A group of young friends team up together when they discover a demon is appearing within their town: a demon who has the appearance of a clown. This demon type figure, “Pennywise”, begins to hunt for children.
For those who are unaware, ‘It’ is based on a famous Stephen King novel and has already been made into a motion picture film in 1990. I still remember this film adaptation being rented out to many customers on VHS when I worked in my local Video Ezy store as a teen. Back then, the original film was over 3 hours long and required 2 VHS tapes to complete the viewing. To this day, I still remember seeing Pennywise on the front VHS slick (Tim Curry), staring at me while I cleaned and dusted the horror section. And yes, it was creepy!
In the year 2017, the famous horror tale returns to the big screen to tell the same story once more. How does ‘It’ compare to other horror movies today? And not only that, moviegoers have been disappointed countless times with remakes and have left cinemas feeling empty. However, surprisingly enough, this is one horror film that dishes up a tasty surprise.
The key with this story is the fact there’s more than just an evil, haunting clown to make the film scary. I mean sure, Pennywise is ugly and creepy but the other side of the horror element is what these young kids are facing in their daily lives at school, and, even worse, at home. I found the issues the kids were dealing with more disturbing than Pennywise himself. The director does a great job at building tension. The kids were already having a bad time, so by the time the evil clown element is added, the film delivers a pretty full dose of tension, suspense and horror. At no point did this film make me jump out of my seat. But, it did make me feel very uncomfortable at times (more than once). That’s clever enough to make you want to run away not because you are scared, but because some things here are just messed up mentally.
The child actors are fantastic. They are witty, funny and provide great humour when the film calls for it. I give a full shout out of credit to each young actor within this film. The emotion is here and at no point did I feel a performance was weak or soft. As for the clown himself…flawless. Actor Bill Skarsgard has surprised and shocked the world of cinema with his outstanding performance of Pennywise. For those who have a general fear of clowns, his work here is guaranteed to keep you awake at night after viewing. The scenes and introductions that are used to showcase Pennywise were clever, crafty and totally creative. Creative moments included things like using a handful of red balloons to reveal an evil smile on the clown’s face and is genius for the horror genre in cinema. The director has also used colour very cleverly through the film to build tension. And trust me, the colour Red is very unique and cool within the film.
‘It’ is a reboot that deliveries a fresh and creative story of pure horror that many fans have been asking for. Without a doubt, the director and cast members have done a fantastic job at creating memorable and dark characters. The film’s visuals are also worth mentioning and I cannot wait to demo this film again on a HIFI system (4K disc!). The film’s story does fall off the rails once it enters the third act and does struggle with the final wrap up of the film, otherwise, as mentioned, fans will be most pleased with this film as it brings the horror once again to the big screen.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden