Sunday, September 17, 2017

Glad I got to meet you before you died.

Where did you get these stains from?

As a young man, this question could quickly test your ability to craft a quality tale of fiction, but in this case, I opted for the stone-cold truth.

Oh, I got those in the sewer. 

My mom, as I recall, didn't bat an eye, and likely didn't even offer a follow-up question. She was more concerned with how the Hell she was going to get this brown stuff off the back of my white T-shirt. See, as a chubby sixth grader in the fall of 1990, along with a rag-tag crew of my friends, I used to explore the sewer system that ran throughout our quaint Hawaiian town. Crouching, we'd enter the small drain that emptied out into Josh's backyard and then find the main drain that flowed through the center of town. It was so tall we couldn't touch the ceiling, not that you'd want to in the first place. And being that it didn't rain much in our town, there wasn't really much down there of note. Well...

...until we found a dead body. 

(of a pig...but still)

Oddly enough, that same sixth grade year was the first (and only) time I read Stephen King's epic novel, It. As a kid, it was surely a memorable read, but I can't honestly recall if the exploits of Pennywise the Clown started or stopped our sewer-exploring exploits. We were really dumb kids, obviously, so it could have went either way (and perverts, too, as I read that one scene more than once to this group of deviants).

As an adult who ain't got time for any of that (reading lenghty novels and/or sewer browsing), I somehow found myself dealing with that creepy f--king clown again, exactly twenty-seven years later. But instead of swinging a dying flashlight around a musty drain pipe with Josh, Aaron, Jenny and Jess, it was me and Grunden and a packed f--king house to see the big-screen adaptation of It. Regardless of what anyone actually thought of the film, it was nice to be at a f--king event. 

While the book bounced back and forth between the childhoods and adulthoods of the main characters, director Andy Muschietti and his writers instead tell the sordid tale of Derry, Maine by focusing only on the early days of Bill, Eddie, Ben, Richie, Mike and Beverly. It's an interesting (if ultimately unsurprising) decision that pays off handsomely in the hands of such a gifted and charismatic cast of young actors.  While the film is certainly unsettling at times, it is an absolute joy to spend two hours with these incredible kids. And I don't say that lightly, as you know, I'm a teacher. Meaning?

I f--king hate kids.

See, these kids, however, are a charming bunch, and even when they're not dealing with a homicidal clown using their deepest fears against them, I had a blast hanging out with these little shits. Unsurprisingly, I saw a little of myself in all of these young dudes (sweet f--k, that's a terrible sentence), as each boy fully represents a fraction of what it is to be a middle school dickhead.

About two minutes after this exact frame, the man in front of me violently abandoned his popcorn.
(what a pussy)
There's the reserved and stoic Bill, desperately trying to conceal his grief for his missing brother, Georgie. He's a good kid, determined to do the right thing whenever he can. Up next, the chubby bookworm Ben, simultaneously hoping to stand out (to Beverly) and lay low (to the town psychopaths) as he manages the awkwardness of being the new kid in town. Richie, easily my favorite of the bunch, is a sarcastic prick, torturing his friends with a relentless slew of insults. Rounding out the crew are Eddie, Mike and Stanley (with Eddie being the hands-down standout of this group), three other losers simply trying to survive the endless fires of Hell that middle-school (and summer vacation) blasts over them.

If exiting boyhood weren't enough of a challenge, where even a pretty girl or a crazed bully could cut your heart out, these young men have to survive Derry, where the creepy f--king clown ain't the half of it. Hell, even the regular adults, like the guy at the pharmacy, the town librarian, or the old couple driving by in the station wagon are seemingly out to get them. Luckily, these unlucky kids have each other, and from where I was seated, that's all a kid could ever ask for, friends till the end. 

Everything about this f--ker makes me want to take the longest, hottest shower.
While I enjoyed the scary bits of the film with Pennywise enough, I actually dug the regular moments infinitely more. Watching these guys riding bikes around town, having f--king rock fights, talking heaps of shit about each other's moms - that was pure joy in my eyes. And the affection I had for these kids made the peril they found themselves in much tougher to handle. It wasn't all that scary, but it was definitely...unsettling.

Speaking of things we'd all rather not see, here is the long-awaited return of the Yays and Boos. This has been one of our longest absences ever, and that's chiefly because in room 104, my students are pulling the reverse Derry, Maine. Meaning? Some f--king clown keeps adding them to my roster (no lie, I've gone three days where I haven't got a new student. THREE.) swelling my homeroom to two dozen eleven year olds. Now that's scary.

These two...

  • Man, initially? Pennywise is a real goofball, right?
  • The title sequence was pretty f--king killer.
  • Dude! For a bunch of hillbilly white kids, that school is hardcore as f--k.
  • I might have been the only guy in the room to laugh as hard as I did when they dump their book bags out in the trashcan. Hysterical.
  • Ben is so f--king smooth. Please don't go, girl.
  • There was a pretty f--king epic/sincere OH NO! from someone deep behind me that basically cracked up the whole theater. I usually hate every piece of dogshit that opens their stupid mouth in the theater, but this lady ruled.
  • Was the librarian going for the Mrs. Doubtfire look, or was that just a happy accident?
  • After that poster save, you should probably just marry Bev on the spot. A girl getting your back like that? I don't care what everyone else says: lock it down, Ben. She's a keeper.
  • I totally dig how these kids drop their bikes like some bad motherf--kers. I never through my bike down like I was way too scared my mom would see me. In that case? I'd totally prefer a clown to eat my face off. At least that's less terrifying than my mom's death stare. And less painful.
  • You guys are lucky you're not measuring dicks.
  • Gazebos! Eddie you silly hypochondriac.
  • So, when they finally tee off on ol' Bozo? That shit was silly, but slightly...exhilarating, too.
  • And finally, even though he borders on exhausting, my main man Finn Wolfhard nails it as the uber-dick, Richie Tozier. Some of his insults, Hell, most of his insults had me absolutely laughing my ass off. Halloween can't come soon enough, even if Mike Wheeler is a much nicer dude than Richie.

F--k everything about this room. 

  • We didn't have a cellar, but holy shit were there parts of every house I've ever stayed in that I basically ran through.
  • Hey, Old Bitch. Maybe we say something to the little kid laying the road during a f--king rainstorm?
  • Bullies are bad, but these f--kers are next level. Like, who the f--k cuts people?
  • What the Hell was that painting in Stanley's church? That shit is terrifying without being imbued by sinister forces.
  • So, just for the record, every adult in Derry is a f--king psycho, right? Like, even Bill's dad lost his f--king mind (not that I blame him...). But Pharmacist Guy and Eddie's Mom, for example? What the actual f--k is going on around here? It's supposed to be one clown. Not a f--king circus.
  • Hmm. Mysterious steaming egg, you say? I should pursue this.
  • That one bully dude looked like a young Adam Driver. And I wanted to cut him in half with a light saber.
  • You know it's pretty bad when the bathroom sink that vomits 9,000 gallons of blood into your face is the second creepiest thing in your house.
  • That f--king leper thing looked hilarious! And yes, as silly as it was, at least it didn't turn into a f--king BLUE MOTH.
  • Who puts a missing poster over another missing poster? I'm pretty sure there's enough wall for everyone....
  • I get it, guys. I do. You have to face your fears. But there's no f--king way I'm going up those stairs. Nope. 
  • Sometimes, just sometimes, the drama of it all is pretty f--king laughable. Missing kids? Shit. They might as well have been talking about missing Trapper Keepers, considering how whiny some of them seem to get, you know?
  • Oh, your dad is a creepy f--k? Here's a solid plan: run away from him. Into your house. You know, the one you live in. WITH YOUR DAD.
  • Outside of owning that thing that Chigurh used in No Country, was there any real reason for Mike to be there? 
  • And finally, can't we just hold hands and make a pledge to fight evil? Is it really necessary to cut bitches up and combine juices? F--k. Me. Sure, I had just seen a clown trying to murder kids in the middle of Cirque du Soleil's Sewer show, but holy shit did this little gesture of friendship give me both the heebies and the jeebies. *shudder* There's way better ways to exchange fluids, kids. Trust me. (and then she kisses him with those hands!?!?!)

Whether or not It is really as good as the box-office returns (and general word-of-mouth) are making it out to be, I still commend everyone involved (except the director, because I will always hate him for Mama [review]) for not only making a movie that people will actually go to the movies for, but for making horror relevant again. I mean, we all need more scary movies in our life.

Sure, there's a shit-ton of horror on Netflix and the like, but there's nothing better than seeing something terrifying in a theater full scared-ass bitches. There's nothing like all that nervous laughter and relief as we all head to the exit, wiping our brows and exhaling tangible relief.

And even better?

No one asks you about the brown stuff on your clothes.


  1. Holy crap man, I thought I was getting braver with horror movies but even reading your post has me feeling unsettled! Maybe I'll try the book first??

    1. Um...I'm not sure the book is any less terrifying...but I read it almost over 25 years ago. So, you should probably just go for it.

      Or the movie.

      Or both??

  2. Shit stains? Dead pigs? Reading that horrific what was King thinking scene more than once?

    Yep. Same old.

    I liked the film fine but I thought if it wasn't for acting this would be really bad. The editing was terrible as was the structure, it was just so episodic with how this fucker just kept manifesting himself to each of the kids. The most disturbing thing about this movie is that I see chicks now wanting to bang Pennywise and even for me that is creepy.

    I saw Annabelle Creation over the weekend and it was a much better horror film

    1. They weren't shit stains...I think. And the pig was rotting and smelled like hot, dead ass. And yes...I was the one reading that scene aloud...and we all couldn't believe what was happening.

      Yep. Same old.

      I kind of liked the episodic nature of it, even if totally lacked flow and probably could have had commercial breaks in between.

      Wait wait WAIT. Banging scary clowns is a thing? A desirable thing at that? What the Hell is going on around here? These f--king kids are going to doom us all. And I say a thirty-eight year old dickhead. That eight adds to my credibility....

      I have no desire to see Annabelle Creation, but since you're vouching for it, I'll see it immediately.

      I mean, that's what friends do.

    2. It's really quite great. Lots of generic jump scares but they really worked for me and the film also has very creepy atmosphere. I think it may be even scarier than Conjuring 2 and that one had that fucking nun there.

  3. Eww you ran around in sewers? There's no way I would've done that. lol

    I had to laugh every time Stan actually used his kickstand on his bike. That was me.

    I really liked the film and I think it's worth the hype behind it. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. The only thing I wasn't crazy for was the time change. I think it worked better in the 50's

    1. Yeah, it was pretty gnarly. I don't know what the f--k we were thinking, but I remember genuinely looking forward to it. (we some weird shit down there...heard some weird things, too)

      Hahaha...I forgot about the kickstand usage. Total dork move. Uh...except for you.

      You're okay with the hype? I think it was a solid flick, and I enjoyed it, but I feel like the bar might have been set at 'not sucking', which clearly it didn't.

      I was actually cool with the 80s...but I'm with you, setting it in the 50s probably would have made certain arcs a lot stronger (uh, Mike for example). But maybe having the second one set in the 80s would have been....I don't know...distracting??