Finally, I have seen IT.
As in Stephen King’s magnificent 1300 page book adapted into part one of (what i hope will be) a two part series.
I’ve been looking forward to this since I saw the trailer for it which fair shit me up I can tell you. I’m a big, nay, huge fan of the book itself and loved the miniseries that came along in the 90’s. Although it’s fair to say while that was more faithful to the source material, it didn’t always work to its credit. Giant Spider anyone? Battery Acid you slime?
Tim Curry obviously was the highlight of that adaptation, and while Bill Skarsgård did a pretty good job it didn’t quite work for me the same. That said, I was a LOT younger the first time I saw the last one, amplified by the fact that when I saw Bill’s house in this one my first question was “what the fuck does this kids parents DO for a living?”
Anyway, old man comments aside I felt the jumps and scare in this didn’t do anything for me at all. Pennywise was very good but the child-like clown that Andy Muschietti felt would be more terrifying didn’t quite cut it. I’m sure there’s a very large group of people out there who feel differently and are now wearing different trousers to the ones they were wearing when they went into the cinema.
It wasn’t entirely without surprises though, the bit with the slideshow (if/when you see it, you know) actually made me gasp out loud. Fortunately (depending how you look at it) I was in the cinema on my own. An entire screening void of people. Great in my mind, saved me looking fucking stupid when I jumped even though i only did it once.
The other sections where Pennywise appears to the kids were all pretty rote, even when they changed it from the source material. In this case, I will defend that as familiarity breed contempt etc…but it still wasn’t very suprising. Did the music drop out? Get ready for a jump shock.
I’m sure that if you aren’t familiar with the source or previous version, then straight from the off you would have been wondering which kids made it, and which didn’t so I take no issue with the frights except for the musical precursor which plagues every horror film I’ve ever seen (except IT Follows, which also made me jump once, but what a once!).
The kids then. Superb casting all round! I mean absolutely believable group of about-to-be teenagers. I think Bev (Sophia Lillis) wins out, but I think in part that was that she had more to work with as her character was fantastically rounded out. The others were almost Breakfast Club-esque sterotypes. That’s not a slight, it’s an easy way in to a very crowded cast. I feel slightly bad that Mikey and Stan got reduced time, but again, a crowded film has to have some give. Did make Mikey seem like almost an extra though.
I think second place is a tie between Eddie Kaspbrak and Richie Tozier, as you could immediately spot those characters a mile off. Hell, even in the trailer I could see them.
Some fantastic nods to the source where they could as well for the Constant Readers out there, quite often were emblazoned on Richie’s T-shirts (Tracker Brothers), the Turtle, the Black Spot, The Kitchener Ironworks Easter Egg hunt and even though they didn’t do the character any justice at all, they managed to find room for a personal favourite minor villain of mine – Patrick Hockstetter. Horrible bastard. (Good acting though!)
I should probably work towards a wrap up now though. So hmm..final thoughts….I dunno. It was good, and a different take to the previous which was good also. Felt more like I said in the title though, the Goonies take on a different franchise.
When the sequel hits (and it will, but to the company’s credit, they assumed nothing, and didn’t green light it until this one hit the screens) I would like to see more of the deeper background of IT and the rituals of Chud etc. Doubt I’ll get it, but I guess that’s ok. I didn’t get everything I wanted this time but still enjoyed IT.
I’m sorry folks, but I need to end this on a pun. My Rating?
eIght out of Ten.
P.S – How obsessed is this director with teeth? Fucking everything had 8x the teeth it should have!