You'll float, too.
It (also known as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 coming-of-age supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman, produced by New Line Cinema, Lin Pictures, Vertigo Entertainment, and KatzSmith Productions, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is based off of Stephen King's 1986 novel, It. It stars Bill Skarsgård and Jaeden Martell. This is the second entry in the It franchise, though the first in the Warner Bros. It franchise. It was preceded by Stephen King's IT and followed by It: Chapter Two. A prequel series titled Welcome to Derry is in development.
"We all float down here." - Pennywise the Dancing Clown
After Bill Denbrough's brother mysteriously disappears, the seven members of the Losers Club begin experiencing strange and horrifying things all centered around one evil clown. When the horrors don't stop, the Losers Club band together to stop It from terrorizing Derry again.
My Favorite Part of It
This movie is one of the most impressive horror films of the century. It balances a relatively large cast of characters, making all of them memorable. Our heroes are compelling and likable and are juxtaposed by the terrifying threat that Pennywise poses. This movie has it all: it's entertaining, it's heartfelt, it's exciting, and it is frickin' scary. That's what makes it impressive. Horror films are so often one-note, and It is anything but that. This film takes Stephen King's gigantic novel and crafts a compelling narrative that is faithful to the classic source material by combining horror and coming-of-age drama. It truly feels like Stand by Me with a really scary clown filter over it.
My Least Favorite Part of It
The thing that always gets me with this movie is the pacing. The book jumps back and forth between the main characters as kids and them as adults. That aspect of the book doesn't really work for me, so I like that Warner Bros. decided to split this story up into two films and tell a linear story. However, splitting it up totally rocks the pacing of this thing. There are chunks of this film where Pennywise just disappears for twenty, twenty-five minutes. That makes it feel really, really uneven, because the teenage drama and horror doesn't blend as well when the movie isn't paced great. It really frustrates me, because this movie is really good, but it doesn't flow as well as it should, and that always pulls me out of the story.
Why I Like It
As a horror fan, it's really hard to dislike this movie. Bill Skarsgård brings Stephen King's nightmare-fuel antagonist to life in a more terrifying way than I could've ever imagined, and that works in the film's favor. The Losers Club is a great cast of characters that all have nuance and things about them that stick out. Pacing errors definitely take away from this movie, but the storytelling and horror are spot on here, so I do really, really enjoy this film.
The Horror Evaluation
It is a tale of two sides when it comes to this section. On the one hand...Pennywise is one of the greatest horror movie villains ever. He solidified this strange fear of clowns that everyone has. Georgie's death in the opening is also one of the iconic, iconic horror movie scenes. However, this film just doesn't do a great job of blending the horror and coming-of-age well. I like that both aspects are in the movie. But they don't mesh as well as they should. Because of that, I can't go top tier on It.
I will still give It a Beautiful Bloodbath.
THE SPOOKY SCALE
This is God (Top Tier Horror)
Beautiful Bloodbath (Great Horror)
Decently Dreary (Good Horror)
A Stab in the Gut (Bad Horror)
Hellish Experience (Terrible Horror)
Scare Factor: 8/10
Kills and Gore: 8/10
Final Thoughts and Score
It benefits from great characters and a compelling story. Despite pacing issues, Pennywise's feature film debut is a scary, memorable, and entertaining experience.
I will go Savory here. Age range is 13+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 7.5/10
Directed by Andy Muschietti
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, frightening themes and images, suggestive material, thematic elements
Released on September 8, 2017
2 hours and 15 minutes
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown
Jaeden Martell as Bill Denbrough
Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh
Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom
Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier
Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak
Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon
Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris
Nicholas Hamilton as Henry Bowers
Jackson Robert Scott as Georgie Denbrough
Owen Teague as Patrick Hockstetter