“Georgie, meet Pennywise. Pennywise meet Georgie. Now we’re not strangers”
First, I need to apologize! I went to see this opening weekend, and I’m only now posting my review. Bad movie critic! Bad! My excuse? I just got swept away with the IT craze like everyone else and needed time to process.
IT (Release Date: September 8, 2017)
A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of clown, begins hunting children.
Based on Stephen King’s epic tome (1,100 pages) of the same name.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Rating/ Runtime: R- 2 hrs 15
It’s quite intimidating reviewing the “biggest opening horror movie of all time.” Yes, IT has taken that title after breaking records all over the place in the last ten days. Never has a movie of this genre received this kind of critical acclaim and blockbuster success. It only makes sense that such a film would come from the “King of Horror” himself, Stephen King.
There have been many King adaptations over the years that have ranged from fantastic to I’ve just lost (enter amount of time) of my life, including one for IT. A chilling mini-series starring Tim Curry, that was released in the early 90s. Tim Curry has always been a creepy dude and he played the role to perfection. That said, his Pennywise would shake in his oversized clown shoes if he had to spend a few moments in a room with Skarsgård’s Pennywise. Seriously, the new Pennywise is creepy AF!!! In his opening scene with “Georgie”, he has his longest string of dialogue in the whole film, and I still get chills when I think about it. Absolutely brilliant (*Shudders)
I’m sure you’ve also read (EVERYWHERE) about how amazing the cast of kids who make up the “Loser’s Club” are, and it’s true! These kids are enormously talented and provide much-needed brevity in between the horror bits. Of course, Finn Wolfhard who you know and love from Stranger Things, is awesome and I’m so proud to call him a fellow Canadian. Seriously, every single one of these kids will impress you.
In terms of it being an adaptation, IT was a monumental undertaking for the director and I can say having read the book, the decision to divide IT into two chapters is not only necessary but smart. You simply could not have done it another way without it being a 5 hour movie. Had this been done as a single film, I can say with certainty, that it would have bombed. Just in case anyone thinks “Chapter 2” is a money-grabber.
Additionally, I think it’s a fairly faithful adaptation, with the exception of a few key things, most of which have a lot to do with the character “Henry Bowers”. But I can’t get into it because I always promise NO SPOILERS! You’ll just have to see it for yourself to compare.
Finally, let’s talk about Bill Skarsgård. It would be very easy for him to cash in on his angelic good looks and famous last name to easily secure movies playing the pretty boy lead. I mean just look at him!
I really commend him for doing something different. He has a natural affinity for horror (watch Hemlock Grove) and is making his name with quirkier roles. I think it’s safe to say that he has now become more than just a household name with Pennywise. He’s become an icon.
It’s funny, King fans were really looking forward to the big screen adaptation of The Dark Tower. King himself, calls that series is his “magnus opus” but it did not blow up the screen like people had hoped. I’m pretty sure IT has erased it from people’s memory entirely.
For those of you who “don’t like horror” or clowns, I can’t help you with your coulrophobia, but I can tell you that this movie is more than just horror. You could almost call it a coming-of-age movie with scary parts interspersed. The story, cast dynamics, cinematics and set, offer more than just cheap scares.
I really enjoyed it and Mr. Shanannigans (whom I dragged with me), liked it as well and he HATES horror. Something to consider.
Anyway, this film has earned its accolades and I really look forward to the next chapter. I also have to read the book again because it’s been eons. Just not sure where I’m going to fit it, what with it being massive and my TBR list being ginormous.