It Chapter One (2017): Taking a Glimpse at Andy Muschietti’s Popular Horror Phenomena Two Years Later

2nd Viewing

Well, this didn’t age too well. But it aged well enough! Psyche!

I recall l-o-v-i-n-g, yes, l-o-v-i-n-g this Stephen King reboot back in 2017 when I first witnessed…it…opening night at a packed theater with middle school kids trying to bribe theater employees into letting them see the movie despite it being Rated-r. Damn, that’s ironic.

Anywho, I haven’t rewatched Andy Muschietti’s It since…its…initial release date which might be saying something about how well it’s stuck with me overtime. I’m about 99.9% convinced that the sole reason I claimed it to be a triumph at the time was because of hype, nostalgia, and fandom. Shame on me, I know.

The kids in this evocative feature-length are fucking hilarious. And as a bonus, they all got cogent enough backstories for me to care about all of them. Even if some of these pals become besties in a matter of minutes, the comradery and endearment between the members of the Losers’ Club are undeniably soul-stirring. Thanks, Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman for carting the best asset of King’s book with excellence. The dramatic elements of It, indeed, operate tolerably well.

As a horror film though, It is iffy. There are some genuinely scary qualities like the “Woman in the Painting,” all those gosh-darn pedophiles, and Finn Wolfhard’s eyes combined with those glasses—yikes! Some horror trademarks, however, are pitiful. I hate how the structure of this movie’s creature-feature showcase is motored on such a repetitive basis. The movie attempts to cover every frightening moment in the first (timeline-wise) half of the 1,100-page novel, making the film almost feel like some sort of chore-full checklist. The “jump-scare,” “trailer-esc,” and routinely shabby “CGI” techniques are also all marvelous ways to piss me off!

Like Tim Curry’s alarming and unnerving performance as Pennywise the Clown in the original 1990 It, Bill Skarsgård’s performance provides the film some merit that’s above the ordinary. Everything in It has certainly already been implemented before in the world of cinema and especially horror cinema, but the character of Pennywise the Clown, specifically, is a horror element or icon that can be paralleled to something like DC’s “The Joker.” The many interpretations of the character are always transformed into establishments that are opposed to any other proverbial villain characters out there in our world of literature and storytelling. Skarsgård is openly astounding for the few minutes he emerges in the movie.

Altogether, It still functions moderately as a coming-of-age drama but seeks more to be desired when it comes to…its…weak horror efforts. That being said…it…is one of the better reboots I’ve ever seen especially in recent years and…it…does come firmly recommended for those who are fans of Stephen King’s controversial yet evolutionary source material.

Verdict Change: B —> B-

“It” is now available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, and Google Play.

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