It (2017)

The 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s book and a film from 1990. ‘It’ is the creepy clown film; the one clown film that everyone knows about; the clown and the red balloon. Set in the summer of 1989, children have started disappearing in the town of Derry. One group of friends band together with one commonality, they are all the victims of a bully. ‘It’ isn’t just about the horrors of a clown, there are a lot of villains in this film – parents and bullies. These villains seem to be more powerful to execute horror in the film than the actual clown in my opinion.

The film is very character driven; driven by what the characters are going to do lead by one boy’s drive to find his missing brother. I have to admit some characters do seem to have an irrelevance in the film, they’re there but there isn’t really any reason to why they are there. Maybe it’s just to make up the numbers. Anyway, this young group take it upon themselves to defeat the ugliness creeping round in the sewers while multiple children are still being taken and fears are exposed in front of their eyes.

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The main three, Bill (Jaeden Martell), Beverly (Sophia Lillis) and Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), are great characters. You definitely feel the emotions of these characters and predominantly they hold a lot of the horror as you fear for their lives. Bill’s missing brother plotline is heart-breaking, to the point where his speeches and desperate need to find little Georgie was heart-wrenching, nearly bringing me to tears. Beverly is an interesting character – where the children are all supposed to be 13, she definitely does seem years older, and I’m really not sure whether that was incidental or on purpose. When Beverly goes home you discover her home life is one tragic and soul-destroying, where you just pray she’ll find safety and solace. Finally, Ben is a character most victimised by the bullies of the school, where they result in extreme violence against the poor boy and you really feel his fear bursting through the screen.

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‘It’ is an incredibly long film – it feels longer than it actually is. There are moments of horror, but because it is solely revolved around the characters, there are a lot of gaps where the clown is neither present nor lingering, so the horror tends to drift away at these moments. I also thought the jump scares would be scarier than they actually were. When it came down to it, I do believe the other villains of the film were scarier than Pennywise the clown – maybe that’s because they are real and could be true in society, compared to a clown that opens it mouth up into a thousand teeth or morphs into different beings. It is a good film and obviously has kept its legendary name throughout literature history, it probably will still be the best well-known clown film. Nevertheless, it wasn’t as good as I thought it’s been hyped up to be. I thought more tension would echo throughout the film constantly rather than being so blocked. The horror wasn’t as up there as I would have presumed. Nonetheless, I don’t think I would like Pennywise knocking around my town any time soon.

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