IT: Great Coming of Age, Okay Horror Movie

Just recently watched IT (2017) based on the novel by Stephen King. I won’t lie and say that I’m a huge King fan or a horror movie fan in general. The only Stephen King novel I have read is Carrie and the only movie I have seen beside IT is Stand by Me ( Great movie by the way). Just for the record I haven’t seen the IT miniseries.

So my review will mostly focus on the 2017 version with next to no comparison to the book or miniseries. As a horror movie IT isn’t really scary. That may because I don’t have a fear of clowns but I digress. The current movie when it comes to scares follows the now popular jump scare phenomenon that is so prevalent in horror movies nowadays. If you know something is coming then how scary can it be?

I also had an issue with Skarsgard’s Pennywise and the way the director Andy Muschietti decided to use Pennywise. He just didn’t come off as menacing. Skarsgard developed this smile that was supposed to be creepy and unnerving but instead made him seem dopey. Well at least to me it did.

However to be fair most of the time Pennywise was in different forms and was played by different people. He was also mostly CGI for the most part.

The stars of this film however were the kids. Jaeden Lieberer put on a stellar performance as Bill Denbrough the main character of the movie. He managed to give a portrayal that showed the conflicting emotions of a character determine to find his “lost” brother and of a character who knows that his quest is pushing everyone away from him. Sophia Lillis plays a great Beverly Marsh who acts as if everything is fine on the surface but the reality is much darker. The other actors also gave pretty decent roles given the fact they weren’t the main focus. Finn Wolfhard gives a hilarious performance as Richie Tozier, the loudmouth crude but lovable friend.

What works best in this movie is the chemistry between the kid actors. They all feel like they would be friends in real life and I doubt that they aren’t. The script itself is also very well written. Muschietti decides to focus less on the horror aspect of IT and more on the coming of age aspect. A decision I commend him for doing. This choice allows for a more well-rounded and more complex story to be told.

He also pushes Pennywise to the back burner which may upset some people but brings a bigger focus to the true horrors which are the people of Derry. Though Pennywise is powered by the fears of the citizens and is the manifestation of that fear. It’s the people with their hate, prejudice and suspicion that puts you at unease. It’s even more scary when you realize that the adults are supposed to be their protectors but aren’t.

Rating: 8/10

Verdict: Semi-decent horror movie, amazing coming of age story.

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