Release Date: September 8, 2017
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Andy Muschietti
Release Format: Theatrical
There has been so many bad horror movies, adaptations, and remakes over the past few years that it’s easy to get lost in them all. After all of the terrible experiences, wasted money, and broken dreams, you ask yourself: Do I really want to give the remake of Stephen King’s It a chance? My answer for you is a simple one. Yes! Please, if you love horror, love Stephen King, love Stranger Things, or you’re just looking for a good time, this remake will not disappoint!
It takes place in the small town of Derry, Maine, a place known for its violent yet unexplainable past. When a string of child disappearances plagues the town, Bill and his group of friends take a personal interest when his younger brother becomes one of the missing. The children are soon haunted by visions of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, an ancient, shapeshifting evil that emerges every 27 years. Together, they must come up with a solution to purge the town of this ancient evil and make it out alive.
With horror films, there is one important question. Is it scary? Let me tell you, It is truly terrifying. As an avid horror fan myself, its been disappointing to see the horror genre lose its sense of terror to focus mostly on jump scares. While It definitely benefits from a brilliant use of jump scares, the true terror is all in the build up. There’s nothing better than a horror film that can scare you so bad that you just have to laugh at yourself afterward. The best thing about It is the call back to what horror should be: fun and scary. It’s one of the first films I’ve seen in awhile to focus on true horror versus dramatic gore and shock value. That being said, the visual effects are equally terrifying.
This remake really is a true Stephen King story through and through. King’s stories are notoriously known for receiving film remakes and adaptations that either upset the author or his loyal fan base. However, this film is well accepted by both. The It remake feels like its own fresh experience while still holding onto the heart and character of the original mini-series. Tim Curry’s performance of Pennywise is one that would be incredibly hard, if not impossible, to live up to. So they didn’t try. Bill Skarsgård’s take on Pennywise is just as terrifying as the original while making the clown a whole new character in this adaptation.
Skarsgård isn’t the only actor to steal the show. The entire cast, the kids especially, really make this coming-of-age tale what it is. While a few of them may be a bit heavy handed, It has a really charming Stand By Me vibe. You know, when there isn’t a shape shifting clown on screen. All in all, the film has a really well-written, well-executed story in between its moments of pure terror. You actually care about the characters in the film which is something usually unseen in most horror films. As excited as I am about the sequel, it will be a bummer that this shining star of a cast might not be the ones leading the next film.
Just a quick warning, It is not a short film though. Despite clocking in at a little over two hours, the film definitely doesn’t feel like it is that long. More importantly, the scares don’t lose their effect as the story unfolds. Like I’ve mentioned, the story is well-paced and most of the film is spent exploring the separate fears of our seven child lead. There is little to no wasted time as the film eventually comes to its terrifying climax (and eventual hint to a sequel).
All in all, It truly stands out amongst the sea of predictable horror films and lackluster remakes and adaptations. This is a clear example of what can happen when the proper people are put into place to work on a film that people care about. It is the perfect balance of staying true to the original while working to keep things new and unique to this film. From the unsettling effects and set design to the writing and casting, It comes together in a terrifying experience that will have you screaming in fear and then giggling in delight. And trust me, if you weren’t afraid of clowns before, you will be now!
Verdict: This remake of Stephen King’s classic, It, is an experience that fans, new and old, will truly enjoy. In a sea of bad horror movies and remakes, this film stands out among the rest with truly terrifying scares, a well-paced story, awesome visuals, and a well-rounded cast of characters. The only downside to this horror flick? Having to wait for the sequel.
- Truly terrifying
- Well paced
- Excellent acting and visuals
- Holds onto the heart of the original
- A few heavy handed characters
- Having to wait for the sequel