The scary clown from the horror film It is one of the most terrifying movie characters of all time. So, when someone found a cat that just looked it, they couldn’t resist sharing an image online. And now the animal is famous in its own right.
The movie It has been terrifying audiences since it hit cinemas in September 2017. The bone-chilling horror is based on the 1986 novel by American supernatural fiction writer Stephen King. And like many of King’s tales, its narrative is the stuff of nightmares.
The film is set in the small town of Derry, Maine, where the community is rocked when a young boy named Georgie Denbrough goes missing. The seven-year-old’s disappearance is particularly hard on Georgie’s awkward teenage brother, Bill, who later leads an expedition to try to retrieve his brother’s body from a patch of creepy wasteland.
To help him on his mission, Bill recruits a team of fellow outcasts. But as they set out on their expedition, they soon make a worrying discovery. The teenagers realize that Georgie was not the first child to vanish under tragic circumstance in Derry. The sleepy town has in fact witnessed a series of mysterious disappearances stretching back over hundreds of years.
As they edge ever closer to discovering the awful truth about Georgie’s disappearance, the group is beset by a number of paranormal encounters. The evil spirit behind the hauntings appears in a number of guises, including a menacing-looking clown. Despite its shape-shifting nature, however, the teens soon realize that they are all being terrorized by the same entity, which takes the form of their darkest nightmares.
The monster, which the gang refer to as “It,” is later discovered to be called Pennywise. The nightmarish creature lives in the sewers of Derry and only awakens once every 27 years to feast on the town’s children. The friends vow to put an end to Pennywise’s reign of terror over the town. But to do so, they must first face up to their own deepest fears.
The gruesome movie proved to be a hit with audiences and critics alike. Indeed, since its release the film has smashed a number of box office records and raked in more than $653 million worldwide. No other R-rated horror movie has ever taken in as much at the box office and no horror film has made as much money internationally.
Film critics were also quick to applaud the movie. John Nugent, from Empire magazine, claimed that the film “ranks among the better Stephen King adaptations.” Andrew Barker from Variety, meanwhile, wrote that the movie was made up of a “collection of alternately terrifying, hallucinatory and ludicrous nightmare imagery.”
Fans praised It on a number of counts, from its soundtrack to its cinematography. It was actor Bill Skarsgård’s haunting depiction of the blood-thirsty Pennywise which stood out for most, however. With his creepy smile, yellow eyes and exaggerated forehead, there was no forgetting the monster’s face, no matter how hard people tried.
So with Pennywise forever etched in film fans’ minds, it didn’t take long for one of them to find the character’s real-life twin. And while that might sound too scary to even think about, the doppelganger turned out to be quite adorable. That’s because it was, in fact, a cat.
One of the first people to draw comparisons between the cat and the clown was Twitter user ravnclaw. He tweeted an image of the animal alongside one of Skarsgård. And sure enough, both of them shared an angular jawline, pink lips and heavy-set eyes.
“I AM LITERALLY GOING TO P*** MYSELF,” Racnclaw wrote in October 2017, while making liberal use of the caps lock key. “WHY DOES THIS CAT LOOK LIKE BILL SKARSGARD?” It didn’t take long for his eagle-eyed observation to gain attention.
Soon, in fact, more than 22,000 people had retweeted his image. The side-by-side pics of the cat and Skarsgård also attracted a number of comments. “I’m crying,” wrote one user, while another added, “That literally just made my day.”
It soon transpired, however, that this was not the cat in question’s first brush with fame. As one Twitter user pointed out, the animal already had its own Facebook page due to its resemblance to another famous actor. Because, according to her fans, the cat – Marla – is a dead-ringer for Steve Buscemi.
Marla has been famous since 2016, in fact, when one reddit user pointed out the similarities between the cat and the Fargo star. That post was viewed many thousands of times and inspired fierce debates about who the cat resembled most.
On reddit, people also compared Marla’s unique looks to those of former child star Macaulay Culkin. Others claimed the animal was a feline reincarnation of Gollum, while some claimed that she looked more like Russian president Vladimir Putin.
In the end, Marla grew so famous that her owners decided to set up a Facebook page for her titled the “Steve Buscemi Cat.” In the description of their pet, they wrote, “Marla is a rescue kitty. Her unique looks have been compared to a lot of celebrities. We think she’s purrfect.”
And in October 2017 those running the page acknowledged the latest batch of attention that Marla was receiving for her resemblance to Pennywise. They pointed out, however, that the cat was nowhere near as hideous as the monster. When one of the page’s followers wrote, “Marla doesn’t look like It, she is much more beautiful,” they replied, “I think so too.”
But even being compared to one of the most petrifying movie characters of all time could apparently not dent Marla’s popularity. “Your videos made me fall in love with Marla,” one fan wrote. “She’s adorable! Just a cat doing cat things.”
While Marla first became famous for resembling other people, it’s safe to say that she’s now a star in her own right. So, with It: Chapter Two already in the pipeline, could there be a cameo in store for one of the internet’s biggest sensations?