Being a horror fanatic, you have to work pretty hard to shock me with horror films these days. I have seen it all, and I have a preference towards stories that play with psychological boundaries. I am actively looking for those roller coaster moments where you know that something is going to happen, but you just don’t know when. Anticipation is the key; I don’t want a lot of it, but if you can make me feel it once, then the film maker has achieved something. So how did the 2017 version of Stephen King’s IT turn out?
The story of IT is a strange one, but then you expect that with Stephen King. It follows five children in the eighties who are going through your usual kind of growing pains like bullying, falling in love, parent issues that sort of thing. This all takes place in the sleepy town of Derry, Maine. The story starts to unfold when the kids begin to investigate some missing children during their summer break.
The remake is set in the 80’s and I will say that the director Andy Muschietti has done a great job of setting the era. I remember the 80’s pretty well, considering I was 5 at the beginning of them and 15 by the time they finished. The costumes, the cars, and even the music – All of this are accurate for the time, and to me was very relatable. I’m not sure about anyone else who saw the film, but I found almost an instant kinship with the main boys in the film. You can feel their friendship, awkwardness, camaraderie, and rivalry. The actors who played them did an awesome job! The love interest in the film, Beverly Mars played by Sophia Lillis, has a particularly predictable but relatable background and as she goes through the film, she really grows as a character.
We could not do this review without touching on Pennywise. The clown is just how I pictured him; inviting and intriguing yet sinister, freaky and scary. The actor who plays him, Bill Skarsgård, does a fantastic job. There is some CGI to enhance the sinister movement and appearance of Pennywise. I sometimes find that CGI in films causes some disconnect for me, and even though it does go a little overboard at times, it’s not so much that the atmosphere was broken for me.
I’ll be honest and say that I can vaguely remember the book, it’s been some time since I have read it. IT was one of those films I also avoided all hype about, I didn’t watch any trailers or anything, which what I tend to do when I want to watch a film in the cinema. I also vaguely remember the 1990’s TV Mini Series starring the amazing Tim Curry, who I admit to having a man crush on, so a remake had something to live up to but I tried to see it with an open mind. To give you a proper verdict we have to answer a few simple questions.
We will start with what I think is the most important one, were there any of those rollercoaster anticipation moments? Yes, for me there was. The film even made me jump which to me proves that I was invested in it as a story; I knew the jump was coming but it still made me jump regardless. The second thing we need to look at is did I find the film entertaining? Again yes. I left the cinema actually impressed with what I had just seen. I felt connected to the characters, I felt the creepy nature of Pennywise and I walked out with a smile on my face. I actually felt like it was money well spent. If you’re a fan of the book and can handle somebody adapting the story here and there to fit the flow of a film better, it’s well worth it. I had a great time watching IT.
Have you seen the film yet? Did you see the 1990’s TV series and if so how do you think it compares to this modern day release? Give us your verdict via the comments section or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.