Released: September 8, 2017
Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
“When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, neighborhood kids band together to square off against Pennywise, an evil clown whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.”
I will start by saying that I never read the Stephen King novel that this is based on, I have skimmed it a few times while spending an afternoon in a bookshop, but I never decided to dive in and read it fully. It has been over a decade since I saw the two part movie adaptation from 1990, and I originally planned on watching it prior to seeing the new adaptation, however my schedule didn’t allow for it.
I have been looking forward to seeing this movie since I saw the first trailer several months ago, when I was planning my list of movies that I wanted to see in theatres. My girlfriend loves Horror films and movies that are in her words “F-ed Up”, so I knew that we would both want to see this movie together.
In general, I don’t usually watch Horror films, as most of the ones that have been released in recent years have focused more on either ‘torture-porn’ or ‘gore for the sake of gore’, and I don’t enjoy those types of films, and I wouldn’t spend my money to see them in theatres. There are a few exceptions to this self-made rule, and that’s when the story seems so interesting, or the trailer hooked me, that I feel that I should see this one in theatres.
Cast and Crew
This movie was directed by Andy Muschietti, who has only done one other full length English film, ‘Mama’ in 2013, which was based on the short film that he had done 5 years prior to that. His work on this film was magnificent, and I feel like his films will be something to look out for.
The screenplay for the 2017 version of IT was written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman based on the Stephen King 1986 novel that was previously adapted as a two part movie in 1990. Palmer previously worked on shorts back in the early 2000s such as ‘Shock and Awe’ and ‘Neo-Noir’ in 2004 and 2002 respectively. Fukunaga previously wrote ‘Beasts of No Nation’ which he also directed. Dauberman, I believe is the main Horror movie writer, as his previous work includes ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Annabelle: Creation’ and a few others, but his screenplays are exclusively horror films.
The cast of Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, Jaeden Lieberher as the stuttering Billy, Jeremy Ray Taylor as new kid Ben, Sophia Lillis as fearless Bev, Finn Wolfhard as insult – throwing Richie, Chosen Jacobs as home – schooled Mike, Jack Dylan Grazer as ‘scaredy – cat’ Eddie, Wyatt Oleff as quiet jewish boy Stanley, Nicholas Hamilton as the bully Henry, and Jackson Robert Scott as the wonderfully creepy Georgie.
As I mentioned above, I’m not a huge Horror buff, and I’m not a fan of unnecessary gore just for the sake of gore, but I feel that this movie was one of the best Horror movies that I’ve seen in the last few years. I feel that the while there was gore, it wasn’t abundant, it was a properly scary film.
The overall acting in the movie was fantastic, sometimes ‘child actors’ can make the movie worse if it doesn’t work well, but I feel that the casting for this movie was spot on, and they all did a marvellous job. Lieberher was really great as the lead character Billy, and I’m looking forward to what he’ll do next. Lillis also did a great job at being the only girl in a group of guys, and also Jackson Robert Scott was so creepy as Georgie, it was wonderful.
I feel like this movie would’ve failed if it wasn’t for the younger actors, but I also have to give credit to Skarsgård for his brilliant and scary performance as Pennywise. He played the role with such a soft spoken voice, as well as the physicality that he brought to the role, I was impressed, and I can’t wait to see what he does next outside of the genre of Horror.
The music in this film which was done by Benjamin Wallfisch, was another great aspect of the film. I feel that as in most Horror films, the music is what sets the tone of the film, and emphasises the film, and can possibly enhance the quality, as it did in this film. The music was spooky and creepy when it needed to be.
There was great character development for the kids in the movie, with Billy and Bev getting the most of it. IT also had a lot of funny moments in the dialogue, that I didn’t expect in this film, and it alleviated the tensions in the movie at the right time.
The Not So Good
There was not too many bad things about this movie. I feel like there were moments when the movie relied heavily on jump scares, and I can understand that in a Horror film, and I embrace that knowledge when going to see those types of movies, but I don’t think there was any cheap ones where I didn’t enjoy them.
One of the downsides to this movie was that it was too long. This movie runs for 135 minutes, and at times I could really feel it. I left to go to the bathroom about halfway through the movie, and when I came back, my girlfriend told me that all I missed was they somehow got separated. One of the reasons why this movie is so long is because it sets up the interactions between all of the kids, as well as the bullies, and everyone’s individual ‘confrontations’ with Pennywise.
I understand the storytelling technique that was used in order to get a personalized sense with every character, however, there was some scenes in which I feel could have been cut in order to make this movie feel a little tighter.
Final Thoughts and Score
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I feel that a lot of people who enjoy Horror films will as well. I feel that the acting, music, script were the highlights of the film, and there was not much in terms of bad moments in the film that I could think of, other than the length of the film. In the end, I would give this film a score of 8/10.
There are also plans for a sequel for IT, most likely going to where the 1990 film went in terms of story.
Are you planning on watching this film? Have you already seen this film, if yes, what did you think? What are your thoughts about a possible sequel for IT? Let me know in the comments below!
Let me know know in the comments if there are any suggestions for movies for me to review!
Thanks for reading,