Well it’s finally here. The horror movie that’s been hyped for what seems like forever has finally been released, but does it hold up well? Is this a better take on Stephen King’s iconic story or is this another example of a flat reboot?
Set in Derry, Maine in the 1980’s, IT tells the story of a group of children known as “The Losers Club” who are all terrorized by a creature that takes different forms. All of the kids share experiences with the creature’s most prominent form, Pennywise the Clown. This group of misfits decides to come together and get rid of this monster once and for all.
This movie has some truly outstanding acting. All of the child actors that play the main group of kids give believable performances of fear and terror. They have such a fun chemistry on camera that you wonder if that chemistry holds up when they are off camera. Bill Skarsgård takes the role of Pennywise and really makes it his own. I can respect that he didn’t try to one-up Bill Curry’s performance in the original mini-series and instead performed a different kind of Pennywise. He stole most of his scenes with his creepy smile and blood-curdling voice.
IT gave me and my fellow audience members some incredibly gruesome and frightening images. I’ll admit, I screamed once or twice. What really intrigued me with this movie was the fact that it didn’t rely on jumpscares. Sure, there were plenty of times when the creature would startle the audience, but what got my heart racing was the scenes of uncertainty. There are loads of scenes where just the creepy environment and intense music were enough to get me scared. At some points, I was so intimidated by the aesthetics that I dreaded the inevitable appearance of IT. While most of the moments throughout the film give a good scare, I couldn’t help but notice the numerous incidents of bad CGI. The film’s CGI isn’t always bad, but when it is, it’s obvious and you notice immediately. I often wondered why some scenes required CGI at all.
Another element of this reboot that I noticed was the use of comedy. The film incorporates a lot of comedic dialogue between the intense scares. At first, it was a bit of a surprise. As the movie progressed, I not only enjoyed the funny dialogue, but also appreciated that the comedy was kept very separate from the horror. The real genius of the comedy is how it’s used to disarm the audience and put them off guard so that when the scares come, they’re totally unprepared.
This reboot also shows superiority in its character development. It took its time to build the protagonists without losing focus of Pennywise. The 2017 version of IT had a shorter screen time than the original, yet I ended up caring about the rebooted characters way more.
Despite the occasional use of awful CGI, IT is more than just a reboot. Its nuance, pacing, and character development make it surpass the original by far and solidify IT as one of the best horror movies of this decade.
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