FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: This past Friday, I saw 2017’s “It,” which stars Jaeden Martell (Midnight Special, St. Vincent), Jeremy Ray Taylor (42, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Sophia Lillis (Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Sharp Objects [TV series]), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things [TV series], Carmen Sandiego [TV series]), Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!, Beautiful Boy), Chosen Jacobs (Castle Rock [TV series], Cops and Robbers), Wyatt Oleff (Gaurdians of the Galaxy, I Am Not Okay with This [TV series]), Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic, The Dark Tower), Jake Sim (Every Day, Riot Girls), Logan Thompson (Titans [TV series], Fear Thy Neighbor [TV series]), Owen Teague (Bloodline [TV series], Cell), Jackson Robert Scott (The Prodigy, Locke & Key [TV series]), Stephen Bogaert (X-Men: Apocalypse, American Psycho), Stuart Hughes (The Drawer Boy, Orphan Black [TV series]), Molly Atkinson (Avonlea [TV series], Haven [TV series]), and Bill Skarsgård (Deadpool 2, Allegiant). It is directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama, Historias Breves 3), with the screenplay being written by Chase Palmer (Neo-Noir [Short], The Alienist [TV series]), Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation, Maniac [TV series]), and Gary Dauberman (The Nun, Annabelle). Based on the Stephen King novel, this film follows a group of kids as they hunt down a cannibalistic demon disguised as a clown, hoping to rid their town of him once and for all.
Ever wonder why you don’t see horror reviews on this site? Probably not, maybe you already know: I’m not a horror fan. Never was, though I’m trying to turn a new leaf. I believe I have reviewed two horror pictures, and I felt that the time was right to dive into the genre again. With the upcoming sequel, that movie became 2017’s “It.” The reboot, detailing a group of kids trying to take down a cannibal demon disguised as a clown, made waves when it was released, and its next entry is gaining a lot of buzz, given its big stars and prime release date slot. Did I see this with a light on? Maybe. I mean, who really knows, right? I hate clowns, so of course one was chosen as the antagonist. However, to my surprise, this wasn’t a straight-forward horror. Rather, it feels like a more adult “Goonies,” with a group of kids you come to appreciate and grow as friends. The movie has a healthy balance of horrific thrills/gore and character building, all of which serves a purpose to cater to this lore that Stephen King has created. I mean, just the archival pictures and music score alone could send me ducking for cover; throw in a clown eating people and you’ve got me severely shook. But in all seriousness, this flick turned out better than what I expected it to be. With horror, you never really know what you’re going to get, and “It” does more than give you the slasher razzle-dazzle. The cinematography is good, as well as the acting and flow of the story. I enjoyed all of the performances, granted it was hard to see these kids stand on their own after seeing a trailer for their adult counterparts (it’s like watching a lengthy flashback at that point). It was also weird to see the character Finn Wolfhard (known for “Stranger Things”) played in this, even though the circumstances are quite similar (set in the 80’s with a group of kids fighting a monster). But at the end of the day, it isn’t a big problem. These can’t be critical for a film that stands on its own, so you gotta let it slide. I enjoyed watching “It,” even though I spent some of it looking away from the screen. The movie plays with your mind and takes you on a thrill ride full of jumps and scares; at the same time, it also tries to bring you close to these characters, and give you reasons to want them to see things through. Really, the issues I have would lie mainly in these characters. Some weren’t as developed as others, and a few even felt the same, specifically the father roles in this film. “It” focused on two dads as issues to the kids. Both were abusive, both were drunks. I get it, the character arc is typical, but doing it twice in one movie? Come on now. At that point, they really are pushing us to side with the kids on everything. Overall, I was entertained by “It.” The movie works to do more than be a horror show, and I think that’s what’s most important. If you are looking for a good thrill to see one night, you won’t be disappointed by this. FINAL SCORE: 86%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: