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6 Movies like It: Childhood’s End

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Michael Taylor itcher The television adaptation of Stephen King’s novel ‘It’ told the story of a shape‐shifting villain preying on children’s fears in a sleepy town. If you’re looking to find movies like ‘It’, you’ll love ‘Stand By Me’, ‘’The Babadook’ and ‘Hausu.’~ Michael Taylor

The End Of Innocence…

The television adaptation of Stephen King’s novel ‘It’ focused on a group of children plagued by en evil spirit, personified in the demented persona of Pennywise the Clown (played to sinister perfection by Tim Curry).

In order to defeat Pennywise, they were forced to confront their darkest fears. His powers proved so immense that he returned once they’d reached adulthood, resulting in a final battle.

While we’re patiently awaiting a proper cinematic adaptation of ‘It’, here are 6 other films dealing with the loss of innocence while fighting evil.

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Movies Similar to ‘It’…

‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ (Wes Craven, 1984)

Supernatural villain Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has the power to attack teenagers while they’re dreaming, eventually killing them in the process. But one of his intended victims (played by Heather Langenkemp) has a plan to drag him out from her dreams and into the real world to end his reign of terror.

Similarity Match: 95%
Like Pennywise, Krueger is a humorous supernatural villain who preys on his victim’s fears, but ‘Nightmare’ is more gruesome and bawdy than ‘It’.

***
‘Stand By Me’ (Rob Reiner, 1986)

This Stephen King adaptation (of his 1982 Novella ‘The Body’) is a coming‐of‐age tale of four‐childhood friends who trek across the Oregon countryside to find the body of a fellow student.

Along the way they confront their insecurities, discuss their ambitions and confront dangerous foes. The film features one of the late River Phoenix’s finest performances.

Similarity Match: 90%
Like ‘It’, ‘Stand By Me’ features children losing their innocence when confronting their fears, but unlike the former, ‘Stand’ is grounded firmly in reality.

***
‘The Babadook’ (2014, Jennifer Kent)

Recently widowed Amelia has a lot on her hands dealing with ill‐behaved son Sam. After reading to him from a macabre pop‐up book called ‘Mister Babadook’, Sam becomes convinced that the sinister title character is real and wishes to attack them.

While Amelia at first brushes this off as his overactive imagination, she must soon confront the frightening truth.

Similarity Match: 85%
Like ‘It’, ‘The Babadook’ takes adult and child alike to take down evil, but the latter hits a note of primal terror vs. ‘It’s’ more playful approach.

***
‘Hausu’ aka ‘House’ (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977)

In this bizarre, beautiful Japanese film, a schoolgirl nicknamed Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) travels with classmates to stay with her aunt for the summer.

But it’s soon revealed that her aunt’s house is haunted, and possessed inanimate objects attack Gorgeous and her friends, leading to inspired set pieces and hallucinatory images.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘Hausu’ is a truly unforgettable horror film, that like ‘It’ focuses on youthful innocence attacked by supernatural evil, but with a far more abstract narrative and artful approach.

***

If You Like ‘It’, You Will Like…

Now that we’ve covered films thematically similar to ‘It’, let’s look at one film with Tim Curry playing an equally unforgettable villain, and another traumatic horror classic involving an evil clown.

‘Legend’ (Ridley Scott, 1985)

In this dark fairy tale directed by Ridley Scott (‘Alien’, ‘Blade Runner’) Jack (Tom Cruise), must save Lily (Mia Sara) from the evil clutches of the Lord Of Darkness (Tim Curry), a nightmarish demonic creature who threatens the magical forest that they call home.

Featuring lush visuals and Tangerine Dream’s haunting synth score, it’s one of the more unique films of the 80’s.

Full of Scott’s painterly visuals and eerie atmosphere, ‘Legend’ offers more style then substance, with Curry’s demonic villain stealing the
show.

***
‘Poltergeist’ (Tobe Hooper, 1982)

In this horror classic, the Freeling family’s suburban home is attacked by restless supernatural spirits via their television, set, trees and even their swimming pool!

But it’s their son Robbie’s (Oliver Robins) possessed creepy clown doll that gave millions of children nightmares in the 80’s.

One of the earliest horror films to seize upon fear inspired by clowns, ‘Poltergeist’ also reinvented the haunted house horror sub‐genre for the 80’s.

***

I’m Every Nightmare You’ve Ever Had. I’m Your Worst Dream Come True…

Oh go away Pennywise! Is he gone? Okay, I think it’s safe now. So if you’re looking for where to start off with my recommendations, be sure to give ‘The Babadook’ a look. It’s a modern horror classic.

And if you want something really off the wall, check out ‘Hausu’, it’s unforgettable. And ‘Stand By Me’ is a perfect if you want something less horrific and more poignant in tone.

So what other films like ‘It’ would you add to this list? Tell me in the comments. And be sure to check out my lists for 7 Movies Like ‘Trick’r Treat’ and 8 Movies Like ‘You’re Next’ for more horrific delights.

My name is Michael Taylor and I′m your go-to source for finding the best in Alternative rock in all its various genres, such as Goth, Grunge, Post-punk, Shoegaze, Britpop and Electronica, with some metal thrown in for good measure. Film-wise, I′m all about sci-fi and horror, comic book movies, and cult classics. I love checking out all the best concerts and film events in my hometown of Austin, TX. I′ve written for sites such as Cracked, and I cover all my various pop culture obsessions on my site smellslikeinfinitesadness.com
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