I finally got round to watching IT this week and I was pretty excited to watch it. I’ve never actually seen the original adaptation or read Stephen King’s book so I made sure to avoid all spoilers so I could really appreciate the film. I’d also heard lots about the film before I watched it, and we all know I don’t mix well with hype and end up not enjoying the film. However, I actually really liked IT and felt like it was so much more than just another horror film. It surprised me (and scared me!) in many ways.
This post will contain lots of spoilers so do not read if you haven’t seen either film or read the book. You have been warned!
I know I’ve already said this but I’m going to say it again: IT was so different from any horror film I’m used to seeing. I don’t tend to watch them because the plot only involves a killer and a bunch of flat characters. IT was a rich story full of characters that had interesting and in-depth back stories that allowed them to grow throughout the film. Each character had their own battle which united them against Pennywise later on. I also loved the ‘loser club’. The idea of a bunch of misfits taking on an evil force is always a favourite of mine and it was heart warming to see them save each other from their own problems as well as stopping the evil clown.
I was also surprised at the amount of dark and creepy moments throughout the film that didn’t involve Pennywise. The bullies were so intense and really violent, I felt truly terrified for the characters involved in their torment. The implied sexual assault was also very uncomfortable to watch; however, I thought these scenes were filmed so well because we as an audience didn’t need to see any violence to understand what was going on. The script was well written to highlight these moments and the actors really brought every emotion and situation to life.
It really wouldn’t be a review about IT if I didn’t mention Pennywise himself. As I said before, I didn’t know anything about the film so I was terrified by the opening sequence. My blogging notes just say ‘Pennywise OMG!!’ so that sums up how shocked I was! It set the tone for the film and left me on edge as I waited for the next appearance. Pennywise was extremely creepy and exactly why I imagine people have a phobia of clowns; Bill Skarsgård did a fantastic job of embodying this terrifying character. I loved how Pennywise played on peoples’ fears as psychological horrors are always more interesting, in my opinion. There were so many moments that had me leaning back in my chair waiting for another terrifying appearance or gruesome act from Pennywise.
Despite being thought of as a horror film, and delivering with many scary moments, IT was so much more. The film was fantastically funny and had me laughing out loud! I loved the character Richie Tozier, who was played by the Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, who captured the attitude of the typical young boy trying to look cool, providing lots of comic relief. In some moments I was even laughing whilst being terrified, which made for a unique viewing experience. There were also moving moments which almost had me shedding a tear (no surprise there!). I felt like I grew alongside the characters as they struggled to understand themselves and the mystery that plagued Derry.
I would definitely recommend watching IT in the cinema and I’m sure I’ll be watching the film again at some point. I was so invested in the characters and their difficult lives. The young actors really made this film and I’m so impressed with their acting skills, at such a young age and with some intense scenes! IT was creepy and haunting yet comical and moving all at the same time. I can’t wait for chapter two.