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Popping Popcorn with Caden, IT Movie Review

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“This isn’t real enough for you, Billy? I’m not real enough for you?”

One of the most anticipated films of 2017, “It” is the second adaptation of Stephen King’s acclaimed horror novel of the same name,
the first being the 1990 ABC two-part miniseries. Across the breadth of 1,138 pages, King crafts a timeless story of seven outcast children who are terrorized by It, a carnivorous, inter dimensional entity that takes the form of its victims’ worst fears while hunting its prey. Primarily disguising itself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, It terrorizes the children, who confront the monster together during their childhood and then again as adults. “It,” also known as “It: Chapter One,” only covers the sections of the novel where the members of the Losers’ Club are children. “It: Chapter Two,” focuses on the Losers’ Club during adulthood, and the movie will eventually be released sometime in the future.
While the new movie is overall more faithful to the source material than the miniseries, there are still some glaring differences and omissions. However, director Andrés Muschietti and screenwriters Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman join forces to adapt over 600 pages of content into a thrilling, suspenseful, hilarious, and poignant movie that articulately and skillfully conveys King’s spirit within the novel from page to screen.
The film’s ensemble cast is arguably its biggest strength, but it is Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård as the terrifying and unpredictable Pennywise that shines the brightest. Standing at a towering 6’4” over the shorter child actors, Skarsgård takes the most advantage possible out of every second of screen time he has. Whether it be crawling out of an old-fashioned slideshow projection, contorting himself out of a rusty refrigerator, or dancing at his “circus” (an unforgettable moment that instantly became a meme), it almost seems like Pennywise is simply playing himself, and there is no actor playing a character at all.
“It” is also an unexpectedly emotional and hilarious movie. Deep beneath the guise of the horror movie that it is with its sudden jump scares, unsettling imagery, and nauseating gore, “It”is essentially a story about friendship, loyalty, maturity, childhood innocence, and courage. Both King and Muschietti implement these themes into their respective works unbelievably well.
Each and every member of the Losers’ Club has their own unique flaw, which makes them all so likable and relatable. Bill Denbrough, the leader of the Losers’ Club, has a debilitating stutter. Beverly “Bev” Marsh is ashamed of her gender stereotype and lives with her mentally and sexually abusive father. Ben Hanscom is highly intelligent yet clumsy and overweight. Eddie Kaspbrak is constantly worrying about his numerous health issues. Richie Tozier is taunted at school for his nerdy glasses and disturbing sense of humor. Stanley “Stan” Uris is insecure about his Jewish heritage. Mike Hanlon is an easy target for racists due to his skin color. Despite having these quirks and
being aware of them, every member of the Losers’ Club rightfully accepts one another for who they are, looking out for one another even in the absolute darkest of times and stepping out of their comfort zones to protect themselves.
To put it bluntly, “It” works fine as a horror movie, but it works substantially better as a scary coming-of-age movie. Characters lose things that are valuable to them, find themselves in a grim situation, discover new things about themselves, and evolve while they work against the problems attacking them. These ingredients make for an incredibly pleasing and outstanding adaptation that does justice to its iconic and celebrated source material. As soon as “It: Chapter One” ends, the anticipation for “It: Chapter Two” immediately kicks into full effect, which is an indication of an excellent movie. Despite some significant alterations from the novel and a few modern horror clichés, “It” manages to stay afloat, honoring and respecting Stephen King’s classic story.

 

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Popping Popcorn with Caden, IT Movie Review