Well, it has been out for a little while now, people have had some time to digest it, and the general consensus seems to be about the same, for the most part. It is seen as a great movie, going the rout of something like 'Get Out'. What I mean here is that it's not, strictly speaking, a "horror movie" so much as a different genre. Where 'Get Out' focused a lot more on comedy combined with some suspense, 'It', as you've probably read, is more of a coming of age story with varying horror elements.
For those who have at least seen the miniseries, the story does remain pretty much the same idea. The difference being, here, it's not adults flashing back constantly to their experiences. It's just strictly the kids doing a "Part 1" of a 2-parter. As far as the book-readers and King enthusiasts go... shit, I dunno. I have heard from some that the movie is actually a horrible adaptation of the actual story. Not having read the book myself, however, all I really have to go on is the movie's vast improvements over the miniseries. I feel like by now, pretty much everyone out there knows the basic premise. But for the few who are brand spanking new, allow me to fill in the gap.
Our movie starts by introducing us to a 1988 Derry, Maine. We also meet two boys, Bill (Jaeden Leiberher) and Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott). Bill, sick in bed, makes Georgie a paper boat. Eventually, Georgie sails it along the street, using the gutter as a river, only to have it fall into a sewer. While peeking in to look for it, Georgie meets Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), a creepy but seemingly friendly clown. Pennywise lures him in for his boat, maims the shit out of his arm, and eventually murders Georgie in cold blood. But the only ones who know about it are the observing audience and some random cat.
The film then cuts to one year later, as we meet the main players of our story. A group of kids, who one by one, have their own scary experiences with supernatural somethings, all which lead to this creepy-ass clown. We have Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Bev (Sophia Lillis), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Stan (Wyatt Olef) and Mike (Chosen Jacobs) suffering these scary ordeals alongside Bill. However, my first criticism comes with this as frankly, the group really just isn't fleshed out too well at all. Your main focuses here are actually Bev, who I swear replaces Bill as the main character, Richie, who is the comic relief, and the one recognizable kid here ('Stranger Things') and Eddie, who has an overbearing mother and is also a bit of a comic relief, but more in an anxious way than a fun way. Bill is still a part of it, sure, but he totally seems to take a back seat despite the fact that he lost his brother to this thing. Stan, I found played a bit of a middle-ground character. Much more looked at than in the miniseries, but still nothing that stood out here. Although, I would personally argue his "fear" was probably the best executed. As for Ben and Mike - essentially the "token fat kid" and the "token black kid". The all makes the most interesting character of the story Bev, as she has to deal with the darker side of things at home, even without some asshole clown giving her shit.
As for the supporting cast? Well, there's our bully, Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton) who is just as harsh, if not worse, as he was in the miniseries. These over-the-top "King Bullies" never got much of a chance to bring it down a notch, apparently, as his big mission is to make these kids' life a living hell, cutting them, killing them, whatever he has to do to feel better. It is, however, illustrated in the movie what leads him to such a shitty attitude. And to the film's credit, apparently it's ONE thing that was tackled here better than the book. But again, never read the book, so who knows? This is stuff I've read and heard online.
So, with all this negativity, people who know me well might wonder about my opinion here. When I came out of 'It', I was heard to say stuff like "that was awesome" and "I wanna go see it again". Truth be told, despite my criticisms, I still loved this movie for the fun ride that it provided. It's funny but even though these characters weren't as fleshed out as they should have been, I still managed to care about them and what happened to them. There were even moments I thought they may have turned the tables to kill off certain characters in some crazy twist.
Another criticism often heard was how cheesy the effects were. Frankly, this is something I disagree with altogether. They weren't freaking 'Avatar', no, but they certainly weren't THAT bad. There were a few moments like when you see Eddie run into his Leper. It looks kinda silly, I guess, but with stuff like that I'm giving it a pass. I excuse the fact that some of the effects might look a bit corny due to the fact that they are representing what the kids are fearing at the time. I was afraid of a lot as a kid that I think is ridiculous nowadays. Maybe that's just the way I interpret it, but from what I understand, they are amping the horror factor up for Part 2, and I definitely look forward to it.
As a final note, I'd like to say that the kids here all acted quite well with what they had - at least some of the more focused on kids. I've heard about the "bad acting" in this as well, but to some extent, I'm sorry, you've gotta cut kids some slack. For what this was, it was perfectly fine. Remember, we're looking at a group of kids who have literally formed a "Losers Club". As for Mr. Skarsgård, he was one of the best parts about this movie. My general comparison is that he is to Tim Curry what Heath Ledger was to Cesar Romero as the Joker. The latter was far more cheesy and fun to watch, whereas the prior was far creepier and made for a great, dark villain. Why not Jack Nicholson, you say? Well, his Joker still holds up very well whereas Tim Curry's Pennywise is... frankly laughable.
But surprisingly, no one blew me away in this as much as Georgie did. No seriously! There's a specific scene you see in the trailer where Bill sees Georgie in the basement. In the actual movie, Jackson Robert Scott seems to understand completely the use of body language and how creepy it can get. One particular second or two just has him in the shadows, grinning at Bill in a very sinister manner. I mean, not to keep bringing it back to this comparison, but he's only 8 years old and already has a better Joker-like look than Jared Leto.
Anyway, despite it's flaws, the biggest being the development of all characters involved, it's still a fun time. One can see this movie as a sort of Fun House experience rather than it being just a straight up horror experience. It's getting closer to Halloween, and by the look of it's numbers, it's gonna be going for a while yet. If you don't like horror THAT much, and prefer something a bit lighter, this really does provide a happy medium. Just remember, it's more about having fun than being scared!
Leave a Reply.