Film Review : IT (2017)

Spoilers may be present but I tried not to go into much detail

We went to Vue cinema in Scunthorpe, to go see IT, everyone had been raving about IT and IT seemed to be advertised on TV quite often.

I hadn’t seen the first IT nor had I read the 1986 Stephen King novel it was based on. I didn’t want to watch the original 2 part adaptation because I had no clue what the story was about so I wanted to go into the film with that element of surprise. I liked that it was set in the late 80’s and they did this effectively in the film, I don’t think it would have worked as well if they had tried to modernise it too much.

I don’t ever seem to find horror films scary, mostly either funny or cheesy. I wouldn’t say IT was cheesy, but it did get a few laughs from the audience.

If you don’t know the story of IT then I’ll loosely explain that it is a horror tale about a town called Derry, every 27 years bad things happen (The children of the town mysteriously disappear).

The thing I found quite strange in the film was all these children were going missing but other than this group of kids it didn’t seem anyone else was that bothered.

The film gets into the action pretty quick with its first disappearance, with what I believe is an iconic moment in the film, a little boy sailing his paper boat down the sidewalk, which then falls into a drain. It’s not too much of a spoiler as this is the part you see on the advertisement. Along with the sinister repetition of “You look like a nice boy, I bet you have a lot of friends”.

As the young boy looks into the drain to retrieve his boat that his brother just so kindly waxed for him, he presented with a not so friendly face, the shapeshifter entity Pennywise the Clown or “IT”. I don’t find clowns scary in the slightest but for someone with a clown phobia I can imagine this could be quite terrifying and if it were real life actually being attacked by one then I’d imagine also quite traumatising.

So after this first sighting of Pennywise the dancing clown down the drain, the young boy has his limb bitten off by this freaky teeth clown and gets dragged down the drain never to be seen again.

The film skips forward a year and follows the young paper boat sailors brother (Billy) and his gang of outcast friends ( a familiar theme in a lot of films) the loser gang. To be honest the kids were brilliant at their screenplay, they were funny and they really made the film. Sort of a “Goonies” vibe from that gang.

So we go through the film, which in my opinion is a bit slow at times, more kids go missing, more missing posters panning out on the screen and the loser gang collecting a few more members along the way. Each child is forced to face their fears, with IT taking shape of their worst case scenarios. There appears to be a lot of underlying home issues for these kids and I do like this element of the film as you get to know the home life of each child a little more, in some cases the home life seems more sinister than the actual demon entity.

There are various encounters with Pennywise the clown, who to me personally was a bit like a bigger version of chucky. The actor playing him does it well though. The graphics were good and there were plenty of jumps throughout. I know I jumped a few times and that’s quite rare.

Is it as good as the old TV 2 part version? I couldn’t tell you. I’d say it’s maybe not as creepy as I find older horror productions that little more creepy at times.

As we reach towards the end of the film, there’s a few murders and a few more fears to face as the loser gang track Pennywise down to his residence in the town. What they find at his residence I’ll leave that for you to watch, but I did enjoy the kids all pitching in to try and beat Pennywise. They are some pretty brave kids if you ask me.

The film ends with a definite clue to there being a second chapter. In this chapter we left the gang in a field, clown free and happy, swearing an oath that if the clown ever came back, wherever they were they would come back to defeat it. I don’t think we will have to wait 27 years to see this though. It will be interesting to see how director Andy Muschietti deals with the story using the adult cast (the grown up loser gang).

Would I recommend this film?

Yeh, I’d say go see it. It’s not the best film you’ll ever see but it’s not bad.

If you are seriously afraid of blood, teeth and clowns then I’d advise against it.

Scunthorpe Nights Star Rating: ★★★

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