Let’s take an in-depth look at the latest iteration of Stephen King’s IT.
If you went to the movies on a date night, with a group of friends, or just on a lone wolf mission for good entertainment, Stephen Kings latest remake installment of the 1990 movie and adaptation ofhis Novel, “IT” will satisfy anyone looking for a good time. The film has so many elements from suspense, mystery, to sheer laugh out loud spot on comedy. I mean the cast of kids in the 2017 film had to be some of the smartest well trained actors of their age because they didn’t miss a beat! Truly hilariously funny. Before reading any further for those who haven’t seen the movie yet, this is the time
to stop reading unless you’re like me and don’t care either way. With that being said, —SPOILER ALERT —, for all those pre-movie review readers. So enough disclaimers and on to the good stuff.
Some people have not seen the first 1990 version starring Tim Curry and a young Seth Green.Well if you are reading this and you’re one of them, don’t beat yourself up. The 1990’s version doesn’t give us the gory action , and CGI shots depicting the unthinkable violence done to kids that occurs in the first film as we get plenty in the newest version within the first opening scene. Both stories catalog series of tragic events that happen in a small town of Derry, Maine. If you’re a Stephen King fan then you know a lot of his stories take place in those neck of the woods due to it being near his native home which provides much of the setting inspiration for his literary work. Any who, the 2017 Film opens on two young boys both brothers who are playing with a paper sailboat. The older brother gives the younger brother the boat as a way to pacify a pestering younger sibling who hasn’t yet grasped the annoying factor of brotherhood as of yet. The younger brother places the boat on the side of the road in a stream of water due to it being a faintly light rainy afternoon, that rushes the sailboat off to the races. The boat picks up speed sending it hurling toward a sewer drain in front of an older woman’s home. She’s inside oblivious to the little boy chasing the boat in the heavy rainstorm, but in 1960 as is the time when the story is set, the sight of a young kid playing by themselves didn’t pose immediate danger as it would in 2017. The boat falls into the drain right before the he can snatch it back in to his arms for safe keeping and future sailboat races to come the boat falls into the sewer drain as the little boy gets down on hands and knees looking to retrieve his brother’s paper boat. As the boy is about to give up and go face his older brother in shame and fear of loosing the gift that was loaned to him with the promise of taking care of the ultimately meaningless remarkable item, something an 8 year old may not grasp at the time. IT, a creepy clowned-faced being pops his head up and calls the boy by name bringing his attention back to the opening of the sewer drain as head heads home. At this point, any self respecting movie goer is yelling at the screen, “No don’t talk to it, don’t get so close kid, run”! Although, just like at home the characters in the movie never listen and thus the young boy inches close to IT and starts a conversation. IT speaks to the boy as if he knows him and starts to try and gain the boys trust. Although young Georgie (the young boy), lets IT know he is not suppose to talk to strangers as we know at home with good reason. That doesn’t stop IT, just as any predator who has their eyes set on the weak and naive prey. IT reveals the paper sail boat which draws the young boy near. After a few creepy exchanges from IT to little Georgie, IT convinces the boy to reach into the sewer to reclaim his brother’s paper speed sail boat.
At this time, IT reveals its many rows of wired creature razor sharp teeth and takes a T-Rex style bite of poor unsuspecting Georgie’s little twig like arm, snapping it clean off from his body. The child screams and tries to turn and run for help but, IT drags him into the deep dark creepy sewer as the rain slowly washes the puddle of blood away just as the older woman who’s home this takes place in front of, sees the blood alarming her to react. This sets the tone of the newest film that the 1990’s version just didn’t do. Seeing how in 1990 we didn’t have celebrity sex tapes, cartel beheading videos, and the twerk team supreme ass shaking all over the internet in those days doesn’t surprise me of the lack of realness captured in the first movie as much as the second. Although, I’m pretty sure the idea alone in that day and time was more than enough to get the point across. Besides the 90’s was at its time going in what I call the end to a “feel good” era, so blood and gore were at an all time low in majority of the films in addition to the technology not being sufficient enough to pull it off.
From the opening scene the town basically treats the poor little sewer boat boy as a missing person’s case. The family has all but moved on with the exception of the older brother who gave little Georgie the paper sail boat. The movie then goes on to introduce all of the lead characters who at the time are all preteens entering the horrible unknown life scaring world of High school. The group of kids trickles to its full capacity as the film goes on essentially taking on a different route as the first installment. The 1990 version starts off with all of the characters who had an encounter with IT at one time as adults. This however is the part of disappointment for me as a viewer. The new film is seeming
to take its time developing the story instead of just giving us the damn thing. I don’t know if it’s because of the attention span of Americans, the level of intelligence, or the sheer greed of big business monopolist. It could be a combination of all three but I digress, my point is knowing that with the reception of the 2017 version of IT which grossed over 200 million domestic and 200 million foreign totaling a half a billion dollars with the change, has allowed for a second installment not a sequel but second half of the film has been green lit and should currently be in pre-production as I type this review. This gives me hope as I have read that the second half will include the kids coming back to their home town now adults all coming together as a creed and blood pact to see IT die no matter what. Although, as an aspiring money mongering film guru mega superstar mogul myself ( shameless self plug), I will not excuse the horrible story holes carelessly left in the film instead of the cutting floor in the editing bay that was callously carried out by the director and IT 2017 production team. Follow me here…in the 2017 version which I’m sure S.K. didn’t approve of, the kids all confronted IT for the first time after realizing that for some reason adults couldn’t see IT, so they would have to be the ones to stop IT from snatching up kids off the street like poor Georgie. The only girl in the group stabs IT
through the face with an iron like spear. The thing jars around and slinks down to a well in the basement of the house the kids enter to confront IT in. Which by the way, the info that ties all of the previous together came way of one of the newest members of the group who so conveniently has spent a great deal of time obsessing over the towns mysterious disappearances over thirty or so years at the age of 11.
I mean his obsession was on a level of that which was featured in the all time famous Ace Ventura Pet detective. You know the part when Ace went to Ray Finkle’s home and Finkle’s motherreveals the Dan Marino hate shrine she called her son’s bedroom? Yeah this kid was on one just like old Finkle which was shockingly weird for an 11 year old boy no matter how lonely he is. His parents are seriously neglecting him. Anyways another jarring part of the film leads me to my next point, is after IT gets stabbed in the face the kids decide to continue to go after IT and find themselves in the danger zone. All because IT somehow kidnaps the same girl who stabbed IT in the face with that iron like spear I told you about now gone… The preteens all go after the girl revealing a new deep dark world beneath this small town of Derry, Maine that runs through the sewer system. Put it this way, if a clown ran a junk yard for creepy carnivals that had a lost and found pile filled with decades of items belonging to various kids who’s faces have been featured on the back of a milk carton… IT would be the commander and chief of that pile. Did I mention the array of floating missing kids which orbited the giant pile of bikes, toys, and killer clown sewer things that was never mentioned at the end of the movie… Anyways, once the kids find the only girl in the group in her zombie like trance IT placed her in once she was kidnapped, the same 11 year old or so, the one who seriously needs a new hobby like old Finkle and Eionhorn… He kisses the girl which wakes her up?! What is this a fairy tale? This is a rendition and remake reboot of Stephen King! Not to ride the old Johnsonville metaphorical sausage but, come on… We’re talking about Stand By Me, Shawshank, The Body Snatchers… I got lost in that moment but, the numbers don’t lie, and its fine if that’s all that matters in the sake of making money and descent art. Moving on, the kids then get into a sloppy spit swapping slug fest with IT throwing everything they can at ’em.
Then the only black kid in the group as usual, pulls out an air gun used to kill cattle at his family’s local slaughter house. Although, he only has one cartridge left due to a meaningless encounter with a teen bully who was possessed by IT which seemed as a big sub story all to lead to a small pointless egg to show the black kid dropping the strap carrying extra cartridges for the air gun down what seems to be an endless black hole. Again, pointless and distracting and poorly executed while using the King’s book as the format. Here’s why, Georgie’s brother shoots his little brother in the head… Follow me… IT shapes shifts throughout the movie and uses this to elude his victims. So during one of IT’s shape shifting mind screwing moments, IT takes the form of little Georgie and really pulls at your heart strings within the characters dialogue. I mean it was a really touching moment that seemed as if the film makers were trying to convey a moment of closure for the older brother by him shooting his younger brother in the forehead accepting his brother is gone and IT was only tricking him to believe that the small pitiful one armed little boy standing in front of him was his long lost younger brother. For some reason, the air gun hits IT dead to rights square in the face and doesn’t do a damn thing, but piss IT off. IT then takes the older brother hostage who shot him with the air gun and tries to trade his life for the life of all the rest of the kids to leave and go free. They all then attack IT yet again getting the best of him causing IT to crawl down into what is revealed as another deeper darker conveniently placed hole while uttering the words, “Fear” for some weird reason.
Overall the film was entertaining enough for me to care about seeing how the director will tie in the true story line of which Stephen King cleverly scribes together of the teens growing up and returning home for possibly the final showdown. Then again, knowing Hollywood and seeing how they milked the Fast & Furious franchise including the pre-announced Hobbs movie featuring my man Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson. Has led me to understanding if the audience likes it, ride that train until the wheels fall off. So I will be right along all the way up until the credits roll on the sincerely proclaimed, “This is not a sequel, but it is part two of the film IT”, coined by the director of the 2017 installment Andres Muschietti. So I guess we’ll just have to see if the director keeps his word and ends this thing on a good note while explaining the story wholes that are hopefully as a fan left open to bring exciting and Stephen Kingy like Easter eggs that provide a great experience that will leave us wanting more. Although, not enough to make 7 more films featuring IT in street races, jumping off of buildings in Brazil, while killing kids drifting a Geo Storm in Tokyo.
For those seeking a “feel good” time filled with lethargic moments of a time at the movies jumping in fright, IT is just not the film for you. If you are looking to see how a psychological thriller that touches on the realities of a child predator adapted to the screen from my man Stephen King, then you’ll enjoy yourself enough to not demand your money back. Plus the new young kid star in Hollywood who’s on the rise Finn Wolhard, is seriously hilariously scene snatching funny in the film. He by far helped give the cast their flair and continued relentlessly to bring the funny well timed comedic breaks even when we were forced by the inexplicable Hollywood shoehorn story to believe dumb stuff within the direction of the 2017 remake. All said, I give this reboot Hollywood remake of what was a cutting edge film in 1990 from what I consider one of the greatest publicly known published writers of my time on earth… 4 STARS… for the great cinematography and cleverly placed comedic relief along with the urge to see more.