IT (2017) – Will the rating float to the top?
Yesterday I finally got round to watching 2017’s IT which I avoided for a while given a partial fear of clowns and I loved it. IT follows the story of Pennywise, a killer clown who lives on the fear of the children who live in Derry, a small Maine town. The main group includes a variety of characters and Pennywise brings out their different fears and it is amazing to see.
So the film starts with a strong opening scene, showing Georgie, a young boy,following his paper boat down the street only to lose it down a gutter. This follows with a discussion between him and Pennywise, who after talking to Georgie for a little bit, bites his arm off. It’s this that sets the standard for Pennywise’s transformations and sets the tone for the film. In comparison to the Pet Semetary remake, I absolutely loved the tone of this film as it plays on the fears you had as a child, some of which might have followed you through to your adult life.
The film also has a strong cast,Jack Dylan Grazer I recognised instantly from his latest role in 2019’s Shazam as Freddy Freeman. Though none of the children spefically stood out, I don’t think in this case that this was neccessarily a band thing, as all the children had their individual traits which were shown in the overall group dynamic. Not only were the children’s characters great but Bill Skarsgard was amazing as Pennywise, portraying the clown as sadastic and giving him an eary voice that will haunt you in your sleep the night after watching IT.
Finally, the horror aspect itself. Pennywise not only looks creepy but also haunts the children in graphics and in horrific ways, with one scene standing out to me in particular. Be warned, before you read this next sentence that it is a slight spoiler but the scene is in the trailer. So anyway, as I was saying, there is a scene where the children are using an old style projector to project a map to figure out where Pennywise lives, and when they are looking at some old pictures Pennywise’s face to starts to form on one of the images as the light flickers on and off, the children try to turn it off but it continues. Pennywise then starts to crawl out of the screen as the lights continue to flicker and he approaches,getting closer and closer. This to me was one of the scariest scenes in film and, though the lighting effect might seem overplayed, it still works effectively.
To me, I felt like there wasn’t enough going on at all times, though the slower scenes are neccessary to build character and give a bit more background they felt like they were just slow build up to Pennywise’s next big entrance. I feel like this did not impact the overall film enough to bring the rating down that drastically, but it was worth mentioning none the less. The film runs at 2 hr 15 minute and arguable it could have been brought down to the 2 hour mark without losing too much background.
The only other negative I could draw from this film was how some of Pennywise’s scenes seemed like ‘generic’ horror, as the scenes felt very remeniscent of lots of other horror films, given the use of darkness etc. However given Pennywise’s persona, this didn’t seem to much of an issue as it was enough for the film not to rely solely on the use of generic horror effects.
I really liked this film and it was a nice change from the everyday horror films and was it great in comparison to the recent adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. I would recommend this for any horror fan, especially given the sequel is due to be out later this year and will be something to look forward to. Overall it’s a 7/10 from me, it is great but it could have been improved by bringing something ‘new’ with it and could have done to have been slightly shorted in my opinion.