And I mimic the large-framed lady’s sentiments, though hers were out of desperation. She was genuinely trying to breathe because she was drowning herself in popcorn. For me, director Andy Muschietti recreated It well. But before I bash him, revisit with me the miniseries from 1990. Adapted from the 1986 Stephen King novel, the four-hour, two-part miniseries was great because of Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown. I’ll kindly preface the rest of my opinion of this movie in stating I never did read the novel that this movie was based off of (and I never will. YOU MADE ME READ OVER 1000 PAGES IN UNDER THE DOME, STEPHEN KING, SO YOU RUINED ME AND YOUR CHANCE).
With this movie, the director has done what genuinely very few horror movies, if any, have ever done- building characterization so as to allow you to feel for the main characters throughout the movie. 2008’s The Strangers sort of did this, but not at the length to which It demonstrated. In doing so, this has a two-fold result- viewers will like it for the cinematic value, and horror fans will dislike it because it takes away from the movie being truly horrific. Here’s how: the [effective] overuse of score music, coupled with displaying how the characters grow and develop alone and together as a group of children, helps build feeling for the children in this movie. I’m definitely supportive of this being done in the movie, but it takes away and separates itself from good classic horror, like Halloween, The Shining, and so on, because in doing so, it almost fills another category of horror, such as slasher horror (Scream) or cinematic horror (The Witch). As the director took this approach, he may have created a new sub-genre, as it just broke multiple horror-movie records and made over $120 million in just a few days.
Like with his other movie, Mama, from years back, where the director veered off from the typical horror plot and turned it emotional, Andy did it again with It. Here, thank God, it was effective because it followed along with the novel. As with Mama, where he showed the creature too much to where it wasn’t even scary at the end, he did the same with Pennywise. However, it follows with the frequent showing of the clown in the 1990 miniseries, so I can’t be mad. This movie was effective in everything it took on. And while it was not truly scary for anyone that watched the first two or more trailers, it did a considerably great job in characterization, creepiness, and delivering messages.
To end on performances, Bill Skarsgard did great as Pennywise. I loved the way they made him seem almost off with the blank stares and drool. He gave me the chills in one scene despite having seen it in the previews multiple times. I don’t care much about child actors, but I will say Jeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis will definitely be future names of fame as long as they don’t do drugs and get arrested over the next few years. Jack Grazer and Finn Wolfhard did wonderfully in adding some really great humor to this movie. Over all, it’s obviously worth seeing. Watch it for the cinematic experience, not the scares. Thanks, betch.