Thursday, September 7, 2017

IT - Review

Another month, another Stephen King adaptation. While the last film (The Dark Tower) looked dead on arrival, IT looked a film headed in the right direction. Gathering a talented group of young actors together was just the start but then throw in a more than capable actor as the titular monster and you’re already setting the wheels in motion for one of the biggest hits the horror genre has had in awhile.

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, neighborhood kids band together to square off against Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), an evil clown whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

Rather than tackle the lengthy source material all in one film, the filmmakers have decided to just stick with the characters in their younger years. So what audiences get is a film very similar to the The Goonies only if you threw a killer clown in there instead of Sloth. The first hour or so of the IT allows the chemistry of the kids to shine and the horror to hit constantly. This continues throughout the film, just not with the same level of intensity of the first half.

From that start, it’s fair to say that the young cast is phenomenal across the board, not a weak link in sight. If there were to be a true standout it would have to be Finn Wolfhard though. He manages to steal most every scene involving the whole crew together and gets to show off his timing skills throughout the whole film. But regardless of how great the kids are, a film like IT lives and dies by the performance of its titular character. Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise is skin-crawlingly terrifying at times and nauseatingly humorous at others. Somehow Skarsgård manages to outdo Tim Curry, and that’s saying something.

The film ramps up the eerie and creepy from the very opening moments, showcasing this off feeling that surrounds this entire town. The visuals present throughout the film is top-notch nightmare fuel for anyone who fears the many horrors showcased. It certainly doesn’t help that Pennywise just stepping on screen will put everyone in the theater on edge either. And throughout all of that, some of the hardest things to watch in the film involve the real-world horror of these kid’s lives that are obviously more realistic than a shapeshifting demon.

Overall, IT is the prime example of big studio, big budget horror gone right. Outside of a few pacing issues near the middle, the overwhelming sense of dread that the film provides layered with real-world and fantastical horror is enough to satisfy even the hardest to please. Everything from the score to the way the film is shot is developed to aid the scares in the best way possible while also showcasing a bond between these kids as they take on this threat. IT has all the makings of the best modern horror has to offer, now it’s only a shame we have to wait for Part 2.

So what did you think of IT? Have you seen the film? Are you interested in seeing the film? Share, subscribe, comment below, and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.