STARRING: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff.
DIRECTOR: Andy Muschietti
WRITER: Screenplay by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga
GENRE: Drama, Horror, Thriller
OVERALL RATING: ****/ 4 out of 5 STARS
In a time where it seems that the world is falling apart and governments are on the brink of war, I thought I would take a break from reality and do a comparative analysis on IT (1990) and IT (2017). After watching both movies, just days apart, I realized that there is no comparison. It would be like comparing apples and oranges. What was considered passable effects and performances in 1990 would be laughed out of a theater today.
Both films follow the general plot based on the novel, which focuses on a group of kids that take a stand against a malevolent being that has devoured their town. They include a hefty slice of symbolism about dealing with facing your fears and standing up for what is right, even in the most trying of times.
The one main element that holds true from old to new is the bullying and abuse. Each kid in both films have bullies that torment them nearly every day. Whether it is Bill’s (Jaeden Lieberher 2017, Jonathan Brandis 1990) stutter or recent loss, to Eddie’s (Jack Dylan Grazer 2017, Adam Faraizl 1990) domineering, overprotective mother, these children face obstacles in life that no one should have to endure.
I went in to view the revival of the heinous clown affectionately known as Pennywise with miniscule expectations. I have seen the trailers prior to the viewing and thought that the reinvention of Pennywise the clown was redundant, and that the performance by Tim Curry, the original Pennywise, could not be topped. As a Leo, I hate being wrong, yet I have no begrudgement in admitting, this one time, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Just as many thought Jack Nicholson’s Joker couldn’t be topped until Heath Ledger donned the appropriate clown makeup, the same applied to this situation. This is a Pennywise for the generations. Creepy and yet somehow slightly alluring. The entire time he is creeping you out, you almost want to go to his “circus” and see what all this “floating” is about.
As some reviewers have complained about the CGI in the current film, they may not realize what goes into making a film for the high-def 4k generation. Practical effects are no longer practical for what the film’s creators were trying to accomplish.
The CGI in this film was fitting, and done exceptionally well, which leads us to jump scares. They are becoming an indolent attempt to make up for a weak story and poor character development, in most cases. This film employs the technique masterfully, blending it into the overall feel of the film.
The films have the traditional dark atmospheric feel that draws the viewer in and makes them feel as if they are one of the “Losers Club”, minus the negative connotations. The cinematography brought you into the town of Derry, and made the town a character as important as the rest. The director, Andy Muschietti (Mama 2013), drew the performances needed from the cast to create an experience that will not be easy to forget.
See it before it “floats” away.
Review by Lee Frazier