8. Is there anything after the credits?

No.

Rob is a geek with a 15-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. He teaches web and graphic design at the college level, watches a ridiculous number of movies, plays as many board games as he can, and loves the history of the technological age almost as much as he loves Firefly.