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MOVIE REVIEW: Director Andy Muschietti Gets “IT” Right!

 

 
Overview
 

Directed by: Andy Muschietti
 
Produced by: Seth Grahame-Smith, Barbara Muschietti, Dan Lin, Roy Lee, David Katzenberg
 
Written By: Stephen King, Cary Fukunaga, Chase Palmer, Gary Dauberman
 
Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wyatt Oleff
 
MTRCB Rating: R-13
 
Genre:
 
FG RATING
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
1 total rating

 

Raves


Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise is eerie, All of the kids of the Losers' Club gives an honest and fun performance, The scares can be both disturbing and entertaining, practical effects and CGI enhances the scares.

Rants


Some of the characters lacked any impact in the long run, tone shifting may be jarring to some


Stephen King is known to many as the master of horror but also a writer who embraces the reality its characters live in. For every Carrie and The Shining we would also have such stories as Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption to even out his plethora of stories. In the newest adaptation of ‘IT’ Director Andy Muschietti found a way to glue both of King’s stronger elements together to bring a honest and heartfelt coming-of-age story and a terrifying horror film. Giving justice to the monstrous feats of Pennywise the Clown and also breathing life to the children of the Losers Club as well.

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Posted September 8, 2017 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

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Stephen King’s novels have inspired many writers and directors (… And big corporate studios that wants to cash in on the success of his books) to try their hand into putting his vision from words on pieces of paper to a live-action spectacle. Whether good or bad, the translation of of Stephen King’s striking style is quite effective when put into live-action. In this rollercoaster ride, the adaptation of Stephen King’s IT is captured quite effectively by Mama director, Andy Muschietti. A film something for the sentimental movie-goer who is also in it for the scares as well.

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Photos by Warner Bros. Pictures Philippines

Plot Summary:

Stephen King’s IT follows a group of young social outcasts in Derry, Maine who call themselves The Losers’ Club. In the summer of 1989, there has been a large spike on violent child killings. Behind the machinations of this crime is a supernatural shapeshifting clown known as Pennywise – the creature who preys on the fears of children. Once the kids realize that they have been seeing the same clown, they band together to put an end to its horrors.

 

The biggest difference this film made from the 1990 miniseries was how they divided two halves of the book: one which tells the stories of The Losers’ Club fighting Pennywise as kids and another which takes place 27 years later. That’s one way of making a franchise – without making shit up for a forced trilogy that would make the author squirm.

It4With this remake, it is actually a pretty good half and half; one being a heartfelt coming-of-age film and the other being a full-on no holds barred horror movie. You get to know most of the kids and what they’re like. As much as I want to say that they got IT right just for the joke, It’s been ages since I’ve dropped the book halfway when I was in High School. However, I do remember the themes that stuck out with these kids: overcoming childhood trauma and camaraderie, themes that were evident in this newest adaptation.

While the film may be Rated R-13- or R-18 depending where you live, it does exemplify itself to its adult audience as this timely idea that grief and trauma can be confronted with the cooperation of others. And then we have the horror side of the movie and…. Boy, where do I begin? Then again, I don’t think I have the words to perfectly describe what I have witnessed other than the fact that they’re fun to experience in the theater with a good crowd. Surprisingly, they give him a lot of time to shine; you’d think like in every modern horror movie we would just wait for him to pop up in the next 30 minutes while they give us filler scenes with the humans since they’re out of budget – NO! This dude works almost around the clock and his scare tactics escalates in every scene he appears in. He chases the kids with their greatest fears one-by-one, leading to an intense revelation scene through a film screen.

Photo Property of Entertainment Weekly and Warner Bros. Pictures

Photo Property of Entertainment Weekly and Warner Bros. Pictures

The film has a pretty big ensemble so they have a lot of stories to work with here. Like I said, they do give a huge chunk of the movie dedicated to the kids themselves. These aren’t really the most innocent kids you’d see from a PG-13 horror movie: we get to  know the kids through their lingo, their friendship and their individuality rather than defining them on their fears. Though this is really Bev, Ben, and Billy’s show, there are scene stealers among them like the faux asthmatic Eddie and the loudmouth Richie. This is a minor flaw but at some point there are characters that end up being “kinda there” overtime to a point where you mix some of them up. You’d find yourself going “who’s that kid again? The Jewish one right?”. You wouldn’t see Chosen Jacobs’ Mike for a while until it was convenient for the plot to say that he and the rest of the Losers’ Club should meet and how they gave the token Stephen King bully this throwaway miniscule arc.

IT didn’t shy away from being both downright disturbing or going insane with the visuals which gives Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise a lot to work with. Skarsgard’s Pennywise performance gives him more of an inhuman feel to the character which adds a disturbing element right to how he puts a deathly stare and a creepy voice. This isn’t a Pennywise who exclaims “I’M GONNA KILL YA” every time he pops up; this Pennywise would screw with the kids’ minds before he jumps in for the kill. He wasn’t the “HAHA funny” type of clown like Curry’s but more of “HAHA nope” the moment you see him and then you run like a bitch (with high pitched screeches from the writer himself). For the book fans, there are scares in the movie that are updated if not entirely new. But it would make you think “King definitely would have imagined it that way. Then again that could be said on most of the changes they did for this film – either way in the heart of it all is pure Stephen King.

Verdict:

Stephen King is known to many as the master of horror but also a writer who embraces the reality its characters live in. For every Carrie and The Shining we would also have such stories as Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption to even out his plethora of stories. In the newest adaptation of ‘IT’ Director Andy Muschietti found a way to glue both of King’s stronger elements together to bring a honest and heartfelt coming-of-age story and a terrifying horror film. Giving justice to the monstrous feats of Pennywise the Clown and also breathing life to the children of the Losers Club as well.

Stephen King’s “It” is distributed locally by Warner Bros. Philippines now in theaters nationwide.


GP Manalo

 
G.P. Manalo is a student by day, and a resident tortured writer by night. Writing to keep him sane from all the Business School papers and presentations piling up each week.


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