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Film Review: IT (2017)

With new and improved technology and special effects, it was obvious that this horror classic would be remade. However, is this revamp necessary, and does it make for an entertaining film the second time round?
As someone whose first choice in movie genre isn’t horror, I have to admit that I have not seen the original film. However, walking into the cinema to see this remake, I had high hopes. I had enjoyed the marketing campaign for the film, and I was hoping to be thrilled and scared throughout the film.
So, were my expectations met from IT?
Whilst there were some fantastic ideas and great individual ideas scattered around the movie, overall I found the general film to be disappointing. The movie centres around 7 different children and their experiences with Pennywise the Dancing Clown, also known as “It”, with each child seeing their worst fear when faced with “It”.
Like I said, there were some good aspects to the film. When the film was good, it was really good. There were, in particular, two things that I really did enjoy from the film.
Pennywise the Dancing Clown: Easily the best character in the film was the villain played by Bill Skarsgård. Truly evil and horrifying, he portrayed the evil clown perfectly, from his facial acting and creepy stare, down to his spine-tingling voice. I guess it’s a good thing if the best person in a horror film is the villain, and the title character.
The bathroom scene: Those who have seen the movie will know what I am referring to, but this is easily the goriest and most gruesome scene in the movie. And. I. Loved. It. I am one of the people that will say that the movie needed a lot more gore and scary aspects to it (something that is apparently promised in the upcoming and planned sequel to this movie) and therefore this scene appealed to that side of me. The way it was executed, not only with the hair (once again, you’ll understand if you watch the movie) but the special effects as well, it is fantastically shot and was easily the best scene in the entire film.
A lot of the movie had enjoyable moments within it, but as a continuous story it didn’t seem to join well together. It was quite cluttered, jumping between a jump scare scene with Pennywise, to trying to find missing characters, to dealing with bullying and family issues, to trying to solve the mystery of “It”. They were trying to get too many plot lines in one story, and it just didn’t flow very well in my opinion.
Another issue with the film that I had is that it felt like a cash-grab at some point. Yes, movies in Hollywood are made to make money, remakes specifically. But the weird thing is that it didn’t seem like it was cash-grabbing from the original, but instead another popular and well-loved franchise: Stranger Things. This comparison was always going to be made when Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things) was casted in this new film, but the comparisons don’t stop there. The film is centred around a group of boys and one different, quirky girl who get bullied constantly and have to try and find this supernatural being and defeat the villain as the adults can’t see this creature or can’t be bothered to look for them. Oh, and the characters’ form of transport is cycling around the town. For those who have seen Stranger Things, does that sound familiar to you?
To wrap things up, IT is a montage of great moments and characters who don’t mix together in a confusing bundle of different stories trying to tell one narrative. In a time, full of remakes and retellings, this just feels unnecessary and made for the sake of money. As a horror movie, it is gory and gruesome, not scary. The jump scares fail to do their job and at the end of the movie I felt disappointed.


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