Review: IT (2017)

With the announcement of It Chapter 2 being released next year (September 6, 2019, if you haven’t heard), it’s only fair that I review ‘It Chapter 1’.

Don’t think I haven’t noticed that every remake now has been doing this amazing thing where they don’t change the story but make the graphics and cinematic points better. They did it with ‘Disaster Artist’ and ‘The Room’, and they did it very well with IT. Angles and scenes stick to the 1990 adaption, only a bit darker when it comes to mis-en-scene because that is the nature of horror films in our day and age. Either way, cinematography wise, it sticks to the original adaption as much as it could. What the contemporary age has to add to this film is better CGI and tools to help push forward the film to look more realistic, so it’s not just costuming that adds to the horror, but also the devices that can add to it.

One of my favourite scenes is the ‘projector scene’, where Pennywise pops out of the screen to terrify the kids in the garage. It starts of with a typical 90s kind of beauty, where it’s extremely out of place you can tell it’s fake, like a toy in the middle of reality. What turns it into a horrifying scene is the CGI which brings some life into Pennywise’s face, and turns him from a ‘toy’ into a real monster.

IT sticks to the stereotypes of its original dates, and Stephen King can only be so proud of how far his book has come. We see the discriminations, the outsiders, the assaults, the lies and the truths. Each child is a representation of a fear that relates to different people. It also gives something for everyone to relate to in their younger years – that parents are the enemy – but it feeds into the deception that can make adults who watch this film question their own upbringing.

Kids are always the future of any generation – don’t talk to me about this generation because I’ve already given up on them – and to see these kids work together and make a pact to overcome their fear, bring themselves together and find their own truths can only lead to a better future.

I finally understand why people from my mother’s generation hated clowns. It’s because of this movie. Although, I will admit, I have some weird admiration for Pennywise. Don’t ask, just accept it.

Now, IT is a great film to example ‘show and not tell’ when it’s not in a book. Everything is insinuated through picture, when it comes to relationships, fears, and understanding of history to move the plot forward. It’s not hard to get insight into these characters because of what is shown. For example, when Eddie gets his cast signed by one of the bullies at his high school, what we are left with is just a close up of her face as she signs it and Eddie’s smile turning into a frown. It’s only later that we see his cast say ‘LOSER’ with a red ‘V’ over the ‘S’ to turn it into ‘LOVER’.

IT is a great mix of old and new, and I honestly cannot wait for Chapter 2 – especially seeing as the cast looks perfect and I can’t help but hope that we get more insight into the origins of Pennywise, figuring out why he comes by every 27 years, as well as what makes these kids come back to ‘fight’ him after the ending of IT Chapter 1. What actually happens to Pennywise after he’s down the well?

Until then, I shall float in rewatching this film over and over again. And perhaps, you’ll float too.

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