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Is Derry, Maine A Real Place? 'It' Is Scary Audiences In A Major Way

You know what's a fun thing to do while the world is literally drowning, burning, and coming apart at the seams simultaneously? Go see a horror movie! Ha ha, just kidding, that's actually a terrible idea, yet for some reason I did it. If you, like me, went to see the new film adaptation of Stephen King's It this weekend you, like me, are probably now filled with crushing anxiety and fear. You may be filled with all kinds of panicked questions like: Is Derry, Maine, a real place? Does that balloon I saw in Party City mean I'm going to die?

Take a few deep breaths, because the answer to both of those questions is "No." Here are a few things to keep in mind if It is keeping you up at night.

1. Derry, Maine, is not real.

Derry, Maine, is a fictional town made up in the head of author Stephen King. While King's version of Maine (the author's home state, where he currently lives today) may be dark and twisted, the real Maine is pretty normal. Well, as normal as a state that's basically Canada can be. More lobster, eh? So no need to worry about Georgie, paper hats, or any murderous clowns named Pennywise.

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2. ...But Derry, Maine, is based on a real city in Maine.

OK, so maybe I mislead you a little bit. There is no town called "Derry" in Maine, but there is a town called Bangor, which Stephen King has said is the town he based Derry on. In fact, not only did King use this real city in eastern Maine as inspiration for It, he also used it as the settings for his novels Dreamcatcher and Pet Sematary. Oh, and also he lives there himself. OK, OK, so Derry is kind of, sort of real. So just don't go there!

Unless you're a crazy King fanatic, which it turns out a lot of people are. According to a report from The Guardian, fans have been flooding to Bangor this past month in anticipation of the upcoming film (which hits theaters September 8). Apparently, one of King's friends even hung a red balloon in the famous author's window. Of the balloon, King said,

I wasn't the one who hung the balloon! Tabby [King's wife] and I are visiting with friends and relatives in the western part of the state. Not sure who did, but I don't mind.

OK, yeah, that's creepy AF. So um, maybe don't book your next vacation to Maine, then.

3. The actor who plays Pennywise is actually a harmless dork in real life.

Allow me to introduce you to Bill Skarsgård, the 27-year-old Swedish actor who plays Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 2017 version of It. He is the son of Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting, The Avengers) and the brother of Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood, Big Little Lies.) While Bill Skarsgård is extremely terrifying and murder-y as Pennywise on the big screen, in real life he's actually a nice, non-threatening man. Just look at his Instagram! He does things like draw silly approximations of the Pennywise makeup on his face, and films videos of himself playing the guitar shirtless.

Sure, it's a little douche-y, but it's definitely not terrifying. So just breathe and remember that under all that makeup, there is just a harmless, albeit vain, Swedish actor.

4. That movie where Reese Witherspoon gets in a four-way relationship with three 20-something men also came out this weekend.

The movie is called Home Again and it's in theaters now. Just, you know, as a reminder! I feel like this was a genius marketing move, personally. There's nothing to get the bad taste of child murder out your mouth like watching Reese Witherspoon doing shots with college bros.

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