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What persuaded me to watch this movie was the blessing bestowed upon it
by the stories original creator, Stephen King, who claimed: "I wasn't
prepared for how good it really was".
He's not wrong.
"IT" is quite extraordinary. The attention to detail, the subtle but effective comedic undertone and the exquisite cinematography not only do the original title proud, they make this re-imagining of the original classic even better than its predecessor.
It's a very scary film but what impressed me was how true the film sticks to the original's tricks; it isn't filled with loud in-your-face jump scares, in fact, a lot of what makes this film scary is the slick cinematography and intricate shadow play. The use of lighting and creation of atmosphere is what makes this film so tense, which is why it's perfectly suited for those who like Horror movies but without the obnoxious gore.
Watched the pre-release as a critic - August 28th.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
IT truly is the scariest movie of all time... If you're 10 years old or
I honestly am shocked by all the positive reviews and high rotten tomatoes score. Did I see a completely different movie?
IT starts off very well with a genuinely good opening scene. Great cinematography, atmosphere, lighting, a likable child whom you connect with easily, and an interesting encounter takes place between this kid and a very creepy clown. The dialogue is good, there is an eerie sense of dread, and a moment where IT aka Pennywise goes from being a friendly-ish clown to a terrifying villain in an instant through a very well placed awkward stare. It was a moment I wasn't expecting and gave me hope for the rest of the film, then... It's all downhill from there, after an almost laughable use of CG.
This movie has big issues. IT isn't scary. IT's story is weak, if you can even call it a story. IT has too many underdeveloped characters. And IT is a counterproductive villain with no concrete rules for what IT can or can not do.
The overuse of CG ruined any sense of tension or fear and Pennywise's tactics didn't make sense. If he feeds off fear, why reveal himself to each of the kids within a close time period? Why not concentrate on each child individually, causing far more mental torment and making them an easier kill? Pennywise also just randomly manifests himself anywhere at anytime, and disappears randomly. I don't find it scary when the antagonist manifests itself, attacks a character and right before doing damage IT vanishes..
The story is a mess and there are far too many characters. I swear the first 40 minutes is the longest montage in film history. A montage of each child's development and exposure to Pennywise. It was predictable and monotonous. As for the story, I don't know what to say, besides there really isn't one. Character motivations are weak, Bill is the only one who makes sense. Where were the parents at? Not a single parent seemed to care about their missing children. The few on screen parents there were, came off as caricatures. And there were a few scenes that felt completely pointless within context of the story. The school bully and his dad, being the oddest.
So in closing, IT is an uneven movie or more accurately a collection of scenes that don't flow well in a tangible story. There are some good laughs, and a few entertaining scenes. But all in all it's just an average movie. Which should've been an evident sign, when the original attached director Cary Fukunaga jumped ship.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The opening scene is good. From there on...not as much.
I guess this movie will please those not familiar with the book much more than those who are. That being said, I don't think it is possible to make a satisfying adaption of "It" without doing it the Game of Thrones way. More time is needed to dwell on each of the novel's parts to create the feel the book gave us. To tell the story as it was told on paper. So I guess I'll forgive the filmmakers for that.
The kids are okay. They've managed to portray the losers and the relationship between them decently enough- considering the running time. Again: more time is needed for better development. Much of what actually happened between the kids and It has been cut, but again - running time. They had to.
That they've changed the setting from the 1958 to the 80s was a bad choice, and so are the other changes. They're creating scenes that aren't in the book. They're changing things that are there. The biggest problem I have with the film is the execution of the horror. Constant jump scares, way too much CGI, and a complete lack of understanding of the fact that less is more. Waiting for a scare is the scary part of horror, and this movie just throws everything at you constantly. It just isn't terrifying. At all.
I didn't find myself bored, though. Besides the poor performance when it came to being scary, it is an okay movie. It just isn't a good adaptation.
I managed to win a preview screening to 'IT' on the 30th of August, in
Sydney. I had high expectations for this film - and IT exceeded them.
The acting. Great performances all round. The kids had great chemistry, and you really believe that they were all great friends. It reminded me of Stand By Me and The Goonies. Out of the child actors, Richie (played by Finn Wolfhard) was my favourite and his jokes cracked the whole cinema up. Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise is scary and really creeped me out, but for me there was just something missing about his character and I think he wasn't given enough dialogue.
A minor flaw for me was that the plot was a bit rushed, in terms with the development of Mike (played by Chosen Jacobs), but for an adaption from a book, they managed to condense the original material very well.
Overall, it (no pun intended) was a great thriller film that kept me on the edge of my seat, with strong performances.
I had the pleasure of seeing an advanced screening of IT in Brisbane.
The film is absolutely brilliant. Bill Skarsgård has taken Pennywise
and made the role his own. Creepy, disturbing, humorous, IT really
possess the creep factor, giving audiences a new reason to fear clowns.
The entire casting choices were sensational. All actors really held their own, creating a sense of comradery between the characters.
Like most people, I do hold the miniseries with Tim Curry close to my heart, but after seeing this adaptation, I was beyond pleasantly surprised. So much so that upon IT being released into cinemas, I'll be back in line to see it again.
I think the film was good, but didn't really live up to expectations. I
didn't find it that scary. Admittedly, one of the jump scares worked on
me but otherwise I never felt any dread looming in the pit of my
stomach. The film is gorier than the mini series. That's for sure. And
I liked that updated aspect, but nothing particularly shocked me. There
was quite a bit of special effects that just were not very good. And I
think that's a big reason why I just wasn't very scared.
The other dumb thing I want to mention is that sometimes the characters fell into predictable horror movie tropes. Its just kind of silly when they've already been scared by Pennywise many times. Knows this all "isn't real" and yet will wander off by one of the missing kids going "Come here". I mean, really? You're going to fall for that? I think what does save this film are the performances. Bill does a good job with Pennywise. However, he does lack the charm that Tim Curry had. But those were always going to be big shoes to fill. (Clown pun not intended). The kids though were amazing. In particular Jaeden Lieberher (who played Bill) and Sophia Lillis (who played Bev) were the standouts. I also want to give a shoutout to Nicholas Hamilton (who played Henry) for managing to make me feel empathy for a bully. Finn Wolfhard (from Stranger Things) plays Richie who is meant to be the jokester of the group. And Finn does well with that character. I just wish the writers had laid off from the jokes some of the times. You're supposed to be building tension and it kind of gets ruined when he opens his mouth to make a joke about period blood or whatever.
I see the potential in this film. And I think it could have been really good. I just think they spent too much focus on "shock value" rather than building on an atmosphere.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It has become ritual for me to read the novel "It" once a year every
year since it was released in 1986. The story is more than a gore-fest,
it's a story about love and hope and friendship that is still
meaningful to me to this day.
The only thing this movie has in common with the beloved book, is its name and the characters names. IT is a literal disaster and a slap in the face to anyone who actually read and cherishes the book. There are NO character backstories, nor character development at all. You are literally thrust into the movie expecting to know everything about everyone and why they are the way they are. IE: Henry Bowers and why he hates the "Losers Club" - He LITERALLY starts the movie trying to kill them. This is sad, because a large portion of the novel was meticulously spent doing quite the opposite and made you relate to and fall in love with the characters.
Editing? What editing? This is the worst edited movie I've ever seen in my life and I've seen a lot in 41 years. It was literally like the film makers shot 100 scenes, put the film in a hat, and took out said scenes and spliced them together at total random. I can't describe it any other way than saying, at one point, one of the characters (I can't tell who, because they all share the EXACT same personality) says, "I banged your mom last night", or something similar, and before the audience can even react, the scene changes to a jump scare happening in ANOTHER PART OF TOWN INSTANTLY and with no rhyme or reason. You don't have time to laugh at jokes, because they aren't funny (unlike Stephen King's jokes in the book) - and you don't have time to be scared, because you're still trying to process the dick joke that was still being told when the scene abruptly ended.
While the filming location for the town of Derry was suitable, having the movie take place in the 1980's instead of the 1950's JUST TO APPEASE the "Stranger Things" crowd was simply a terrible decision. The 1950's were a totally different time, and much of the characters' reasoning and mannerisms that you need to make this movie work are lost to a time and cultural difference. These guys call themselves "THE LOSERS SQUAD" in this movie for god's sake! Kids didn't start calling themselves a "squad" until the 1980's (IE "The Monster Squad) So, you love the book like me and are still reading? Thank you! Now let me list just SOME things that we both LOVE about the book that you will NOT find anywhere in this movie: The Deadlights, The Ritual of CHUD, The Mummy and the bridge, The Loser's Club Dam in the Barrens, the moving picture book (now its a slide machine), The Smokehouse, "This is battery acid", The Werewolf, Making the silver bullet after a game of monopoly, The stand pipe, Bower's hair turning white, "beep beep Richie", the giant bird, the 50's racism against Mike (actually Mike Hanlon himself is missing. The writers just made arguably the most important character an afterthought in this movie), character backstories, "Hi Ho Silver-AWAY!", Haystack... I could go on and on and on.
With god awful editing, absolutely no character backstories, cheap teen jump scares, not being faithful to the book, and too much CGI usage: Simply put - if you want to know how this movie is like the book, read the first 10 pages of "IT", and burn the other 1077 pages because that is exactly what the screenwriter and director did to this failed abortion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I already had low expectations of this movie because of the immense CGI in the trailers. I felt super conflicted with this movie because the acting was amazing by the entire cast, however there was way too much 'comic relief'. This is a horror movie. I wanted to feel terrified because I was stuck in terror just about the whole movie. I should have left the theater sore because of being too tense. This did not happen at all. There was only one scene in the entire movie that felt like this and it was the bathroom scene with Beverly. That was literally it (no pun intended). The clown was so cliché when it comes to cheap horror movie antics of the 2,000's. It has the retractable teeth like every new zombie movie since the Umbrella Corporation and It moves all jumpy like every ghost movie that has been out since The Ring. Absolutely NOTHING scary about the clown. If Tim Curry weren't in a wheel chair I would have rather had him come back and take the place of Penny Wise without ANY CGI. All of the CGI made this movie pure CRAP. The script writing was ridiculous and felt like it had been pushed through the works entirely too fast. Each kids fear was super cheesy and AGAIN, nothing but CGI on the tackiest scale they could have ever done. It felt like this movie had SO much potential but it was all thrown away because they were too afraid to make it 'actually scary'. Those of you who are REAL horror movie fans, you WILL be disappointed. This should have been a 'straight to Netflix' movie as far as I'm concerned and I wish I could have gotten at least 1/2 of my money back
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't even know what to say. There was so much wasted potential here.
I will say that the cinematography, the location, and the children (The
Losers Club) hold up really well for this film. Yet, I'm still sitting
here after seeing this premiere and I'm still shaking my head.
Here is the one thing for me, that ruined the movie. If you don't want any spoilers I suggest you stop reading. Here goes..
What is going on with all the CGI in this film? Computer animated graphics have never scared me and this movie is littered with seemingly terrible and unimpressive visual effects. I had a feeling this was going to happen after watching the directors previous film "Mama" Anytime something was seemingly scary, or anytime I thought "Hey, this movie might redeem itself" it was almost instantaneously followed by some cheap jump scare with a villain who was computer animated to look scary. The human eye is easy to detect how fake CGI can be and folks, let me tell you, this movie relies INCREDIBLY HEAVILY on computer animated effects. No incredible monster movie effects from the 80s here. The sad part about it is that the movie takes place in the 80s (instead of the 50s like the book). What better way to write a beautiful love letter to the time period than to get some natural, realistic, and horrifying movie effects? The 70s had The Exorcist. Top notch REAL effects. Do you remember The Thing from the 1980s? ThHOSE PRACTICAL EFFECTS STILL HOLD UP TO THIS DAY. Its truly sad to see computer programs taking the forefront to create scares. Anyway, I'm rambling...
For all of you fans of the book out there.. Spoiler alert again..
You WILL be disappointed. It only uses the book as a small guideline for the story they decided to craft here. There is no Ritual of Chud. There is no Mummy, Werewolf, or drowned children in the Standpipe. Everything is rushed. This film is just a complete mess and it pains me to say so.
If you haven't read the book, maybe you'll have a decent time if you can handle CGI. I for one thought IT was extremely disappointing, confusing, and ultimately boring and cliché. God, I wish this could have gone a different way.
If you are truly interested in seeing IT... Please...please.... Save your money and go see something else. Or at the very least, wait to rent it.
The brand new #ITMovie scared the heck out of me and I don't throw that
around loosely because just when you thought that "Annabelle: Creation"
may have set the bar for this year, bam! "IT" comes along and smashes
that bar into pieces. Wow! This is one incredible horror film,
everybody involved should get a congratulatory pat on the back,
definitely a huge upgrade from the '90s miniseries. This is best
Stephen king adaptation yet.
Directed by Andy Muschietti, based on Stephen King's timeless novel of the same name, IT is set around the mysterious disappearance of children in Derry Maine, when a group of young kids will have to come face their biggest fears and square off against an eternal evil clown named Pennywise who comes around every 27 years to repeat his reign of terror.
It's no secret and it's not really a spoiler that New Line and the filmmakers of this new version have planned to re-imagine this story into two installments, with the first focusing on the children and then chapter two will be about their grown up selves once again battling Pennywise. So with this first chapter, I think the timing of its arrival couldn't be more perfect especially with last year's debut of the hugely popular series, "Stranger Things" that brings up '80s childhood nostalgia while presenting mystery at the same time, "IT" offers you that same vein and I think that's OK because we haven't gotten to the point where it's played out so for the time being you're going to love that aspect about "IT." There's definitely a "Stand By Me" vibe to it as well, and the whole thing does feel episodic, at one point while screening it I didn't want it to end, it felt like I was binge-watching, it was so cool. Kudos to all the young actors featured in this film, they really hold their own and each of their characters' distinct personalities stand out. Their backstories and their process of slowly but surely coming together as some sort of a team is both honest and engaging.
Now, if you've ever read Stephen King's book, "IT," you'd recall that it is a super duper thick book. You can use it as a stool to stand on for when you need to change that lightbulb. But the point is, I think the screenwriters of this new film did well in condensing the story to just the right amount of time that contains just the right mix of kids camaraderie and the horror fest that is Pennywise. And if you've watched the '90s miniseries, you'd recall how much that version held back plus the low quality practical effects that they had at the time. Well, I'm happy to tell you that this new "IT" doesn't hold back, this is Pennywise unleashed, it's practically proud of being R-rated, which is great because it allows for the scary parts to be really really scary and not second-guessing or pandering.
And if you have never liked clowns before, you're going to hate clowns even more because Bill Skarsgard's performance as the new Pennywise will haunt your dreams for the next few weeks after you've watched this movie. What I appreciate about Skarsgard is that he doesn't try too hard to emulate or imitate or channel Tim Curry, Skarsgard does his own take of creepy. And because Pennywise is pretty much invincible to a certain extent, you'll see him pop up in the most unlikeliest of places meaning when you least expect him, that's when he'll scare you to your core so brace yourselves for surprises around every corner. Another reason why the timing of this movie's arrival could not be more perfect is because today's visual effects compliment Pennywise's limitless abilities and so director Andy Muschietti and his crew have the creative freedom to not only realize some of the scare points in the book but they managed to also go beyond that. "IT" goes for massive, it goes for bold, it goes for bloody, not a single boring minute, it goes for the "Goonies" fan in all of us. You will laugh, you will scream, you will have nightmares, hands down one of the best horror movies ever made.
-- Rama's Screen --
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