IT (2017) – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Stephen King

IT

IT gets moving quite early on, beginning in October 1988, with introducing Pennywise the dancing clown (Bill Skarsgård) into the proceedings as he meets young Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott) shortly after his paper boat heads down into the sewer and he’d rather like it back. Well, he can have it, but there’s a price to be paid…

I haven’t seen the original TV miniseries with Tim Curry in the role of Pennywise, so as I was lax with that, I have left watching it before I knew this was due out, since there’s no point, effectively, watching the same thing twice in quick succession.

We fast forward to next June, and his brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher Midnight Special) is still looking for ways to get the lad back as he refuses to give up, and heads out with his friends including the token overweight lad, Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), and the token mislabelled sl -ut, Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis)… in fact, a cast made up with set of stereotypes (kid with glasses, violent bully and others who I’ve all forgotten in this overlong movie) shows a lack of thought on the screenwriters, even if they are just adapting an original work. Surely some things should be updated? I understand some changes have been made, but I don’t want to know too much about the original as I might now go back and watch it.

Back to the plot, though, and before the plot we see in the movie begins, a girl called Betty Ripsom had already gone missing, and as is explained, the clown comes back to town for one year, every 27 years. Why? Well, that was never explained.

Without giving spoilers, I will add that at the end it says: “IT… Chapter One”, which I knew beforehand was the case as Chapter Two will come in due course, looking at those who have returned to Derry as adults, which I understand is part of the original TV series, but then Hollywood wants to make an extra buck out of this, especially since the first chapter has taken a ton already, and shot straight to No.1… not that there’s too much competition at the moment.


Pennywise the Dancing Clown has a red balloon for you…


As it’s the ’80s, there are freaky haircuts aplenty, and some good things about this, the movie really gets across that ’80s feel, even coming across like one that was *made* in that decade, which added to the period setting.

However, there are downsides. IT features lots of ‘jump scares’ which just weren’t scary, such as doors closing by themselves, with myself only getting surprised once in the whole 135 minutes by this. In addition, it was very slow moving, and it felt quite tired, as a lot of the things were elements we’ve seen in horror all too often. Plus, I missed some of the dialogue from the kids as they all talk way too fast.

There’s also the age-old trope of kids being harrassed by crappy parents, although the bully’s father did make a very valid point outside while he was with his friends, but I’ll leave you to discover that one.

For a final moan, at no point was Pennywise’s appearances surprising. You would know that he would just reappear every now and again, and always when not a lot was happening. There were some decent fights between him and the protagonists, though.

That said, some of the gross-out moments were pretty good.

As the poster states, for those caught by Pennywise, “You’ll float too”, which should really have a comma in there, but either way, this statement will become clear as you watch the film, since I certainly didn’t want to get any spoilers beforehand, other than the floating balloon on it.


Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and Bev (Sophia Lillis) want to get to the bottom of the mystery…


Let’s have a moan about certain people who complain to Points of View regarding this film. I couldn’t believe this happened about the clip shown on BBC Breakfast during The Film Review at 6.25am on the weekend of release, showing the opening meeting between Georgie and Pennywise. It never showed the FULL scene – at which point I would expect a problem.

One man complained how he was making breakfast while his daughter watched the TV… at 6.25am?!! Who’s up at that time??

As for the clip, there was nothing scary in what they showed, unless you’re scared of clowns, and then ANY advert for IT would’ve scared you.

And since The Film Review is recorded live in one take, or done later ‘as live’ (if there’s a breaking news story at 5.45pm on the Friday), editing is difficult, so they’ll use clips that can be shown at any time, generally. I haven’t seen It Follows yet, but I remember they showed a clip and I first saw it at 6.25am as I was going to work, and they showed a tiny clip of someone walking along towards someone else, and then it cut back to Mark. Made no sense as a clip. I later saw it again on the iPlayer and saw the version they showed at 5.45pm which I’d missed, and it showed the person in the chair and a bit of why they were scared, so it filled things in a bit more. Again, not gory, but a bit scary for early morning.

In summary for this film, though… Overall, I was never bored, but at the same time, I was never impressed. The whole thing really fell between two stools.

IT is available to pre-order on Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray, Amazon Prime and DVD, and click on the poster for the full-size version.

In the meantime, you can also buy the 1990 Tim Curry miniseries on Blu-ray, Amazon Prime and DVD.


Boo!


Detailed specs:

Cert:
Running time: 135 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Cinema: Odeon, Trafford Centre
Year: 2017
Format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Released: September 8th 2017
Rating: 5/10

Director: Andy Muschietti
Producers: Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg, Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Barbara Muschietti
Screenplay: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman (based on the novel by Stephen King)
Music: Benjamin Wallfisch

Cast:
Bill Denbrough: Jaeden Lieberher
Ben Hanscom: Jeremy Ray Taylor
Beverly Marsh: Sophia Lillis
Richie Tozier: Finn Wolfhard
Mike Hanlon: Chosen Jacobs
Eddie Kaspbrak: Jack Dylan Grazer
Stanley Uris: Wyatt Oleff
Pennywise: Bill Skarsgård
Henry Bowers: Nicholas Hamilton
Belch Huggins: Jake Sim
Victor Criss: Logan Thompson
Patrick Hockstetter: Owen Teague
Georgie Denbrough: Jackson Robert Scott
Mr. Marsh: Stephen Bogaert
Officer Bowers: Stuart Hughes

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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