I have loved horror my entire life, all the way from the womb and up until today, and likely until the day I die. I say the womb, because apparently when my mother was pregnant with me that was all she watched, and I’d like to think that led to my life-long love of the genre. I think the only horror I don’t like is the stuff people call ‘torture porn,’ and I’m honestly inclined to agree with the term. I love watching (as god-awful as this sentence sounds) the suffering and terror of horror movie characters, but I don’t want to just see them get hurt as the focus as the film. I’ll take Nightmare on Elm Street over Hostel any day of the week.
That said, I’ve always been a fan of the old IT mini-series. Sure it was cheesy with all it’s wonderful Stephen King campiness, but that didn’t make it less enjoyable. Was it scary? Well… I mean not really. I absolutely adored Tim Curry as Pennywise, and the child actors were great, and I loved so many of the scenes that took place in their childhood years. And I think that the people who worked on the new remake movie really understood that those things were what most people liked about the original. The clown, the children, and the interaction between them.
My spoiler free review:
The movie is good. I only had two negative thoughts through the entire thing, and neither of them is at all a ‘deal breaker’ that detracts from the movie. My first ‘con’ to the movie is the length. It seemed just a little too long, and I think this might have been a pacing issue in the middle. I understand that they wanted to give every kid a unique experience with Pennywise, but after a while it was just scare after scare after scare and I thought at one point, “how many more times can these kinds be scared before they aren’t scared any more??” So yeah, just a little too long, but I really can’t think of what I’d cut either, because individually I really enjoyed all the scenes.
My second issue was really only one scene in particular, and not because it was bad in any way, but because it seemed to be the only ‘cheesy’ moment. It sort of took me out of the movie for a second because it just didn’t seem to work as well as the other Pennywise interactions.
Seriously though, go see it. While I still adore Tim Curry’s Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård did some an incredible job that I really have to give him some serious kudos. I think of the two Pennywise interpretations sort of like how different actors gave us different Jokers. Jack Nicholson’s Joker was to Tim Curry’s Pennywise what Heath Ledger’s Joke was to Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise. Two very different versions of the same character, but both equally for all their differences. Skarsgård was creepy as fuck, and I loved him every second of it.
I also can’t leave out what an incredible job those kids did! There wasn’t a single moment any of those children were on that I rolled my eyes or thought they weren’t believable. Their interactions and dialogue actually had me laughing out loud, and I can’t even begin to say how glad I am that this movie didn’t hold back, not on the language or the blood. Where the original was made for TV, this one was most definitely not.
So yeah. Go see this! It’s good, it’s great, and it’s well worth the admission cost.
Spoiler Review Below!!!
With everything I’ve already stated above there honestly isn’t too much more to add.
Not that I like seeing kids get hurt or everything, but I always find it refreshing when a horror movie doesn’t shy away from it. There are very few that come to mind when I think of movies that harm kids (barring anything that might fall in the torture-porn category since I won’t watch those!), so it was great to see that they let us actually witness poor Georgie getting his arm torn off. Gruesome yes, but c’mon, we all came for the blood and the scary clown, and in a movie about clowns eating kids there has to be more show than tell.
Also–and this totally could have been added above–I just wanted to say that I absolutely love that kid who played Richie. He was great in Stranger Things and fantastic in this movie, and I really hope he has a long career ahead of him cause the kid has talent.
I did NOT miss a certain scene from the books which I’m sure everyone is familiar with already due to other reviews or commentary, but I really enjoyed the young teen awkwardness that they injected whenever Beverly was around the boys. It was cute, and the girl who played Beverly did a great job walking a line between adorable in her own right but also a victim of abuse.
Oh, and if you’re wondering which scene took me out of the movie, it’s the one that happens in the garage while they are viewing the slide show. The slide show itself was great, but when Pennywise popped out of the screen and into the garage, it just felt so surreal that I was just taken out of the moment. Maybe I’ll need to watch it again to be sure about that (could have been some other distraction), but when it happened I just felt disconnected from the whole movie for a few seconds.
And as I said above, the movie started to drag on after a bit. It was just scene after scene of the kids being scared and then calming down, then getting scared and calming down again. I really did enjoy all those minutes alone with each child being accosted by Pennywise, but after a while I was just like, “okay so now what? When is enough, enough?” But again, no idea what I’d cut cause I liked it all.
My last comment on the matter is with Stan. While getting his entire face bitten by his worst nightmare was empathetically horrifying, I feel like had we NOT seen what had happened to him in the sewer it might have been for the better. BUT, that statement is only how I feel if they keep his adult suicide. Having seen what happened to him sort of (at least to me), diminishes his suicide a little. Obviously I know everyone reacts to things in a different way, but having witness what they all endured, it just makes me feel like, “well why couldn’t he handle it if they could?” I know that isn’t right of course, but had we not been shown what happened to him, our brains would fill in a blank even worse than what was seen on the big screen.
Just my opinion.
But anyway, all that said, I really enjoyed this movie and have every intention of buying it as soon as I can.