Monday 11 September 2017

Movie Review: IT (2017)

IT Movie Poster

Like most Horror fans, I've been looking forward to this remake of IT for what feels like forever. I read the Stephen King book when I was a kid and loved it. In fact, it's possibly my favourite of all of his books. I also loved the original 'TV movie', or whatever they call it, which starred the living legend that is Tim Curry as the evil clown Pennywise. As with any remake, the movie was always going to be met with a certain level of hostility before its release, as the original means so much to so many fans. However, I'm not one to look at the past through rose tinted glasses. While the original was awesome in its own way, by today's standards, it looks pretty dated. Back then, there were more rules in place regarding what you could and couldn't have in a movie, especially when it came to violence towards children. Now censorship laws are more relaxed, and CGI technology is infinitely superior to what it was in the nineties, Hollywood are finally able to give us the movie that the book truly deserves.

This new IT movie concentrates on the first half of the book, where the main characters are children. No doubt, the second half, where the kids are now adults, will be explored in a later sequel.

What really impressed me was just how close to the book it was. Clocking in at well over two hours, the movie has time to really explore the source material and thoroughly develop the characters, so the viewer gets swept into the story and is truly afraid for the kids of Derry. The group of young friends the story revolves around are known as The Losers, and IT also acts as their 'coming of age' story. The viewer becomes invested in each character, as we see their back stories unfold, and how they all come to depend on each other throughout all of their individual hardships. IT has that same wonderful quality that Stand By Me, The Goonies, and more recently Stranger Things has, except that in this film, there's an ancient trans-dimensional being in the form of a killer clown that's after the kids. Growing up is never easy, I guess.

Bill Skarsgård's interpretation of Pennywise was both terrifying and absolutely brilliant. In addition to his superb performance, the costumes, artwork, and CGI all work in harmony to make this updated version of Pennywise a new iconic face of Horror. Expect to see plenty of Pennywise costumes at Halloween parties for many years to come.

I don't want to go too far into the story due to potential spoilers, but I can tell you that I thought IT was absolutely fantastic. Fans of the book and the TV movie who were worried about whether or not this would be any good, or simply couldn't imagine a decent version of Pennywise without Tim Curry, have absolutely nothing to worry about. Director Andy Muschietti has created a masterpiece.


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