In Review: IT

One of the most conflicting feelings is being a fan of Stephen King’s work, and then hearing they are making an adaptation on screen. It is exciting because you know King tells a good story, but full of apprehension for how they will try to visualize the monsters he did so well describing for our imaginations.

So it was with mixed emotions I sat in the theater with my roommates (all with blankets and a stuffed animal – yes, we are living our best lives) waiting for it to start. And from the opening to closing credits, I could not wipe the stupid grin off my face. It was amazing.

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Rating: 9.5/10

My snippet: What IT managed to do was weave together a horrific concept into a story about a group of young outcasts trying to do the right thing. The ever-so popular setting of young people in the eighties was the perfect backdrop, giving the movie an instantaneous Spielberg feeling with nightmarish scares. When we reach a time where slasher films have been pushed aside for anecdotal, human horror stories – we will look back at IT and realize this film was the bridge across the river into new possibilities.

Pros:

The Kids

Talk about a group of talented young actors. Listening to their hilarious banter was an unexpected treat. They not only were strong as a group, but as individuals confronting their own fears. I know Chapter Two will be them as adults, but boy do I wish it was the same cast. Full marks for all the children.

The Imagery

The way the film captured each child’s worst fears was brilliant. We all had something in our house growing up that we didn’t want to look at. It wasn’t inherintly creepy, but it was a source of deep and irrational fear in our young minds. (Mine was a dollhouse) Others who have grown up in the worst kinds of situations find their horrors far worse than most could imagine. The film did a fantastic job of taking time with each kid’s fear – building a tension both visual and emotional.

The Clown

Bill Skarsgård brought Pennywise to life in the best ways possible. Sure, to many Tim Curry’s seemingly immortal portrayal of the clown will always be number one, but to me Tim’s representation was always too campy and too clown-like. Bill brought an amazing demonic energy to the role that took Pennywise to an entirely new level. What he was able to do physically as well as vocally was amazing.

Cons:

CGI

Now, don’t interpret this as I think it is all bad. It’s not. In fact – 90% of what was on screen was fantastic. However, the only downside to the film for me was the artistic nature some of the fears would be delivered as – the lack in realism made them less scary for me.

The Scares

If you are going to this movie simply to be terrified and you hate clowns – you are going to the right place. I will disclaim I am extremely desensitized to horror films, but IT was not created to simply be a scary movie. There is a lot going on in between the scares, and if you aren’t prepared to emotionally invest in all of these kiddos stories, you aren’t going to enjoy it.

 

Overall, this film took us on the best kind of roller coaster ride, with the slow, creeping ride upwards through the exposition, to sudden drops, twists, and turns that, whether you are a fan of King or no, will have you desperately waiting for Chapter Two. In the meantime, I will probably go see it again and then get it on DVD the day it comes out. The perfect kickoff to Halloween season!

And remember….

you’ll float too,

raina xoxo

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