31 Days Of Horror: “It”



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Posted October 1, 2017 by

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And so it begins. The wonderful month where we watch nothing but horror movies to review. The Oregon weather changes from sunny and warm to windy, rainy, and dark. The day’s light disappears much earlier, casting shadows everywhere. It’s my favorite time of year. It’s also what I like to describe as a jumbled grab bag. Because we have to watch so many horror movies in so few days, we get to see the best of what the genre has to offer and the worst it’s ever seen. Fortunately for me, I get to start it all off with a horror movie that I quite enjoyed; “It”.

I was leary at first when it came to this movie because while it’s steadily breaking records for horror movies and R rated horror movies and everything else, it has been getting mixed reviews from audiences. One person would say how amazing it was, “The best movie of the Summer!” they’d exclaim. Then someone else would say, “Overrated trash. Don’t waste your money.” So, in a time where money is tight, I wasn’t trying to rush out to see something I may have not liked. Fortunately for me, I loved the movie.

“It” is not your typical horror movie, but it is your typical Stephen King story.  What I mean by that is it’s the closest film adaptation I’ve seen to King’s own writing. While there is this horrifying aspect of the story residing just below the surface, it’s there more to push the story of the characters in a certain direction; focusing on what they’re going through, what their issues are, and dictating how the rest of their lives will play out. If you go into this film thinking you’re going to get a lot of jump scares or imagery that will haunt you for days, you may leave the theater disappointed.

When it comes to Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise, he’s more interesting than scary. I liken his performance to that of Heath Ledger’s in the Dark Knight as The Joker. He’s this menacing creature that has no moral compass, but you want to see what he will do next as the dark nature of his character is sadistically mesmerizing. It’s the little things in his performance that make this character truly creepy: the way saliva pours out of his mouth as he’s talking, how his left eye will slowly drift to the far corner of his face while the other one stays locked onto his prey, or how he’s able to portray an innocent clown and a murderous nightmare in the blink of an eye. This version of Pennywise will no doubt join the ranks of the most remembered villains in cinema history and for good reason. 

The kids in the film all do a terrific job as well. While they make sexual innuendos to one another (which I honestly thought would get old but really did feel authentic to kids their age) they also mature enough throughout the film to be able to take on this clown that’s been killing their brothers, sisters, and friends. Because they all played their parts to perfection, it makes me want to watch the second half when they are all adults. I want to see how their performances inspire those of their adult counterparts. Should be fun to see and we only have to wait another two years.

Andy Muschietti was the perfect director for this film. He kept it dark all the way through while never once letting it slip into the absurd and ridiculous. Even when there were definitely moments that could have done that like Pennywise and the projector screen, or him dancing on a shaking stage in his sewer home. While Muschietti got the most out of the actors and set the scene for the film, Chase Palmer’s and Cary Fukunaga’s script was purely brilliant. Like I mentioned before, it’s the closest to King’s own writing without it being done by his hand, and that’s a huge compliment. While this is just a version of King’s own story, I feel like it fits right at home in his library of stories and did a spectacular job at bringing this town and it’s citizens to life.

Go see this movie. Don’t listen to those that didn’t like it. They’re obviously just not Stephen King fans and that’s on them.

*For fans of Muschietti, Stephen King, or his son Joe Hill, you will be excited to know that Muschietti is currently in the process of bringing Hill’s “Locke and Key” to your television screen in the near future*




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