Killer clown Pennywise is back in the latest adaptation of “It." The film is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name that was released in 1986. It was turned into a miniseries that aired on ABC in 1990. The movie tells the story of a town where many people, especially children, vanish. The brother of one of those missing children realizes that the culprit is an evil creature that appears every 27 years, and he decides that he must put an end to it.

Grand opening

“It” was made by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema for an estimated $35 million. The movie will premiere in the US on Sept 8th at 4,000 locations and has an “R” rating.

Movie executives predict earnings of approximately $65 million alone for its opening. It would be record breaking for a horror movie, given that the last big supernatural film, “Paranormal Activity 3”, earned $52.6 million in 2011.

America’s love-hate relationship with clowns

For thousands of years, Clowns and jesters have been used as an outlet for satire and to poke fun at influential people. Their origins stem from ancient Egypt. The English word “clown” first appeared sometime in the 1500s, when Shakespeare used it to describe foolish characters in his plays. The now familiar “Ronald McDonald” type clown with its wig, funny clothing and painted face, only arose in the 19th century. Clowns have been used for several years to entertain children at parties and bring about a happy feeling in others.

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But, there’s no doubt that something sinister lurks beneath the smiling facade.

For the American audience, clowns became two faced after serial killer John Wayne Gacy was captured. In the 1970s, this man dressed up as “Pogo the Clown” for children’s parties and pretended to be the epitome of joy. However, police soon realized he was a murderer, who hid the bodies of his victims under the floorboards of his home. Since then, the connection between clowns and dangerous psychopathic behavior has remained etched in the minds of many. Several movies have featured twisted clowns, including the scary clown doll in “Poltergeist” (1982), “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” (1988), the zombie clown in “Zombieland” (2009) and the murderous clown in “All Hallow’s Eve” (2013). Television sensation “American Horror Story” also capitalized on people’s fear when it introduced its own killer clown in Season 4: Freakshow. Following its popularity, producers decided to give the clown his own spin off in Season 7: “Cult” which premiered on Tuesday.

Some people’s obsession with clowns crossed the line in 2016. Individuals starting dressing up like them and terrorizing others in at least ten different states. Killer clown look-a-likes chased onlookers with machetes and tried to lure women and children into forested areas. Some clowns were spotted sitting in cemeteries and standing at the side of roadways as well. One can only hope that the premiere of “It” doesn’t cause mass hysteria, resulting in similar, eerie behavior.