IT Movie Review – Follow The Red Balloon And You’ll Float Too
The Stephen King classic ‘IT’ has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of trying to sneak a peek at the TV while my parents watched the 1990 miniseries. I don’t know that young me ever made it past the opening Georgie scene though. As a child I was simultaneously fascinated and terrified of Pennywise the dancing clown and his trickster ways.
The television mini-series IT is heavily responsible for both my love of horror and my fear of clowns. To clarify, when I say “fear of clowns” I mean actual clowns, not Halloween store clowns. I recently re-watched the 1990 adaptation of the novel and it doesn’t hold up. Tim Curry’s performance was incredibly iconic but overall the movie doesn’t hold the terrifying magic that it did for me back then. When I saw the first trailer for the new adaptation I had goosebumps. I had a feeling that this movie was going to be good. Now, after seeing it I can assuredly say this is the ‘IT’ movie that horror fans wanted.
The new film is set in the 80’s and it nails the atmosphere. The numerous 80’s references seem natural and never feel forced or over the top. The time period they chose to set the movie in works great with the current nostalgic craze in pop culture, but it makes even more sense when the credits roll. This movie is just part one of two and that would put the sequel 27 years later in a modern setting.
Each role in this film felt perfectly cast. Every single member of the “Losers Club” was a rich and complex character with their own interesting back story and they each felt like a genuine person. Throughout the story I grew to sympathize with their daily life struggles and fears outside of the obvious Pennywise conflict.
Bill Skarsgard was absolutely incredible as Pennywise. The character design and his performance made him a suitable Pennywise to terrorize audiences of this generation. His performance was definitely influenced by Tim Curry’s, but he took this role and made it his own. At no point did the new Pennywise feel like a stale reboot. The character felt fresh and unique, from his Victorian costuming to his off putting performance. The supporting cast was great as well, the parents were mostly deplorable and the bullies were so vile that you wished for their early death.
The few issues I had with 2017’s ‘IT’ all were very minor. Occasionally in the film the over use of CGI took me out of the horror I was witnessing on screen. This is to be expected with big budget movies these days but it still bothers me. However, most of the obvious CGI was used in situations where practical effects wouldn’t have really conveyed the images that were needed for the scene. Other than that minor complaint I really have nothing bad to say about the movie. The pacing was fantastic, the cast ranged from charming and funny to horrific and nasty and the score was super loud but mostly effective.
I highly suggest ‘IT’ to all horror fans and fans of the source material. I give 2017’s ‘IT’ 9 red balloons out of 10!