With August seeing a disappointing display of cinema both in a financial and artistic aspect, audiences were on their knees begging for something to quickly revive the big drop. This put even more pressure on IT (dir. By Andres Muschietti) than it already had.
However with terrific trailers and an equally amazing marketing campaign, I would have to say that this is the most unique and masterfully crafted adaptation that I have seen in quite some time.
A brilliant reimagining of a horror classic
This film really needs no introduction. If you don’t know the basic story at least then I would be very surprised because it’s such an iconic one but if you don’t know, the film follows a group of outcast, young kids that start being haunted and tormented by a mysterious clown which goes by the name, “Pennywise” or “It”.
The film handles the topic of missing children and bullying in such a mature and in your face way that I really respect the film more in that case. Children and their on screen interactions can be a challenge for a writer which is why Stephen King’s original novel, in my eyes was so iconic but the writers, actors and director really did a innovative job in making these kids authentic and so real. They put them in certain situations and they react and handle them very well.
Whereas the original 1990 adaptation was more focused on Pennywise, this adaptation is heavily focused on the children and they’re told in such an amazing way. Some more than others, I was disappointed to see other kids shine at a greater depth than other. It’s understandable, it’s not something that put me off the film at all but there were a few moments where I was thinking to myself that maybe another kid could say that line or have that moment but nevertheless, I thought everyone did an excellent job, especially Jack Dylan Grazer who plays Eddie. I just think seeing expressed emotion and the defined terror on his face was very well done particularly with someone at his age.
Technically sound and perfectly cast
With Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise all I can say is “Wow!”. What a role and what a result! You would think that some actors when put in a position that other actors have been in would put a competitive edge on the performance. In Skarsgard’s case, I’m talking about Tim Curry who played Pennywise in the 1990 adaptation but oh no, Skarsgard and the writers did an excellent job in creating a unique and riveting character.
If you think that Stranger Things was a great demonstration of how good child actors can be then you have another thing coming because it’s a very rare case indeed that a film all about kids is a very disturbing film at that. Disturbing in a visually horrifying sense which is such an incredible relief to see that true horror isn’t ready to hang up it’s jacket just yet.
In terms of the technical aspects, this film is still great. Arguably the lowest point of the film was the editing. It wasn’t all bad but there were a few moments where it was a little messy and confusing especially in the first act but despite this the film shines in the way it looks and how it sounds; the cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung is masterful, and the beautiful shots are complemented by a fitting score that haunts at points. There’s nothing groundbreaking about it but it still executes those areas in a phenomenal manner.
I was stunned by how this film ended. I left the film feeling a mass sense of satisfaction and terror to the point that this film deserves to be up there with some of the best adaptations of all time, maybe even in the top 3 in terms of horror adaptations and it gives me new found hope in the horror genre and how great it can be.
Words by Kieran Hunter