By Michelle Reynolds, Staff Writer
Be warned, if a clown named Pennywise–or any clown for that matter–is talking to you from inside a sewer, do not engage. There is a reason parents say “Don’t talk to strangers” and Stephen King’s “IT” is the perfect reason why.
Released September 8, “IT” is a movie about 7 young outcasts dubbed the “losers club” from Derry, Maine that face a shapeshifting evil that comes out of the sewers to terrorize their town and prey on children once every 27 years. Released 27 years after the “IT” TV series with the same premise, this movie has already broken some records with $117 million in its opening weekend, making it the third highest opening weekend of 2017.
“IT” is an aesthetically beautiful movie. The cinematography took an ordinary small town and made it feel beautiful with the camera work. All of this was topped with a fitting score. This movie captures that pre-teen innocence, that child-like adventure. The banter between the main characters –- a group of kids — is absolute perfection. This movie had audiences laughing more than one would expect for a horror movie and the acting from the kids was so wonderfully believable that it did not even feel like acting, but as if we were watching this actually happen.
However, there were too many main characters to keep track of, so I left not knowing all of their names. But the ones I knew, I grew extremely fond of. In the length of this movie, the audience came to know those kids. We were with them through the whole experience and we left as part of the “losers club,” and, as one of the main characters, Beverly Marsh states, “hanging with you guys, I never felt like a loser,”
This movie explores each character so that you see their arcs and watch them grow. You see these kids fight and fall apart, only to form back together again. “IT” captures real life, friendship, and being a teenager in a way that not many others could. The movie is all so unbelievably real, it is as if you stepped back in time to when you were a teen and faced these same dramas, minus a scary clown terrorizing your town. “IT” is a movie about friends, bonding, and watching them come together to face their fears.
Based off of work by Stephen King, the master of horror, the expectations were set high. They were especially high since Bill Skarsgård, the actor who plays Pennywise the clown, even said that “IT” gave him nightmares for weeks. Many people left with a fear of red balloons and clowns but this movie is not scary.
The supernatural genre is not for everyone and many claim that the scares were too often in-your-face to the point that it lost its appeal. Not only that, but the effects felt cheesy and childlike, which really killed the horror. What was surprisingly scary was the amount of intense bullying that takes place. The violence inflicted by the teens to other teens throughout the film was extremely graphic and more cringe-worthy than the horror of Pennywise the clown. Some claim that Pennywise was underutilized, that this film could have been scarier if they would have focused more on Pennywise instead of all the kids’ individual horrors.
This movie has more of a lingering terror. Initially, audiences might not be disturbed walking out the theater, but will feel it later that night when tucked into bed, all safe and snug. When you close your eyes and hear a squeak somewhere around your room, you won’t be able to resist hugging the blanket closer hoping it isn’t Pennywise.
This movie cuts to the chase, with very few scenes that lagged on. Everything had a purpose which is good considering this movie is long, clocking in at 2 hours and 15 minutes. It feels every minute of it but you can’t be surprised considering the book was lengthy at 1,138 pages.
The book is spliced into two parts, one that features the losers club facing Pennywise when they are young kids and then again, 27 years later. The way this movie ended sets it up for a possible sequel featuring the kids grown up. Considering how well it is doing in theaters, it is likely people will be seeing more Pennywise in the future.
If you decide the movie is still too scary to watch but you don’t want to miss out, you can read the book or view the leaked script for the movie online, which some claim is even more offensive than the movie.
Directed by Andy Muschietti who also did the 2013 horror movie “Mama,” “IT” is a good movie to see in theaters. The jumps, screams, and overall reaction of the audience around you helps heighten the experience, but “IT” is also the perfect movie to rent one rainy night with a bowl of popcorn and group of friends.