HBOWatch Movie Review: “It”

Okay, so I don’t like clowns. When I was small, my mother took me to a circus and there happened to be clowns with balloons. We walked over and the clown asked if I wanted one. Of course! So the clown took a balloon, knelt down in front of me, and popped it in my face. Soooo, f*ck clowns.

My stance on clowns being firmly established, let’s take a peek at the trailer for the remake of Stephen King’s killer clown classic, It.

I don’t know much about horror movies, and not much about Stephen King’s works either, but I do know that killer clowns are bad news. In the 80s, the town of Derry begins to see another spike in missing people. Now I say another spike because Derry has a pattern of deaths and killings every 27 years. In the first volume of two, we are introduced to the Losers’ Club. A group of outcasts either by town gossip or being bullied, the Losers naturally end up drawn to each other.

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Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) is the older brother of a recent missing child, Georgie. He wants to find out what happened to his brother. Richie (Finn Wolfhard) is the jokester and funny guy with rather large glasses. Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) is a walking medical mishap waiting to happen. Stanley (Wyatt Oleff) is the young Jewish friend preparing for his future bar mitzvah. Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is the chubby new kid, who hits it off with the only female member of the club Beverly (Sophia Lillis), who is gossiped to be easy to sleep with. And lastly is Mike (Chosen Jacobs) who is homeschooled and falls into the club when the rest come to his aide when dealing with the town bully Henry (Nicholas Hamilton).

Each of these kids is dealing with pressure and fear of some kind in their lives. A monster lives in the town sewers that can change into what you fear most. In turn, we see the Loser club members encounter Pennywise and see what their fears are. Now, of course, some of the kids are perfectly happy to walk away from the situation. And they do try. But when Beverly gets taken into the sewers, the Losers know it is either go in after her or leave her to die? The group bands together and Pennywise falls away down another pipe. Knowing that this is only volume one of two, it’s curious to see how the story will continue.

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The film is visually stunning, and with Cary Joji Fukunaga involved it would be. You get that perfect taste of idyllic town with a rotting secret no one wants to actually investigate. I’m sure it’s pretty likely that with that many people, especially young people, going missing that police would have looked through every inch of the sewers. Did Pennywise stop any adults that get too close? I mean, if a cop suddenly went missing, I’m sure other cops would wonder where that person was last and go there. Eventually, I would think logic would get there but at least in this story not so much.

There are two very powerful aspects going on here and that is dealing with trauma and dealing with fear. All of these kids are dealing with trauma in some kind of way. Bullying for starters. Dead family members. Abuse at the hands of parents, a person a child is supposed to be able to trust completely. In many ways, these kids realize they have nowhere else to turn and they turn to Movies_IT02-300x150each other. Turning to each other and building those friendships is what helps each character towards their turning point which in turn helps them face their fears. Beverly is able to face Pennywise, in what would otherwise be an utterly pants-wetting situation for some, and she’s not afraid. She knows it, he knows it. Because anything that the clown can do to her is nothing compared to what she deals with at home. If it weren’t for the terrifying, homicidal clown, this would be a great movie message for kids. Friendships help you through a lot. In most cases, there’s just not a killer clown.

While I haven’t seen the original take on this tale with Tim Curry, I will say the CGI was not over the top then or now, which I was worried about. It was handled well here and since casting has been announced for the adult counterparts for the second volume, we can look forward to more clown action soon enough. Definitely worth a revisit to Pennywise for horror and King fans. While the book’s infamous child orgy scene is absent, modern sexualization is still plenty present. That scares me more than the clown, to be honest.

So Stephen King fans is it worth it? If this non-fan thinks so then surely you think this movie is quite good. Freel free to comment. 


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