So I went and saw IT, and came back unimpressed. I mean it was a good movie, no doubt about that. A bunch of kids, outcasts in their own right, being terrorized by an ancient demon that plays upon the fears of its victims is pretty much the standard in Hollywood horror movie territory.
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All the kids are well cast, the script is funny and tight, and there are plenty of monster shots. The cinematography is great, the pace is even and the CGI is flawless. But is more funny than terrifying- it’s R rating more a justification of teenage slang in the script, rather than for true scares.
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But that is what typically Stephen King is all about. His stories are studies on relationships rather than all out horror. In IT, King reversed Spielberg’s E.T, and explored everyday monsters of childhood- abuse, violence and neglect. Juxtapose that with an eternal evil shape-shifting entity who wakes up every 27 years to prey, and you have a shawarma of a plot. The book is scary, the movie isn’t. Probably so because today, we are used to Stranger Things.
We are used to kids doing stupendous stuff these days- whether running billion dollar companies, or bringing back lost souls from other dimensions. It all seems very easy for today’s generation to figure things out- most of IT establishes this narrative.
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A wonderful group of actors face off against Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and they all nail their parts. The movie takes place in a town where all the adults are essentially villains- so its not just the kids versus the clowns everyone else. But for sheer impact, IT never reaches the highs it achieves in its first sequence.
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It is a great example of how strong marketing can make mediocre movies look a billion bucks. Other reviewers are putting IT right up there with other Stephen King adaptions such as The Shining and The Thing. Oh please, that would be laying it too thick. Director Andy Muschietti’s earlier take on the genre- Mama, is a far better contender.
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No good horror movie can get away by being light on scares, however good the characters and the script are. So look at IT as an extension of Goonies or Stranger Things, a PG-13 romp, not an iconic horror movie. 7/10
Having not seen the original movie and only tidbits of the trailer, I didn’t really know what to expect when walking into the cinema this evening. Someone described the movie as ‘The Goonies’ meets ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ – this turned out to be an extremely accurate description!
The opening scene seems to suggest that the movie will be very dark, yet these expectations are quickly dispersed as the horror is undercut by comedy. This happens repeatedly throughout the film: and it works. My friends and I (as well as the entire packed cinema) found ourselves gasping at scenes of sheer terror, then only moments later laughing hysterically at the banter between the main characters.
I would say that this is not a film for the faint of heart, yet I think even those individuals would find themselves enjoying ‘It’. If not for the horror, then certainly for the comedy and camaraderie. It’s as if this is a movie within a movie: a mix of a high-school-problems/coming-of-age movie and a horror. A brilliant two-for-one if you ask me!
Great acting from all of the cast as well as excellent writing make this movie a must watch!