It’s time for Pennywise to float again…
By Thomas Koenig
Staff Clown Enthusiast
Stephen King’s It, directed by Andy Muschietti, released in 2017, was…pretty good. Like it was definitely good. I was thoroughly entertained. I got my money’s worth. It just wasn’t great. Before I talk about why I think it was not exactly great I want to talk about why it was good. Everything practical and technical about this movie was great. The clothes looked great and were perfect for the late 80s setting. The sets were great and the team responsible did a fantastic job setting up a believable small normal town in the late 80s. Everything about the movie looked perfect.
The first red flag I noticed when this movie was in development was hearing that Andy Muschietti was going to direct. The only other major directing credit he had was for Mama, which was just like yeah it was okay, nothing too special or anything. So yes, I was definitely worried about how the movie was going to turn out. I prayed it wouldn’t be another generic 2010s horror movie, and a remake at that. Even though Andy’s direction was not anything too unique or original, he did end up directing the film very competently. I was shocked to see the use of Duth angles in a horror movie, so that was super cool. (Duth angles are like these super weird slanted angles that like no one ever uses, so yeah nice going Andy, I’m proud of your adventurous direction.) Before I talk about what was by far the best part of the movie, the child actors, I want to talk about what was by far the most shocking, just how damn violent this movie is.
I had heard it was going to end up being violent, as it was rated R, and apparently really deserved the R. But just wow, it was violent, like arms ripped off, streams of blood, and parent murder violent. I really cannot decide if it was necessarily a good thing. It was definitely shocking, like I was not expecting it to be quite as violent as it was. Although, it really did not make the movie any scarier or suspenseful. The scariest parts of the movie were when they toned down on the violence and jump scares and focused on atmosphere. One of the biggest problems that I had with the movie was that there were just way too many “spooky” scenes. In the first 50 minutes literally every character had a run in with Pennywise, the creepy clown that is trying to kidnap the kids for nutrients from their fear and flesh. These just ended up actually getting boring and less scary as they progressed.
Alright, now it’s finally time to talk about the kids in the movie. My god they were so good in this movie. The kid from Stranger Things was so funny. The jokes in this movie were actually hilarious, there were maybe like two that did not stick. I cannot think of another horror movie with jokes that worked as well as this one did. I really think the kids in this movie have a good future in acting if they want it. However, with the success of this movie, and the mass popularity of Stranger Things, I hope that we do not end up seeing a new trend of either even more 80s nostalgia than there already is, or movies of some creepy town haunting. These are both dead end ideas that have already been used to their max. So yeah, if you’re looking for a fun popcorn movie and a good time, It is definitely worth your time.