Wednesday, 4 October 2017

IT Review By Steve 'Sandwich' Hanisch

Year: 2017
Directed By: Andy Muschietti
Based on the Novel By: Stephen King
Starring: Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff and Bill Skarsgård
Tagline: “A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.”
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Stephen King, as noted on Terror Firma previous episodes, does not have a good track record when it comes to his novels, shorts and stories being turned into films. For the most part, my experience with it is they ignore the characters...which is the basis for most good films and shows. It is not one of those films. This is a great movie and a great Stephen King book adaptation. When It: Chapter Two comes out (2019), I believe this will cover the entirety of the book (or at least the most important parts) and it will feel like a good meal. Satisfied and not overstuffed or with an aching stomach because it was too much bad shit. Like the pound of skittles I nervously munched through watching this.

I’m struggling to even find a place to start with this movie. The cast was great, the acting was great, the soundtrack was effective, I loved the camera angles and the different variety of angles you got. Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown was stellar. Reading up about this film after viewing, he was tremendously nervous about living up the performance by Tim Curry in the 1990 version. By my accounts, he created a new Pennywise in his own right. The story was great, loved the relationships and everything going on in the film. If they took away Pennywise and the whole supernatural element, you still would have a great murder-mystery on your hands and the film would still stand up. That’s saying something, especially in the horror genre.

Back to the acting for a hot second. I am generally not a fan of child actors, but it would seem recently these kids really got that shit on lockdown. I feel like up until now, the only qualifications for being a child actor before was to remember your lines. Now, they’re telling Bill Skarsgård they love what he’s doing with his character and shit! It’s the same thing that’s happening in the sports world, if your kid is a pitcher and you’re a parent today, you’re going have him pitch the entire twelve months of every year until he gets into college baseball. Except by the time he’s twenty, he’ll need Tommy-John surgery and be totally fucked out of a baseball career. The same thing is happening with these child actors and actresses. They’re actually acting! I imagine it’s because parents are training them to be professionals instead of letting them have normal lives. Take it or leave it, but this film and shows like Stranger Things, there’s a whole movement of legit child actors and actresses coming up. For better or worse, they’re here.

Okay, rant over, back to the movie. I equate this film to Stand By Me meets The Conjuring and I loved every second of it. There will be some debate surrounding this movie and the things in it, as always in the Stephen King circles, but I love how they took on this project, and in my estimation, succeeded with flying red balloons. I couldn’t agree more with Rotten Tomatoes. “Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King’s classic story without losing touch with its heart.” #Preach. Plus, they avoided the particular inflammatory moments of the book and replaced with what I believed to be very effective substitutes. But that may be up the the eye of the beholder. “CHOICE IS MADE FOR YOU, MY FRIEND!”*

 I’m very much looking forward to It: Chapter Two to see how well they attack the adult parts of the book. Also, the adult cast, will they have the same charisma as the teenage actors in this version? I’m not entirely sure they’ll be able to pull that off and that’s a big meatball just hanging there. Either way, there I was in an AMC theater at noon on a sunny Saturday nursing a hangover and still was bone-chilled and impressed with the chosen feature. I think you will be too. I may even buy this sumbitch on Blu Ray.
Review and General Shenanigans Written By: Steve “Sandwich” Hanisch

Last Word “Tasty, tasty, beautiful fear.” - It, Pennywise the Dancing Clown sums up forgetting your anniversary.

*Sandwich’s random Metallica outburst of the day, brought to you by him writing ‘eye of the beholder’. It doesn’t take much.

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