What I Liked About “It” (2017)

It 2017 movie poster4star-2“When you’re a kid, you think the universe revolves around you. You think that you’ll always be protected and cared for. Then, one day… you realize that’s not true.”

After 27 years, Stephen King’s child-killing clown has returned to haunt a new generation.

There’s a passage in It that reads, “Being a kid is learning how to live and being an adult is learning how to die.” The reality of that metaphor is what’s most chilling about this movie and the quest for survival.

Based on the 1986 Stephen King novel, It is the first installment of a planned duology and is the perfect example of when a remake is acceptable. Few people have actually seen or remember the 1990 miniseries that starred Tim Curry as the freakishly horrid Pennywise, so this remake was a great opportunity to remind a new generation why clowns will forever live in our nightmares.

Here are five reasons I enjoyed being spooked by Pennywise…

hiya georgie gif

 

The Plot – A Killer Clown That Feeds Off Fear

2017 Pennywise
In Derry, Maine during the summer of 1989, a group of outcast preteens known as “The Losers Club” fight against an immortal, shape-shifting entity responsible for the disappearance of dozens of children in their town, and are forced to confront their own personal demons in the process. “It” primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children feeding off of their deepest fears…this 21st century version of Pennywise doesn’t disappoint.

It (1990) vs. It (2017)

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 3.27.13 PM

From what I remember, the original It didn’t scare me at all. Because of the lack of technology with special effects, the 1990 television miniseries came off as a little cheesy and campy as opposed to being the genuine horror like the novel.

Fast forward nearly three decades, and this version of It uses technology (to a respectable extent) to give a moodier and darker approach to what lurks in the sewers. While I argue that the 2017 It could have been  scarier (a true horror film), I think it succeeded in what it was trying to accomplish…but imagine it in the hands of someone like Guillermo del Toro.

Stephen King Approved

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There’s a lot of pressure and anxiety when adapting from the almighty Stephen King. Whether or not your movie succeeds with audiences is one thing, but whether or not King approves is totally another.

King said: “I had hopes, but I was not prepared for how good it really was. It’s something that’s different, and at the same time, it’s something that audiences are gonna relate to. They’re gonna like the characters. To me, it’s all about character. If you like the characters… if you care… the scares generally work.”

The “Stranger Things” Influence

The Losers Club from It

The comparison of The Losers Club teaming up with the crew from Stranger Things to fight monsters from different dimensions is inevitable. The Duffer Brothers only created Stranger Things after their pitch to direct It was turned down by Warner Bros, but it’s clear where It borrowed their nostalgic influence from.

I’ve seen some complaints that audiences are just flocking to movies that give us manufactured nostalgia, but (to me) this attempt was a genuine success.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise

2017 Pennywise

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the dancing clown is a revelation from his chilling body jerks to his eerie voice. I think he was the absolute MVP of this movie, and he even admit to having nightmares due to the intensity of the role.

“There may be something of Heath Ledger’s Joker, and a Depression-era New York gangsterism to Skarsgard’s vowels, but his ability to go from quiet, leering menace to nightmarish attack mode in a split second is a big part of the appeal.” via The Guardian

“It” may not be the masterful horror we hoped it would be, and it isn’t without flaws, but it’ll still have you sleeping with the lights on.

1990 Pennywise

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20 Comments

  1. Such a good and concise review. Damn why it always taked so long to release the movies in Italy. I have to wait one month more… so jealous!

    P. S. Courtney, I think you missed the final quotation mark here:
    King said: “I had hopes, but I was not prepared for how good it really was. It’s something that’s different, and at the same time, it’s something that audiences are gonna relate to. They’re gonna like the characters. To me, it’s all about character. If you like the characters… if you care… the scares generally work.

    1. Thanks for catching that! And I cannot believe it still hasn’t hit theaters for you yet…what a total shame! Like I said, this movie is NOT without flaws…it clocks in a little longer than it should, but I wanted to focus on the positive for once in my reviews 🙂

      1. Yes, I felt that. 🙂 That’s a good thing. Some movies, even if flawed/not perfect to a certain extent, make your heart tremble.

        I am sincerely curious about IT because I’m not such a huge horror fan… I mean I like movies with a scary vein, but just not when it’s the only theme of the film. And it seems exactly the case… and as you, I loved Stranger Things! 🙂

        It almost always takes quiet long here. Valerian is released next week (I’m not interested in seeing it but…). The Beguiled too. Both were summer releases originally, right?

        They just don’t want to take the risks because less people go to cinema in the summer here. It’s an absurd logic, but this is how it works. I remember there were movies delayed for 3 or 4 months…

  2. Fast forward nearly three decades, and this version of It uses technology (to a respectable extent) to give a moodier and darker approach to what lurks in the sewers. While I argue that the 2017 It could have been scarier (a true horror film), I think it succeeded in what it was trying to accomplish…but imagine it in the hands of someone like Guillermo del Toro.

    so take all the heart out of the story since the CGI wasnt in the film its not just about the CGI or special effects come on! you can have tons of CGI and its horriable

    You just didnt see the effects in this film. How it a horror film when we finally get to it being a turtle.

    Yeah with Del Toro his not good for any film

    Oh so you didnt like Jonathan Brandis performance?

    Oh the reason the mini series was good was because of the performances not the CGI that was or seems in this one

      1. and your giving priase to something that didnt need to be fixed with CGI and such. Not all films that are CGI are pleasing to the eye

  3. Great review! I have yet to see the film, but it has been gathering very good reviews by pretty much everyone, and that makes me more excited for it by the minute. The miniseries I found to be very good as well, but I think that with pretty much everything people watch, everyone experiences it differently. What is liked by one, may be hated by someone else. And that is what is so much fun about watching films in general. Keep up the good work 😀

  4. I loved It. The only thing I didn’t like was the Stranger Things influence. I wish they would’ve kept the film in the 50’s vs changing ti to the 80’s.

  5. This movie rules. Glad you dug it! Not only do I think this one is better than the original, but I have a feeling that after Chapter 2 is released it will completely shit on the miniseries.

  6. Great post! I did like the movie but I find it a bit overhyped. Skarsgard and the kids were great but the whole film felt like 2 jammed into one, one being horror and another being coming of age story. Didn’t mesh well for me

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