“When you’re a kid, you think that you’ll always be… protected, and cared for. Then, one day, you realize that’s not true. If you open your eyes, you will see what we’re going through. ‘Cause when you’re alone as a kid, the monsters see you as weaker. You don’t even know they’re getting closer. Until it’s too late.”
– Stanley Uris
SYNOPSIS: A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of clown, begins hunting children. – via IMDB
So I never actually liked the original It movie, and Pennywise didn’t scare me as a kid. A few years back Ryan posted that It was being redone (and kept us updated), and I felt pretty indifferent towards it. I didn’t think we needed a rehash of the old movie. Then they started releasing posters once a director was ironed out and shooting got underway, as well as the casting for Pennywise, and it looked like it had potential. By the time the teasers dropped and then the trailers, I was convinced that I was definitely tripping out to the cinema to see this.
Well, I had a total blast. I thought the casting was absolutely brilliant. I swear. child actors are so much better nowadays than ever before. They actually get into the roles, they aren’t these awkward little kids who are acting, they come across as the actual characters. I was really impressed with all the kids, truly, and was so stoked to see Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things here, and I am convinced he could have a great career ahead of him – I enjoyed him so much here.
It was put together really well – the score worked with it and it looked really good. While there are a ton of jump scares, there are also slower, creepier moments woven into it, which really works. Muschietti also did a fantastic job of how the story was split – the entire kids section of Stephen King’s novel for this movie, and the secondary adult half for the sequel. Muschietti took the time to give us backstory and personality for all of these kids, because then you actually cared more for them and their battle against this creepy thing in Derry. There was some heart at times and some good development woven in between the blood and the thrills. I also truly appreciated how much of the book made it into the movie, truly.
The humour is subtly balanced into the horror, carefully working to bring some lightness into the dark. I wasn’t always a fan of the CGI though, it was a bit over the top and dodgy at the best of times, and it just didn’t get with the rest of the movie. Obviously this review cannot be written without speaking of the latest Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård. He was the moneymaker here at the end of the day, the draw that got everyone out to the cinema, and the whole movie depends on solid casting for this role, and I think that Skarsgård nailed it. He was creepy, scary, bizarre and plain down gets that wtf vibe down that you expect from Pennywise, and I was impressed.
I definitely enjoyed this one and can recommend it for a watch. While there are cheap jump scares tossed in, there is also heart and absolutely excellent performances from the cast all round, who share great chemistry. It is shot quite well, and sketchy CGI aside, it works really well. I am truly looking forward to the second part!