I read IT earlier this year in anticipation for the movie, I had never read the book and Stephen King can be kind of hit or miss with me so I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. I’m actually not a huge horror reader, most horror books don’t scare me even though the silliest horror movie can make me jump out of my seat. I guess maybe I don’t have great visualization for many of the monsters and horror elements in books, but having them brought to life on screen makes it much scarier for me.
I watched the old 90’s tv series before watching this movie too, I hadn’t seen it in a while and it was a hoot watching it again, the scenes that scared me as a kid are pretty hilarious as an adult.
The 2017 movie aged everything up, the movie starts out in 1988 instead of in the 1950’s which I think was a smart move, I liked it. For me it made it easier to relate to the main characters growing up in a time period like my own. Kind of like the audience that first read IT grew up around the 50’s, many of the people watching the movie now grew up in the late 80’s and 90’s probably having seen the tv mini series.
The movie wasn’t actually all that scary for me, which was beyond words surprising. I was watching it with my husband and during a few scenes bro starts cackling and got me into a fit of giggles as well. So, maybe it was partly due to my husband breaking the atmosphere. There were some parts that legit just didn’t feel right to me though as far as being scary. There’s parts where the clown rushes up and kind of wiggles back and forth as he approaches and it just seems goofy to me. Also, the person who played the clown just wasn’t that creepy to me, I don’t know what it was but I just didn’t find him scary. There was a chase scene with one of the kids running from a leper and I had to fight back a laugh during that scene too. I’m not really sure that’s what they were going for, and given I’m so easily scared I would be surprised if this reaction was uncommon.
The scariest bits for me were other peoples nightmares, the portrait of the lady was particularly creepy. A lady comes out of this painting, and it was an abstract grim painting to start with before it grows teeth and comes to life.
The child actors were all pretty good with the exception of the kid who played Bill, I don’t think he’s a poor actor, it’s just that he didn’t pull off a convincing stutter, it was painfully obvious how forced it was and it really took me out of the moment when he had a lot of dialogue.
The girl who played Bev was adorable and a pretty decent actress to boot. It was pretty disappointing how little we get to see Mike, I would have preferred to get him a little more fleshed out.
The cinematography was excellent, art direction and special effects were good for the most part. There were a few times where it was glaringly obvious it was cgi, but overall I didn’t notice too many corny cgi elements.
It departed from the book a bit in how gritty it was as far as non-horror elements. The book had a lot of gore and violence, but it also had a lot of human on human horror that’s more every-day horror. Racial bullying, homophobic beatings, domestic abuse, child abuse, child sexual activity, animal abuse – most of that was omitted with the exception of Bev’s dad, but even that was toned way down. I’m torn whether or not that was a good move or not, it certainly changes the spirit of the story, but at the same time it would take away from the monster-horror flick they were going for. I certainly don’t miss the word n***** that was used quite a bit in the book.
Overall I think I’d give it a 7.5, although there were a bunch of things I pointed out that I didn’t necessarily like, overall I still had a good time with the movie and I think it’s worth watching.