My Favorite Movies #96 – It

So we’re clear, this is the recent, theatrical version of It, not the 1990 made-for-TV version. Sure, that movie terrified me as a child, but it’s almost laughable to watch it now. Its only saving grace is Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise.

It

2017

Directed by Andy Muschietti

Netflix says… The horror thriller “IT”, directed by Andrés Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids is faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

  • Full disclosure before we begin… I’m terrified of clowns. That is all.
  • Guys, even the opening titles showing of the studio logos is terrifying. The music… the distorted laughter of children… the haunting piano music…
  • Seriously, a minute fifteen in and I’m thinking of quitting.
  • You really want to feel sorry for Georgie. I mean, even if you’ve never seen either adaptation or read Stephen King’s original novel, you just know this kid is doomed.
  • I know you can say this about a lot of horror movies, but the use of sound and music in this thing can really keep a viewer on edge.
  • Also… there’s a demon clown that eats children.
  • Personally, I believe the kid playing Georgie in this version is a much better child actor than the kid that played Georgie in 1990.
  • The paper boat goes down the drain. “Bill’s gonna kill me!”
  • No… the clown in the drain is gonna kill you.
  • Speaking of the clown… I’m glad that Bill Skarsgård was able to play Pennywise with his own spin instead of trying to copy what Tim Curry did.
  • It’s great how Its eyes change color when Its about to feed.
  • It’s great how the grown-ups in Derry are ignorant of what’s going on.
  • All right… Georgie’s gone. Now it’s time to feel sorry for the other kids. All of them getting picked on during the last day of school…
  • Man… Henry Bowers… he might be worse than the clown. I mean, he’s just a regular kid.
  • Sure, he’s a kid with a jacked up family life which causes him to lash out as a bully in town. Way scarier and way more realistic than a fear entity that takes the form of whatever scares you the most.
  • Billy can’t give up hope that George is alive. His dad, however, shows us a little more of the town’s willingness to just accept that crap happens in Derry.
  • Mike Hanlon is a criminally underused character in this movie, considering the enormous role he had in the previous version and (from what I understand) in the book.
  • Here’s hoping his role is greatly expanded in the sequel.
  • But we do get to see his fear is one of being trapped in a burning building.
  • Stanley is afraid of the creepy painting in his father’s office.
  • And who wouldn’t be, by the way. That is a supremely creepy painting.
  • As the boys gather supplies at Eddie’s house, we get a glimpse of what’s on TV. Looks like a creepy kids’ show.
  • Ben’s hanging out in the library.
  • What’s the deal with the creepy lady in the background that turns and just stares at him while he looks through a Derry history book?
  • And, Ben, why are you following a red balloon into unknown parts of the library?
  • Rule of thumb: when you see a balloon floating off by itself, DO NOT FOLLOW IT!
  • Because that leads to seeing headless Easter Egg Hunt explosion victims and being eaten by clowns!
  • Oh, good… It’s Henry and his gang. They ambush Ben as he leaves the library.
  • Henry begins to carve his name into Ben’s stomach. When a car drives by and doesn’t bother to stop. The red balloon in the back window is a dead giveaway that they’re part of Its infection in Derry.
  • Ben manages to get away. Henry freaks out over losing his knife. And he sends a couple of his goons to look for Ben.
  • Ben winds up where the other guys are looking around the sewer for clues to George’s disappearance.
  • Henry’s goon, Patrick Hockstetter, heads into the sewer looking for Ben. Instead, he finds Pennywise. And is summarily eaten.
  • The guys take Ben to the pharmacy to get supplies to bandage him up.
  • They run into Beverly there, who distracts Mr. Keene so the guys can shoplift.
  • BTW… Mr. Keene is super inappropriate when interacting with Beverly.
  • So is her dad, once we see him at home. Like, horrifyingly, disturbingly inappropriate.
  • With the adaptation, they’re never explicit about what kind of relationship her father has with her, but it is extremely implied.
  • She’s upset by her brief interaction with her dad. So she cuts off all her hair and washes it down the bathroom sink.
  • The next day, Beverly joins all the guys (minus Mike… remember, criminally underused) at the quarry to go swimming.
  • One last hurrah before the real horror begins.
  • Interesting little love triangle between Bill, Bev, and Ben…
  • Ben has discovered, in his research, that lots of people disappear in Derry. Six times the national average.
  • He takes the gang to his house and shows them the research he’s collected.
  • Ben reveals that the 91 original Derry settlers vanished without a trace.
  • Maybe that’s what happened to the Roanoke Island colonists?
  • Eddie heads home, and we get to see his worst fear. As a hypochondriac, it’s not hard to understand why it would be a diseased leper.
  • The leper chases him to the back of a creepy old house.
  • As Eddie gets away, the leper is gone. Pennywise is there.
  • He likes to remind the kids that they all float…
  • Beverly gets home and discovers a postcard with a poem that Ben wrote for her. But she doesn’t know it’s Ben that wrote it.
  • She reads the postcard in the bathroom (the only room where she can find privacy from her father).
  • While in the bathroom, she begins hearing the voices of the missing kids coming from the sink drain. They also tell her that they all float down there.
  • She goes to get her dad’s tape measure. What that will accomplish, I’m not sure.
  • When I hear voices coming from the bathroom sink, I run away. And then I burn the house down for good measure.
  • Of course, her hair makes a comeback. As does an eruption of blood from the drain.
  • When she screams, her dad bursts in. He doesn’t see the blood covering literally everything in the bathroom.
  • Over at Bill’s, he’s awoken by water dripping from his ceiling. He goes to get a bucket, but instead sees Georgie running throughout the house.
  • Always good for a jump scare, little George.
  • Again, I question the logic in following phantom children into creepy basements…
  • And here comes the scene that’s going to keep me from going downstairs to use the bathroom when I wake up at 3:00 a.m.
  • Yeah, it’s the part where the clown chases after Bill as he runs up the basement stairs. That’s what I’ll be thinking about as I climb the stairs back to my room in the attic…
  • The next day, Beverly invites the guys over and they help her clean up the blood in the bathroom.
  • This is where they were able to work in the classic 80s montage.
  • Beverly figures out that Bill didn’t give her the poem. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t like her, though.
  • As they all leave Bev’s, they discuss what they’ve seen. Only Richie hasn’t had an encounter.
  • They hear Henry and his goons beating up Mike, so they go to help him.
  • Mike sees Pennywise in the distance as he’s being beaten.
  • The Losers all start throwing rocks and Henry and his goons. The Losers win.
  • More of the research comes to light. Ben figures these things happen every 27 years.
  • Mike adds that his grandpa believes the town is cursed. All the bad things that have happened over the years are caused by one thing.
  • Stanley refuses to believe that any of it is real.
  • Y’all, this post is already way too long and, by my calculations, I’ve still got a little more than an hour left in the movie.
  • Tell you what, I won’t be as detailed in my thoughts for the last hour as I was for the first hour.
  • Creepy things happen. They go to the creepy house after figuring out that’s where It hangs out.
  • It attacks. The kids fight back. It goes down a well.
  • Then the kids all split up. The friendships aren’t over, but they’ve taken a hit.
  • A month later, we finally see exactly why Henry is the way he is.
  • It returns Henry’s missing switchblade to him. And that TV show that’s hypnotized the town convinces Henry to kill his dad.
  • And then convinces him to go after the Losers.
  • Bev confronts her father and then gets abducted by Pennywise.
  • It’s setting a trap for the others. Beverly is the bait.
  • They get back together and follow It down the well to save her.
  • Henry tries to kill Mike, but Mike manages to throw Henry down the well. We can probably assume Henry’s dead.
  • Alone, Beverly stands up to Pennywise, letting It know she’s not afraid. So It immobilizes her with It’s Deadlights.
  • Once the others get to where she is, they’re all able to stand up to It. They’re not afraid anymore.
  • Without their fear to feed on, It has no power over them.
  • And then It dies.
  • Or does It?

Sorry this post was so freakin’ long. If you made it all the way to the end, congratulations. You’ve got a longer attention span than I probably would have if I were simply reading this and not watching the movie along with it. I’ll try to keep it shorter next week when I get to #95 – Star Trek: First Contact.

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