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It (2017)

Tags: film story kid
I'd be lying if I said It was one of my most anticipated films of the year. It just wasn't. I guess it's because I never saw the 1990s mini-series and I find clowns pretty stupid. Also, I didn't read Stephen King's novel up until recently. Reading that great book, however, made me interested in seeing it, especially when all the people I (virtually) know were saying what a great movie it was. That of course created some expectations Andy Muschietti's film wasn't able to meet, and instead of being happy and frightened, I left the movie theatre pretty unhappy and bored.

What I liked the most about King's novel was the non-linear Story. The story, dipping in and out of the past and the present, was a puzzle slowly coming together which made it more interesting. I get that the writers didn't want the audience to know the fate of the kids while they still were kids, and it makes sense, but it took away from the story. 

As you probably know, it revolves around the town of Derry, Maine, where every 27 years bad things happen, from fatal accidents to (and especially) kids disappearing. It's now 1989 and a group of kids decide to face the evil responsible for these tragedies, Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård), while also dealing with some bullied that are making their lives impossible.

It starts off pretty well. The opening scene is spectacular, to be honest. It is dark, tense and the atmosphere set up through photography and score is amazing. After that, I'm still trying to understand what happened. The story doesn't flow smoothly at all; it goes from dick-joke scene to here's-how-this-kid-first-met-Pennywise scene, and before the scene reaches its potential of being scary, the story goes back on the kids having fun.


Which brings me to the next point, the film relies more on comedy than horror, a comedy that didn't really work for me. The atmosphere is pretty much gone 5 minutes in and the film just isn't scary. There are some jump scares here and there but nothing more.

The fate of the characters was even worse. Although each kid of the Losers Club manages to stand out thanks to their distinct personalities (not Mike though, his character is completely missing here and since Ben took his role of history buff, he doesn't have an important role in the story anymore), the development is terrible just like their backstories. Actually, not all the The other characters are equally bad, especially Henry Bowers who wants to kill the losers right from the beginning for no reason whatsoever.  Also, the themes of womanhood and sexuality that Bev's character brought to the book are nowhere to be found in this film.

But let's now look on the bright side because there is one. Part of it is Pennywise's defeat. Instead of doing a ritual and using psych powers to defeat the clown, they rely on physical strength meaning that the final battle is way more action-packed. And it works because of the tedious nature of the film. Also, this way that controversial sex scene was left out. It did have a meaning in the book (it was a connection from childhood to adulthood) but it would have surely got lost in the film.

The other great thing about It is Pennywise. While the character isn't that great, Bill Skarsgård was able to be creepy and disturbing while the film clearly was trying to be humorous. He was by far the best part of the film which kind of made me want to root for him.



This post first appeared on A Film A Day, please read the originial post: here

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