Let me preface this review of IT by saying that I am an “IT Virgin.” I have never read the Stephen King book, nor have I seen the one with Tim Curry (I hear this exists although I really have no idea). The most exposure I’ve had is the trailers for the newest film and a few interviews with Bill Skarsgard — Pennywise. I’ll also let you know that I do not frequent horror movies. I watched The Sixth Sense a few weeks ago, and that’s about it. I went into this experience fairly blind, not to mention that I was on a date.
Horror movies and first dates practically go hand in hand. If you ever get spooked, you can just cuddle up to your mate, and you’ve not only released your vulnerable side, but you’ve also made a move. However, I would like to pause here to say that there were very few parts where I felt the need to do that. The humor of the kids was nice, but it also brought down the scariness of anything that may have been happening. For instance, a couple of kids walking into a sewer wasn’t nearly as scary as it could’ve been because they were cracking jokes the whole time. Every scary moment was shortly followed by jokes. I liked it, but I’m sure others who actually enjoy being scared didn’t quite revel in the humor.
The thing about IT, is that it isn’t purely scary with only Pennywise. It gives you an “ick” factor when you see how the children are being treated by their parents, along with how Henry Bowers (the resident bully) treats the children. Pennywise is scary — but it’s his powers — just not him himself. I found him eerie only when he was changing the children’s realities.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and am very excited for part two to arrive! I’ll continue to refrain from reading the book until I’ve seen both parts in order to keep my expectations low. I would suggest this movie to people just getting into horror movies like myself who don’t want to be too scared or intimidated.
Emma McAnirlin's stories "The Crack" and "The Light" are featured in the anthology When Glints Collide: A Collection of Science Fiction, Horror, and Oddities.
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