“It” Could Be Better

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 Stephen King’s novels often prove to be brilliant on the silver screen and continue to be near and dear to audiences who appreciate thought provoking thrillers. The film, “It,” although entertaining, does not meet the standards the other King film adaptations have set.

It becomes apparent that, “It,” was being pushed to fit the criteria of what we believe a horror movie should be. Riddled with jump scares, children in danger, and gore, these tropes not only overpower the plot, they practically create it.

Even in the beginning, tension is building slowly when suddenly Georgie, the main character’s brother, is grabbed and his arm is ripped off. This film lacks essential subtleties that create genuine tension. Its suspenseful scenes are ruined by the relief after each jump scare, making the gimmick old and predictable.

This film emphasizes the original story’s absurdity by becoming so over the top that even the human aspects of the plot seem far-fetched. When a character sees Pennywise or finds clues that danger is near, they then walk into each situation as if their outspoken fear of the creature suddenly disappeared solely for the purpose of creating suspense.

 

Despite these critical missteps, the film has two strong, redeeming aspects: its score and its actors. The music’s classic orchestral sound creates a creepy atmosphere, reminiscent of timeless horror movies of the past.

As for the actors, I am impressed with the range that each actor displays, especially with the majority of the cast being children. The kids are a needed comic relief, using R-rated language generously. Their unique personalities nearly counteract the overdone tropes in this film, although there are some relationships between the characters that still feel forced and cliche.

Bill Skarsgård especially makes this film for me. Skarsgård speaks in a baby-talk voice with just a hint of malice behind it. After having to follow Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise, Skarsgård had big clown shoes to fill and does so with his own captivating take on the character.

This film is a bit of a mixed bag for me. It’s good, but it’s not great, like many of the other film adaptations. I just hope that the sequel in 2019 will try to hone in on more of what makes Stephen King’s story so unique instead of trying to make it into a typical horror movie.

Photo Credit // IT Official Website