WARNING: To anyone looking for a well-thought-out review from a self-proclaimed film expert or movie nerd, please look away now…I don’t know what I’m doing
Full disclosure, I’m not a fan of horror. I have grown up in an era where trashy, cheaply made, poorly acted horror franchises have been milked for every penny of profit they can make. So it’s safe to say that I don’t look forward to many “scary” movies.
But that wasn’t at all the case after I saw the teaser trailer for Stephen King’s IT. Seeing the projector scene alone, creeped me out more than most feature films of the same genre.
That’s where this film begins to set itself apart. IT is just different than other modern horror films. The feeling is similar to Stranger Things. That may be because IT takes place in the 80s, stars a bunch of child actors, including Finn Wolfhard who’s in both. However, the biggest similarity to Stranger Things is that this movie is a character piece.
There’s a great deal of focus on the Loser’s Club who are a bunch of teenagers in junior high that are unpopular, that deal with bullies, and have to band together to defeat Pennywise the Clown.
Each of the kids has their specific fear which Pennywise uses to terrorize them. No one specific character gets more attention than any other. There are seven of them after all. But the movie still does a great job using each of there fears to create distinctions between them and shows the many ways Pennywise can feed off of them.
Their fears range from the benign, like being scared of germs or clowns, to intense things, like being burned alive or suffering in an abusive home. These make for some genuinely tense moments, that left me on the edge of my seat, even though I was watching this on my laptop.
Across the board, the performances are fantastic, which is rare to say with child actors. But these seven kids had to be believable individually and work well as a unit and they all nailed it.
Yet this movie can’t work without that creepy clown, Pennywise. Bill Skarsgård is by far the best part of this film. His eyes, his voice all create an atmosphere of discomfort whenever he’s on-screen. Unlike most horror movies, the film doesn’t over-utilize him either. They do a good job of hiding Pennywise until it’s necessary.
That’s a credit towards the amazing direction by Andy Muschietti. The pacing of this film kept me consistently engaged while also creating the right amount of tension for the course of its run time.
I don’t have any issues with this movie. The acting was great. The film’s story flowed well, while still being scary. IT is easily one of the best horror films of the decade.
So is it stupid or stupendous? I would IT