This film is a re-make of the 1990, cult classic, T.V. adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel, ‘IT’. It is situated in a town called Derry (Maine) where children have been mysteriously disappearing and one boy in particular, Bill Denbrough, struggles to come to grips with his own brother’s disappearance. Here’s a trailer for the film.
The film doesn’t waste any time. Right away, you’re expose to the gruesome, terrifying and predatory nature of IT and you realize right away that there is a sense of urgency about this film. IT is out there.
We are introduced to the story through a mini-POV for Bill as he tries to deal with the loss of his brother, one year after his brother’s disappearance. Very quickly we come to realize that he is an outcast at his school because of his scrawny looks, reclusive behavior and, especially his stuttering.
Slowly we are introduced to other characters who are also outcasts at their school for a multitude of reasons. One boy thinks he’s a clown and can’t stop telling mama jokes. Another boy is new in town, short, overweight and an history geek. One boy lives with his paranoid mom who inundates him with pills (see munchausen syndrome) and suffocating rules. One boy is a timid Jewish kid struggling to come to grips with his faith, rabbi father and, his upcoming bar mitzvah. One of the boys is an afro-american boy struggling to come to grips with the gruelsome deaths of his parents and his new life on a farm (having to kill animals in the process). Finally, the only girl in the group struggles with coming into adolescence, dealing with slanderous rumors at school and her sexually abusive father. The film doesn’t lack for drama.
Despite all the drama clouding the lives of the young protagonists, and the deadly craze of IT, the film is surprisingly very campy and full of enough light comedy to keep you chuckling throughout. In fact, that is one of the main strengths of the film; its ability to balance the ever present horrors of the predatory antagonists in the film with the bravery, innocence and, coming of age experience of the protagonists. It feels like a better, more up-to-date, version of a Stephen Spielberg old classic. It’s just fun all around.
IT is wonderfully scary, skin-crawlingly uncomfortable at times and, innocently fun at times. It is like a rollercoaster of emotion that takes you to the edge but leaves you wanting more. It’s definitely a must see film of 2017. The only issues I had were that, we weren’t given a backstory for IT, the black kid is severely marginalized, the sociopathic bully in town is all bad but lacks character, the adults in the movie are either predators or incompetent (and all of the adult characters are severely underdeveloped), Ben doesn’t get Sophia despite their implied connection and instead she goes with Billy and, the puppy romance between the kids is unnerving considering the sexual abuse Sophia gets at home. The scenes come right after each other; making it quite creepy that the production would go that route. It felt like they really go out of their way to make the audience feel creeped out. Finally, a second film is implied at the end; basically coercing the audience to commit to paying for the conclusion. It’s a bit of a money grab.
Overall, the movie is a winner. Definitely go and watch it now before it concludes its unbelievable run at the box office. It’s campy, it’s scary, its creepy and, it’s a lot of fun.