Feels like writing after 27 years…
It, based on the Stephen King novel, follows the demonic entity – Pennywise the Dancing Clown, who terrorises kids in the tiny town of Derry. Shape-shifting and eternally cruel, the scariest jester in popular culture comes to life by a brilliant performance by Bill Skarsgård. Touted as the saviour of a rather dull summer, how good exactly is it?
Not a member of the Losers Club by any means.
Not having read the novel and staying away from the hype, It essentially boils down to a full-fledged and realised movie. Its sprinkled with drama, psychological horror elements and a surprising amount of neat comedy. We get a rag-tag bunch of engaging and relatable protagonists, each facing life at their own pace, dealing with their respective predicaments. The group might be inexperienced and youthful but the writing doesn’t shy away from dealing with mature issues. Nimble dialogue which coaxes laughter at the most inappropriate of times also scares the crap out of you when Pennywise is lurking around the corner, planning its next sinister move. Beautiful cinematography and the bewitching score can turn a peaceful landscape into horror-fest quick enough. The direction by Andy Muschietti is that effective, you almost ignore the fact that this film is filled to the brim with jump-scares.
Granted, there are quite a few thrilling sequences which rely purely on disturbing imagery. However the movie suffers from time to time, having been made as a blockbuster rather than an indie – Too much loud noises, not much scares. While the horror elements may take a back seat to the engaging character study, there’s too many consecutive scenes of terrifying ordeals that it gets repetitive after a while. You notice the story still developing even after the beginning of second half as well as the taxing length of the entire project. But seeing as this is Chapter 1, I’m not complaining.
It joins the likes of The Conjuring and Insidious series, where the setting is old-school and the chills are tried-and-tested. Having a deft screenplay and solidly stacked characters help. Not by much.
Rating : 3/5