October 13, 2017
This classic scientific concept can help us create terrifying villains.
Why exactly is Pennywise from It so terrifying? It may be as much due to a theory from robotic science as it is a factor of great cinematic storytelling. Before we begin, it should be noted that, in the words of video essayist Karsten Runquist, while “technically Pennywise is an undefined morphable character….for the most part he’s a clown.”
Clowns are currently all over pop culture, for instance appearing in the current season of American Horror Story. And, morphable though It might be, Pennywise the Clown is the main attraction in the story. This video looks at the roots of Pennywise’s effectiveness of as a horror villain by examining, among other things, the concept of the Uncanny Valley, as well as his status as a modern-day troll (not the internet kind, though.)