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Submitted by: Andy Canoy
Scary movie nowadays rely too much on jumpscares rather than focusing on good storytelling and atmosphere. But when the original creator, Stephen says: “I wasn’t prepared for how good it really was”, there is a light at the end of the scary tunnel. IT shows that great horror films are still out there when done with great care.
I loved how the story basically mirrors our childhood. Even though this movie is advertised as a horror film, there is humour and it actually works. Growing up is scary and everyone has fears. We’ve had traumatizing experiences and those memories haunt us. We need to have some fun in our lives to cope with being afraid. Seeing the children have fun reminded me of myself when I had fun with friends to ease the tension.
All the kid actors really held their own, creating a sense of comradery between the characters. Each had distinct personalities which makes them standout from each other. My favorite other than the main kid was Richie because he makes jokes at unfunny situations and is a loud mouth. They felt like real children and not actors. What I appreciated is that the kids are not perfect. They drop a lot of F-bombs, make bad jokes, have attitude problems, and go on crazy, stupid adventures that adults may consider idiotic. This makes us connect more with the Loser’s Club. The only small gripe I have is that some of them lacked a bit of character development. They’re personalities are well defined but it would have been nice to see a flashback of their traumatic experiences which causes some of the their nightmares that Pennywise uses to lure them into their doom.
Bill Skarsgard’s performance as the new Pennywise will haunt you for a long time. He doesn’t try to emulate or imitate Tim Curry, but does his own take on the creepy clown. Creepy, disturbing, humorous, are just some of the characteristics that make this version horrifying. Being pretty much invincible, he’ll appear in the most unlikely of places. Pennywise will scare you to your core so brace yourselves for surprises around every corner.
The setting of the late 1980’s was a perfect timeline for the film. At this time, many horror films peaked in popularity from Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead, Poltergeist, The Shining, and many more. There are even references to some of these horror classics. It makes the children’s adventure more dangerous and scary since people were already scared to death by Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, etc.
The fictional town of Derry, Maine was filled with creepy environments that from abandoned houses, sewers, forests, and even typical places where you don’t think of fear like a library or your own home. What makes IT scary is that it puts emphasis on the fact that being alone is scary as hell. Being in a haunted place with friends is nothing, but if you’re all by yourself, fear levels will increase to over 9000. Yes I used a Dragonball Z joke.
The R-13 rating was perfect for this new rendition. PGfying a horror film does take away a bit from the viewing experience because certain scenes can’t be shown in full, violent detail. But IT doesn’t hold anything back. There is very disturbing imagery and a bit of gore as well. You’ll see dismembered limbs, corpses, lots of blood, and violent scenes involving bullies. This is great because it allows for the scary parts to be actually scary and not second-guessing or crowd pandering. This is a movie about a scary clown that’s trying to kill kids. So of course that’s going to merit a rated-R movie.
As someone who isn’t afraid of clowns and rarely gets scared, IT actually terrified me. This isn’t filled with loud in-your-face jump scares. “IT” no pun intended evokes Stephen King’s love of fear and nightmares. Get ready for constant speculation on which adult actors will take on the roles and combat the demon clown once again. Scare on!