Fear the children in yellow raincoats: Comparing Georgie from 2017’s IT with Six from Little Nightmares
This article contains spoilers.
Look at the promotional image for It (2017) and you see the child Georgie in a yellow raincoat, facing a malevolent clown whose face is shadowed as he offers a red balloon. Look at the promotional image for Little Nightmares and you see the child Six in a yellow raincoat, lighting up her path with a lighter but unaware of the zombie-like hand slithering towards her.
These small figures in yellow raincoats – figurative beacons in dark times – highlight the contrast between good and evil, and serve as striking, memorable introductions for two horror media that feed off the manifestations (real or not) of children’s fears.
Yet even though Georgie from It and Six from Little Nightmares seem to represent similar themes at first glance – that of innocent children preyed on by monsters – if you delve a little deeper, you may find that they’re not quite the same.
Do you face the monsters?
Georgie’s last moments are shown in the first minutes of It, where he chases a boat in the rain as it sails towards Pennywise the Dancing Clown – a malevolent being in the town’s sewer system. Here, Georgie confronts his fears head on. Even though he seems to be afraid – or at least, suspicious – of Pennywise and even comments how he shouldn’t talk to strangers, he looks straight at Pennywise and reaches for the boat.
Moments later, Georgie will be eaten, setting in motion the motivation for the movie’s main protagonist to defeat the clown once and for all. In fact, even though Georgie isn’t really present for most of the movie, he serves as an icon (at least, for his big brother) of facing your fears head on, staying true to yourself even if those fears consume you.
Little Nightmares, on the other hand, is a game known for its open interpretation. As such, Six’s motivations aren’t as clear. She outwits and traps monsters, but mostly does so while running away from them. Even then, is she afraid? You never really see her expression, nor does she ever really tremble – suggesting that she may not even fear monsters at all.
This contrasts Georgie, who is inspired by his big brother to seek power in cooperation and friendship. Six seems to embrace the power of the individual, always moving ever forward. It’s more like she is on a mission to avoid capture, even if she has to become a monster herself.
Reality or imagination?
The most notable difference between Georgie and Six is that Georgie is considered dead or missing throughout It, while Six is very much alive. Both characters, then, are direct representations of how the horror elements work in both titles.
Like how the Georgie shown throughout most of It is actually Pennywise, much of It’s horror manifests itself in psychology: evil preys on your fear, and the more afraid you are, the more likely the evil appears and the more powerfully it can control you.
In contrast, like how Six can simply be grabbed by a monster, the horrors in Little Nightmares are more tangible and immediately dangerous. These monsters may represent your childhood fears, but they are portrayed as completely physical beings, always felt and seen.
Are children truly innocent?
Georgie, dead early on and sinister only when Pennywise masquerades as him, maintains his image of the innocent victim-child, made more apparent by the brightness of the yellow raincoat. Six’s image, on the other hand, may change for you by the end of the game.
Yet here there is a similarity between It and Little Nightmares: both titles seem to focus on the idea that growing up is synonymous with losing both innocence and goodness. The rest of It portrays bullies (all older kids) and adults who are either horrific themselves or act as bystanders in a town where many children have disappeared and been murdered.
This suggests that even if the heroes – Georgie and The Losers Club – seem like they’re doing well now, they could grow up to be like the very adults that torture them. It’s just that Little Nightmares, in one interpretation of the ending, takes that step a little earlier. Maybe Georgie and Six aren’t so different after all.
Image credits: Tarsier Studios, New Line Cinema