Screenwriter Gary Dauberman is behind some of today's scariest films, including "It," "Annabelle: Creation," and "The Nun" - but he's also a devout Christian who says his films are, in many ways, "faith based."
Based on Stephen King's 1986 novel, "It" focuses on a group of friends in a fictional Maine community that battles the small town's demon - Pennywise the Dancing Clown - as kids, and then again as adults. It's already a major hit with audiences, opening to a staggering $13.5 million on Thursday night.
In an earlier interview with The Gospel Herald promoting his previous film, "Annabelle: Creation," Dauberman admitted he's always been "fascinated" by the works of King and Edgar Allan Poe - and the supernatural in particular. But as a Christian, he said, his faith gives him a unique perspective on the horror films he writes.
"In many ways, these are faith-based films for me," he said. "I'm a believer, so I believe evil and demonic entities are out there - but so is God, and so is good. Even as dark and scary as these movies can get, there's always that safety net. If evil is true, the opposite must also be true."
Like "Annabelle", "It" deals with demonic forces - Pennywise is a demon who appears in the form of an evil clown - and the juxtaposition of good and evil.
"These things are real; there is magic out in the world, whether it's dark or good," Dauberman said. "You can't deny that there's something higher out there - there's a higher power and there's a darker power...I think if people can come away [from my films] thinking there is this energy out there or Someone greater than us out there and we need to hold on to our faith, I'd be happy with that."
He added, "When I write films, it all stems from what the characters believe and how that informs their actions going through the story. In sort of a weird way, it's like, 'okay, what can I scare them with if this is what they believe?'"
According to Variety, Dauberman, who is one of three writers credited on "It," along with with Chase Palmer and Cary Fukunaga, has already been hired to pen the sequel.
When asked about the secret to the success of his films, Dauberman said he's able to write compelling scripts because he firmly believes there's an ongoing battle between good and evil in the world.
"Because I believe these things are real, it makes it easier for me to write these scripts," he said. "First and foremost, though, I want people to be entertained. And, of course, I want them to be scared. I like people to think that maybe - just maybe - this stuff can happen."
"It" is directed by Andy Muschietti and stars Bill Skarsgard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott.