KcMsterpce posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 22 days ago



Directed by: Andres Muschietti
Written by: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Bill Skarsgard
Studio: Warner Bros
Genre: Horror
Official Site:
Plot: A group of outcast kids in Derry, Maine fall victim to a supernatural force that is killing and frightening the town's children.


I am having a hard time grasping how this movie, of all horror films, is the biggest box office (horror movie) draw of all time. There is worse out there which is less deserving of success (at ALL), but this is borderline schlock considering how much quality horror there has been since THE EXORCIST.
The most nagging issue for this rendition of IT is the excessive over-reliance on loud obnoxious noise, all leading to a 'jump scare' that has no viable payoff. Time and time again, that old Pennywise the Clown shows up with his boring face, only to materialize into some version of one of the kids' fears. They end up getting harassed and/or chased amidst a slew of loud fucking noise and screaming, only to almost become a victim, but then they bump into something/someone, or a door opens, and -POOF!- Pennywise is gone.
I get the overall consensus that "clowns are scary", but they are more scary when a movie doesn't overexpose It. This movie relies on the "clowns are scary" theme as the primary solution to terror. I think the most effective and frightening scene is when Harold has the switchblade in his hand, and Pennywise is quietly encouraging the boy to Do Bad Things. It would have been much more exciting if Pennywise lingered in the shadows, whispering Sweet Terrible Somethings into the ears and psyche of It's victims. Using Pennywise as a device for psychological horror would have elevated the disturbing ambiance into overdrive.
Every once in a while, have some bursts of all-out LOUD OBNOXIOUS TERROR. I think the truly "loud" sequence should have been saved for the scene with the slide projector. However, at that point, I was really tired of the noise, and it was obvious that the scene would end with them running into an adult, or they'll look away, look back and he's gone. Imagine if that slide projector scene happened without seven false-scares already tipping It's hand up to that point. It would have raised the stakes and upped the "Hooo SHIT!" factor into the ionosphere.
Pennywise would have been much better as a slightly darkened face hiding under the shadowed lip of a street gutter. Instead, he's standing like an asshole in broad daylight. He is CONSTANTLY showing up. He is not scary. He is just a precursor to noise, followed by an immediate retcon to normalcy.
For anyone who knows the vampire-like properties of Pennywise, there are better ways to elicit fear on children in ways that won't hurt moviegoers' ears.

The Losers (the name of the group of kids) were good. The better aspect of the movie was the story outside of It's terrors. However, I felt the insinuations of Beverly's father was too on-the-nose and obvious (the horrors of reality can sometimes be more chilling than those of It's devices). Plus, the scene with her standing up for herself felt more to me like a plot device pandering to the audience, to make people cheer.
Another big drawback is Mike Hanlon. He shows up in the first five minutes, has a single scene about 20 minutes into the movie, and is gone for what seems like 45 minutes before he suddenly shows up again. He was a wasted character, and had nothing to do. Any of the subplots with the other Losers could have been shared with Mike, and/or have Mike solve the mystery of Pennywise's history in Derry. Ben not only has the poetry and lovestruck subplot going, but he's also being badly bullied by Harold, and is The New Kid on the Block. Any of Ben's subplots could have been shared with Mike!
Another issue is Harold. He was a good "bully", but at the last act, the entire arc that he suffers through ends up being an excuse for one stupid reason: To give Mike an excuse to exist and have his own moment near the end of the movie, instead of remaining useless like he was the whole time before that.

The final 30 minutes just dragged on and on, and I was ready to finish watching it even before the kids go down the well. After being beaten senseless with so much noise and false danger, I was ready for Pennywise to just disappear, and let the credits role.

Overall, IT was not an unbearable disaster, but it was far from deserving the box office return it has gotten. I think it had the potential for greatness. Shave off about 30-40 minutes of the movie; keep Pennywise in the background more, like a puppeteer pulling the strings; tone down the false danger moments and let true terror explode maybe two times total; and beef up Mike's part of the story while enhancing the effective foundation set with The Losers' dramatic story. A little touch up here and there would have made this an excellent movie, instead of a barely-OK movie.

Grade: C

TRIVIA: On Halloween 2017, this movie's worldwide box office gross was $666 million!

Reviewed on 31 October, 2017


Other reviews of this film: oscarxp25 (8/10) , LelekPL (8/10) > Display all

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