Film Review – It (2017)

Title – It (2017)

Director – Andy Muschietti (Mama)

Cast – Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Finn Wolfhard

Plot – A group of misfit kid’s band together to uncover the truth behind the frequent and mysterious disappearances of children in their small American town of Derry, which seem to be attributed to evil clown Pennywise.

“If you’ll come with me, you’ll float too”

Review by Eddie on 08/09/2017

No doubt about it, Mama director Andy Muschietti’s newest incarnation of Stephen King’s well regarded source material and the 1990 mini-series It, is going to be a huge success.

Capturing that currently in-vogue 1980’s vibe of nostaglia and the equally popular ragtag kids on adventures plotlines, Muschietti’s proficiently made and polished production is arguably 2017’s best mainstream horror event and a potential new franchise starter.

Kicking things off with what’s easily one of recent memories best opening sequences, It certainly seems set to be a confronting and horrific experience and while it is in many sequences and aspects (this is a film that earns its mature rating and is very far from being a kid friendly horror), It is also not a hide your head behind a pillow type horror, as it focuses a large portion of its time on setting up the Losers Club as the stories main focus.

Led by Jaeden Lieberher’s stutturing Bill, who is still grieving the disappearance of his little brother Georgie, the Club is a band of high school misfits who decide that they’ll take matters into their own hands and unearth the evil that hides in their small town of Derry, after a spat of children have mysteriously vanished and a nefarious history of past tragedies is unearthed.

The group dynamic of the Club doesn’t always fly and not every eccentric member of the gang are appealing but a lot of the heart and soul of this group rings true with Jeremy Taylor’s kindhearted Ben and Sophia Lillis misunderstood Beverley Marsh particular highlights, while Ben’s incredible ability to stick to his task despite various slashings also worthy of note; Wolverine himself would have a hard time slashing Ben down!

With the club winning and losing their screentime in equal measure, Muschietti’s biggest win is Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise the Clown aka a Coulrophobic’s least desired creation.

For anyone who still has nightmares about Tim Curry’s crazy demon clown, this freshly minted Pennywise will be the stuff of true torment, as while you wouldn’t call this It a truly scary or even overly frightening experienece, whenever Skarsgard is on screen the film goes up a notch or two, even if certain scare tactics and scenarios are overused by Muschietti as the film’s overlong narrative and especially long in the tooth finale kicks in, that gets saddled with an additonal unneeded evil teenager sideplot that really has no need being here.

Final Say

It would’ve been great to have gotten to see original director Cary Fukunaga’s version of this film but crawling out of the sewer at just the right time, there’s a lot of hype and noise about It and while Muschietti’s film isn’t anything overly special, this is one of the more solid bigscreen King adaptation’s and a likely series kickstarter, that while not floating to great heights, proves not all remakes are bad ideas.

3 1/2 rock wars out of 5

11 responses to “Film Review – It (2017)

  1. Interesting to hear you say it’s not out-and-out scary, as that is exactly why I was thinking of avoiding this one. I don’t know what happened to the teenager who read the book a half-dozen times, but I can’t cope with horror movies these days! o_O

  2. I recently read the book and I’ve always been a fan of the original movie with Tim Curry. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with this one. I wanted to love it but I felt it made too many unnecessary changes to the story. The book is probably as long as the bible (give or take) so I accept that trying to fit it all into one film would be ridiculous. But if, as it appears to hint at, decides to be a franchise, I definitely feel like they could have included more aspects of the book.
    The actors were exceptional though and I laughed probably more that one should while watching a horror movie.
    Maybe my expectations were too high. I liked it but I didn’t love it. That said, I’ll obviously be seeing the next one on the release date too!

    • I’m the same as you although I’ve never read the book or seen the Curry mini-series.
      There was a lot to like here but really didn’t feel like it reached any great heights.
      E

  3. I actually thought that Pennywise was one of the weaker parts of the movie. Skarsgard was great in the role, but I left the theater without a lasting scare or image from the character. Pennywise would pop up and quickly disappear before I could get attached.

    • Yeh my problem with the film was lack of scares, I never actually thought Pennywise was scary, I mean that scene of him dancing was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while.
      E

      • Absolutely! I thought the exact same thing! Plus they used some bizarre CGI which kept his head completely still while the rest of his body flailed around.

      • Yeh that was super random! I dono, a well made film, but far from the classic some have labelled it to be and for me not a real “horror” more of a kids vs evil type of deal.
        E

      • I felt the same way. In my review I gave it a B+. It’s a perfectly enjoyable film. Nothing more, nothing less. A movie that is killing it at the box office like this one is bound to have a large group of people talking in hyperbole.

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