Stephen King's IT (2017) Review

IT (2017) Movie Review

It finally came to TV, HBO to be exact and I finally got to see what It, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, was all about. The film got a 7.4 on IMDb, 85% on the Rotten Tomatoes score and to be honest, it was a good, fun horror/ghost/demon flick that just may have run on a little too long for the story it was telling.

It's directed by Andy Muschietti, whose other directing credit includes Mama (2013) (pretty good creepy film in itself).

"It is a movie starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, Jaeden Lieberher, and Finn Wolfhard. In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shapeshifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town."

The film starts out with a young boy losing his toy boat down a rain drain and encountering Pennywise, the demon clown. After a short conversation, Pennywise convinces the boy to reach down into the drain to take his boat back, but as you might guess, It sucks the kid down into the drain.

I call it a clown, but it's just a demon who takes on various forms in the movie, the clown being the most prominent of it's disguises.  OK, maybe not a disguise.

The clown turns to tormenting other kids in the town, to feed on their fear, but as the kids start to experience their own traumas, they one day talk among themselves, sharing their experiences and realize they're being played. From that point on the kids are not really afraid of this clown and go to confront it in its home or where it tends to hang out.

Sorry.. I would have run for the hills with some of the stuff this thing was pulling off, and if you have issues with clowns, this version will cement your trauma nicely. Way too nicely.

But...

It has a great story, a fully fleshed out backstory in the opening act, the middle act shows our cast coming to grips with their own issues and the third act, the kids confronting their fears.

But to be honest, clocking in at 135 minutes, I think some more footage could have been left on the editing room floor to make the film run under 2 hours and still have a good story to tell. But you can't say the story was not fully fleshed out! That's for sure.

I've always said that Stephen King comes up with great stories. He's good at the short story format, but when he writes full length books and films, his endings tend to flounder for me and ruin the experience. A great example is the original book version of It, after the kids finished confronting the clown, instead of ending it there, King derives an idea to have all the kids in the story get lost in the caverns where they confronted the clown, then all of them will have sex with the one girl in the group, to help them find their way out of the caverns.

Yea... things like that, that completely ruin a good story up to that point. And no, they did not include that idiocy in the film.

In the film, as the kids face off against It, it felt like the filmmaker or King tried to flesh out a lot of battle-the-demon tropes in the final confrontation because it felt very long and drawn out, like other parts of the film.

But if you don't mind highly detailed or overly explained situations or things that don't really mean something to the story but aren't bad additions to get sucked in by, then you should be just fine. But I know if I had gone to see it in the theaters, I would have been squirming in my seat, wondering when it would end.

Anyway, good story, runs on long, but done well.

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Below are links to King's explanation/excuse about that teen sex scene in the end of the book. I mean sure, we're lost, let's have sex to help us find our way out! Sigh.

vulture.com/stephen-king-statement-on-child-sex-in-novel
ew.com/it-movie-sex-scene/


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