Facing our fears, or identifying the real ones. What watching the movie IT taught me.

Georgie runs down the road chasing his boat. The boat begins to get away from him as it floats down the stream on the side of the street. As he runs you sense the first mishap of the movie is coming. You think it has arrived when you see the street blockade warning of danger from road construction. Georgie runs into the blockade and is knocked down. He gets back up and approaches the obvious danger. We wait to see if he will fall into a deep crevasse or if something will emerge.

Georgie goes around, but in an instant his boat floats down the sewer drain. We immediately are aware that this movie isn’t going to pull any punches. The clown appears. He has the boat. Something Georgie wants very badly. Something he is willing to talk to a stranger in a sewer for to get back.

We know what is going to happen. The clown is talking, Georgie responds and in an instant the boy is hurt and he is gone. Only a pool of blood is left to provide a clue of what happened to him.

Real Life is Truly Scary

An evil clown who steals children and kills them is scary. There is no doubt about that. Everything about the clown screams “you should be terrified”! His eyes tell you that you are in for it, his smile is actually a pre cursor to a bite, and his eerie calmness is out of place and a sure sign that something bad is getting ready to happen. What’s scary? The clown in IT.

Something happens by the end of the movie though. Georgie’s brother is on a quest to find him. His group of friends reluctantly join the journey. When they first encounter the clown they are almost taken themselves, but as each one faces their fear they begin to overcome him. By the end of the movie the clown isn’t as scary, but what is emerges.

What is truly scary in life is a father who molests his daughter, a mother who lies to over protect her son, the serious consequences that occur when people spread lies about girls at school, the state of a home when a loved one dies, the affects of a violent bully, and the way the death of a teenagers parents can ravage his childhood.

These types of things are truly scary and can’t be chased away with a simple confrontation. What happens in life is truly scary not the boogey man. Not a figment of our imagination.

We Are Better Together

The group of kids in the movie form a bond through their quest to find Georgie and to kill the clown. The clown hurts and takes children when they are alone. The kids quickly learn that if they stay together they can defeat the clown. Their combined strength deters his attacks and as a group they are able to rely on each others strengths and help each other overcome their weaknesses.

We are better together. We know this don’t we? We know that to defeat the scary things in life and to over come challenges we need to act together. We need one another. Together we gain strength, can utilize each others talents and help each other overcome our weaknesses. In reality we often act alone and it hurts us.

Something lures us to talk to the boogey man in the sewer. We are afraid like Georgie was. Afraid of what happens if we don’t talk to him. We think he will help us. We become isolated and in doing so lose the power to be productive, move forward, and kill what’s trying to kill us.

The Boogey Man Doesn’t Have Power if We Face Him

In the end the kids face the clown and push him out of their lives. He isn’t dead, but he is no longer a threat. He may come back one day, but when he does they will be ready for him. They learned how to defeat him and won’t let him steal kids again.

They learned that to overcome scary things in life we must face them. The girl fights back her dad’s advances, the boy confronts his overbearing mother, the son acts despite his dad’s warnings, the boy faces his bully and learns to trust his grandfather. They faced what was really scary head on and they won.

What lies in the shadows is scary and can damage our lives, but what is in plain sight can be as terrifying. What is in our lives has the power to destroy us as much as what is lurking in the dark.

I left the movie theater feeling good. Sure the clown was scary, but those kids conquered him. Their strength, humor and cohesiveness filled me with hope. It made me want to face my own demons head on and conquer them, but this time with the help of others. We do better together in fighting what lies in the shadows and what is in plain sight.  Let’s face what scares us head on and let’s move ahead.  Life isn’t waiting around for us to decide.  It’s moving on without us.

Marcy Pedersen

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