Stephen King is most certainly a “master of horror.” The incredibly talented author has penned over 50 novels and collections of short stories filled with terrifying frights and things that go bump in the night. King’s character development is unparalleled, with each story introducing us to numerous memorable people, animals, and monsters. One of King’s most unforgettable monsters is the downright horrifying clown, Pennywise. Although this creature takes the form of a clown, it is really something much more sinister. King released IT in 1986, and the lengthy book left us huddling under the covers, sleeping with the lights on. Just a few years ago, the story was brought to the big screen in an adaptation with an incredibly atmospheric setting to represent the town of Derry, Maine. But where, exactly, was It filmed?
‘IT’: Stephen King’s chilling story was brought to life for a second time
In 1990, one of Stephen King’s longest novels was brought to life on the small screen. IT aired as a two-part miniseries with a star-studded cast. Tim Curry stole the show with his disturbing performance as Pennywise. Other cast members included Annette O’Toole, Harry Anderson, and John Ritter.
Although people with a fear of clowns found Curry’s Pennywise to be very frightening, the film overall was more cheesy than scary. Fans of the novel could barely contain their excitement when, over 20 years later, it was announced that a remake was in the works.
IT: Chapter One was released in 2017. As IndieWire points out, the film followed King’s story about The Losers Club pretty faithfully. The most notable difference between the source material and the remake is the time period. In King’s novel, the kids grow up in the late 50s. In the film, it’s the 1980s when the Losers Club members are kids (which is the time period in the book when they returned to Derry as adults).
In 2019, fans were thrilled to get the second installment on the big screen. IT: Chapter Two was much anticipated, but didn’t quite live up to the first half. The film only received a 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to Chapter One‘s 86 percent. According to Vox, the biggest problem with the second film was the lack of chemistry among the cast. The teen actors from Chapter One completely outshone their adult counterparts, making the second film feel like something was missing.
Where was ‘It’ filmed?
IT: Chapter One and IT: Chapter Two take place in a fictional town in Maine called Derry. The town is the home of many of King’s spooky tales, including Insomnia, Bag of Bones, and Dreamcatcher. Filming for the movies took place in several beautiful places in Canada, but mostly in Toronto and Port Hope.
Atlas of Wonders compiled a list of the most notable locations in the films, including the house on Neibolt Street, Keene’s Pharmacy, and the Derry Public Library. The terrifying house at 29 Neibolt Street was quite a project to create. Director Anthony Muschietti wanted to get the house just right, and used three different locations to achieve that goal.
The creepy-crawly facade of the house was built on an abandoned lot in Oshawa. According to Fancypants Homes, the basement scenes (which contain the well that leads to Pennywise’s lair) were filmed in a repurposed bottling company. The eerie atmosphere inside the house was created in a vacant Victorian mansion in Toronto.
A municipal building was used for exterior shots of the Derry Public Library, while the interior was shot at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. The fictional Keene’s Pharmacy was actually Watson’s Guardian Drugs on the corner of Walton and Ontario Street.
Fans want to know if there will be a third part
Fans would love a third chapter of IT. However, it’s highly unlikely that audiences will see any more of The Losers Club. Their story was wrapped up pretty tightly at the end of Chapter Two, and there isn’t much more left to explore. A third film would mean resurrecting Pennywise, which could set the story up as another Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street — with a neverending barrage of mediocre sequels.
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