Saturday, September 16, 2017

IT (2017) Review

IT (2017) Movie Review

I'm not sure what it is about the horror genre, but I just absolutely adore it and would probably consider it to be my favourite. I was first introduced to it as a child, with the likes of Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? and I became completely hooked on that little adrenalin rush you get. Since then, I have watched far too many horror films to even name; the good, the bad and the ones with the incredibly lazy writers that favour jump scares over a decent plot line. However, one of my favourites is IT (1990). Technically, it's not even a movie at all and is instead a mini-series that was aired in two parts, but as I've only ever watched it on DVD in one go, it just feels like a film to me. Unfortunately, as it's over three hours long, it's not something I tend to watch a lot because who has that attention span? Not me. When the remake was announced, I was very much looking forward to it, but also slightly worried that it would be turned into a CGI mess.

If you haven't already read the novel written by Stephen King or seen the mini-series, the story starts when seven year old Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) goes missing. We then follow his older brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) as he tries to come to terms with his loss and clings onto every last bit of hope that Georgie will be found alive. With the help of his group of friends who call themselves the "Loser Club" Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Stan (Wyatt Oleff),  Mike (Chosen Jacobs) and Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) band together as they attempt to face Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) and uncover what's really going on with all of the strange disappearances in their town of Derry.

It's marketed as a horror film but I've seen comment after comment complaining that it just isn't scary enough. I personally did find it scary but that might have been due to the fact that we were sat right in between two speakers and next to a very creepy looking corridor. Every single jump scare was horrific because it was incredibly loud and we kept having to look over our shoulder at that corridor to make sure Pennywise hadn't turned up with a red balloon in tow. However, I think if I had watched it at home for example with a normal volume control, I don't think it would have been that bad, unless of course, you have an extreme fear of clowns. Although, I don't think it's just the fact that Pennywise is a clown that makes him terrifying, but it's knowing that he can literally turn into anything that you fear the most and possibly make you relive your worst memories and fears again and again.

I was honestly shocked at how incredible the performances were from those in the Loser Club. Child actors especially in horror films can be a little hit or miss but every single one had such an impressive performance. The chemistry between them all was just brilliant and they also all had their own distinctive personalities and characteristics that just made you really root for each individual and actually care about them and their outcome. My favourite was definitely Richie Tozier which was played by Finn Wolfhard. I think a lot of people expected it to just be Mike from Stranger Things fighting a clown, but it was completely different from his Stranger Things character, so some of the things that he was saying I actually found quite shocking but his one liners were just great. I also really loved Beverly Marsh who was played by Sophia Lillis. I think her character was one of the harder roles due to her character having a very tough family life but she played the part incredibly well and I really hope I see her in a lot more things in the future.

When I first saw Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, I was surprised at just how different they had made him look and it took me a little while to get used to it, but I think it was honestly a good move because this Pennywise is actually scary to look at, even if clowns don't usually scare you. He's not someone you'll be paying to entertain a children's party any time soon, that's for sure. Whereas, the one played by Tim Curry doesn't actually look all that menacing in my opinion. The only slight niggle I have with the modernised Pennywise is how much CGI was used, I think I would have found it much more believable and scary if it hadn't relied on SO much. I did however really love the score and to me, it felt like it had such a John Williams vibe to it. I also loved the cinematography, the film was so visually beautiful and they captured the eighties time period so well. There was also a lot of dark imagery used throughout the film, which left me feeling quite uneasy, like, something bad could happen at any moment. 

Overall, I absolutely loved IT and it was actually one of the best cinematic experiences I've had in a long time. Usually, I feel like a lot of films drag and I'm thinking in my head "this has to be over soon" but this didn't drag at all and just flowed so smoothly, there weren't any scenes that I found boring or pointless. This will definitely be a film I watch many times in the future and maybe even become one of my favourite horror films. If you're someone who isn't usually into horror films and potentially would like to get into them, this would be a great one to start with because it is so much more than just another horror film. It's also a coming of age story and it manages to find the balance of comedy and horror so well. I saw someone say that this film is basically "The Goonies with a killer clown after them" and I think that sums it up perfectly. And as this is only chapter 1, I'm excited to see how the next instalments will match up to this.

Rating: 4 out of 5 red balloons

Have you seen IT? 1990 or 2017. If so, what did you think?

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