Suspense Saturday: It (2017)

 

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Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise

Suspense Saturday: It (2017)

Three times I have sat in a movie theatre, laughing and jumping with each joke and scare. A horror movie fan since a young age I have devoured several of them, old and new, gore and psychological over the course of my young life. Some I have watched for therapeutic reasons, some to be entertained and others for the story. It (2017) manages to fall into all of those categories for me. With a coming of age story at its helm, the deaths of bully’s and the talent it took to make this film, It surpasses many other horror films and as it ages it will be deemed a classic of the genre.

When it comes around to purchasing the film I will probably watch the film several more times before I become bored of it. Only then will I wait to watch it again when the novelty wears off and I will revisit it like returning to an old friend.

As someone who has not read the complete novel but has read about the story and engaged in several conversations about, It, I will say that I believe the film is a worthy adaptation of the source material. However, my opinion is based solely as a viewer.

I saw the original film/miniseries a few times in the past but despite my love of Tim Curry I do prefer Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise and find this adaptation far superior. With a talented cast, a great script and wonderful effects it is no wonder that It has surpassed the half-a-million mark at the box office. It has also surpassed The Exorcist as the highest grossing horror film of all time.

 

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Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley

 

Opening to critical acclaim and making box office records, It, is far more than a horror movie. A coming-of-age tale about a group of outsiders that come together to face their biggest fears and save the town, It turns children into superheroes.

No matter how old you get the children of the story are the ones you will relate to. We all are or have been children and far too often we forgot what it was like to be young. Consistently silenced, talked over and dealing with peoples refusal to listen, children are smart and observant but as we get older we forget to listen. As adults, we deal with many of the same issues. We are silenced, talked over and people refuse to listen to us. No matter how old you get the children of the story are and will remain the most relatable aspect of any story and It, showcases that incredibly well.

You might not expect to laugh your laurels off while watching a movie about a mysterious entity that takes the form of a clown (or maybe you do) but It, brings the laughs. With a young and talented cast, It has many memorable lines and moments that are sure to put a smile on your face. The relationships between these children as they deal with what it means to be a “loser”, as they go on misadventures and face death head-on grows. The kids also show a lot of personal growth as they face Pennywise and their very personal issues at home.

Female sexuality (especially in young girls) is a difficult topic to deal with in a film. It is a difficult topic to bring up in any form mainly due to the continued over-sexualization of young girls and women. It has come to be something dirty and when we face it head on it is considered something even worse. While we have no problem portraying the evolving sexuality of males at any age, sexuality in women seems to be a subject that cultures spanning far and wide have difficulty embracing. In certain corners of the world, we are evolving to show stronger women who are embracing their sexuality and we are unafraid to show it. In It, Beverly Marsh is a young girl afraid of her own sexuality and what it means to be women. Afraid of walking into her own home, Beverly is her daddy’s “girl” and every time we see her with him an uncomfortable feeling washes over you. The victim of her father’s perversion and the cruelty of the kids at school, Beverly has a reputation in the town of Derry, Maine for being a slut. Bev doesn’t just lay there and take it, she is a kind girl who befriends new kid Ben and later helps the boys retrieve supplies to clean and bandage a wound. As she faces Pennywise, Beverly also faces her father and her impending womanhood.

It (2017) is a film that might surprise you. The films greatest strength (and it has many) is the kids that make up the cast. They have great chemistry, play well off each other and it appears that they are having fun. That stands out on screen and the film is made that much more enjoyable because of it. Bill’s performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown will send shivers down your spine as he salivates at the children’s fear. A well-written cinematic adventure, It, is sure to be on our minds for years to come.

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