Posts Tagged ‘IT’

IT (2017) Review

Posted: September 9, 2017 in FILM REVIEWS/COMMENTS
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IMG_7758.JPGSeven young outcasts face their worst nightmare when an ancient, shape-shifting evil emerges from the sewer to prey on the town’s children.

Director Andy Muschietti’s story beats are perfect the casting is top notch. Bill Skarsgård is fitting as IT/Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a trans-dimensional evil that awakens every twenty-seven years. Skarsgård’s and Tim Curry’s IT is like Jack Nicholson to Cesar Romero’s Joker, both equally great but a different take on the same character, so there’s no need for comparisons. Incidentally there’s a fitting nod to Curry’s TV Pennywise in a room of clowns. For the main cast there’s the one reminiscent of a young Kevin Bacon, the Rob Lowe looking one, the Molly Ringwald (amusingly self referenced within the film) the River Phoenix one and so on. Echoing The Breakfast Club, Goonies and Stand By Me to name a few.

Muschietti and writers Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman even cram in a creepy gnarled tree and a dilapidated haunted looking house. Starsguard moves eerily slow and contorted at times and uneasy fast at others. There’s much more gore in this adaptation. As a horror it offers enough creepy moments but where it gives today’s horrors a run for their money is the friendship, outcast and bully themes which come directly from Stephen King’s source material.

A major departure from King’s 1986 novel and 1990 miniseries is the 80s setting for the child part, even with the Airwolf T-shirt, New Kids on the Block songs, Casio watch, Gremlins posters and Nightmare of Elm Street 5, Batman and Lethal Weapon 2 showing in Derry’s cinema, some of the period feels a little off but the recreation for the most part works.

Again its strengthen comes from the casting which emotionally affects the story at its core. Frights, whether a cellar, sewer, bathroom or the alley or simple a dark office, the music, sound design thanks to Muschietti’s staging amplifies the chills while wearing its heart on its sleeve with the young performers.

It’s tight and pacey, with enough time for the characters to breath. Muschietti injects plenty of jump scares and creepy moments, and with a larger budget and omitting the adult segments (saving them for an IT sequel/chapter 2 and possibly flashbacks to 1989) it actually, surprisingly is better than its predecessor adaptation.

Packed with terrifying, hallucinatory and nightmare imagery coupled with a near on perfect cast IT is highly recommend.

After a spate of disappearances and child killings in the 60s a group of kids confront the malevolent unearthly cause of the murders, later as adults they reunite to stop the evil once and for all.

Without drawing comparisons to Stephen King’s novel of the same name, Tim Curry’s creepy and unnerving performance as Pennywise the Clown is still the the main reason to watch IT. Another is for the child actors excellent performances in the 1960s segments – reminiscent of 1959 set Stand by Me (1986) another adaptation of King’s works.

Director Tommy Lee Wallace captures the dreamy small American Derry, Maine setting admirably and Richard Bellis’ score is fitting an eerie when required. The cast include Richard Masur in a small vital part, Richard Thomas of “John-Boy”” Walton fame, John Ritter and Annette O’Toole are adequate but notable are the outstanding Emily Perkins as the young Beverly Marsh, Seth Green as Richie and Brandon Crane as Ben Hanscom.

Yes, It suffers for some TV trappings and as many have pointed out the second half is less effective with many of the children’s adult counterparts delivering soap opera performances and Curry appearing less. Some of the effects are dated and the second half drags like many other TV attempts of King’s work. Nevertheless, the werewolf, the photo book and the Pennywise makeup to name a few still hold up 23 year later. Thankfully It predates the influx usage of DTV CGI.

Overall, It still retains its creepy value especially for a TV miniseries.

It on IMDB