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Film Review: Effective Scare Factor & Teenage Traumas Define ‘IT’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – “IT” is the kind of film that relies on jump-scares and ghastly images a bit too much, but behind it all is a quirky story – based on a Stephen King novel – about that time in childhood where becoming a teenager and finding a way within the change is adventurous and unsettling.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The film takes awhile to find its feet, and has the feel of a Steven Spielberg kids adventure movie (think “E.T” or “The Goonies”), yet with its intense horror sequences and screwed up violence it almost ends up a parody of those movies. Also there is extreme trauma done to the child-to-teen characters, which factor into what they are facing against an evil clown. Having not read the source novel or known the story before coming in, it seemed that the director Andy Muschietti took the essence of a previous Stephen King adaptation, “Stand by Me,” and created a parallel horror universe for the same situation – kids having one last summer being kids – but in this case they are going to pay for sticking their noses into a mystery. By the way, unless you want your kids to be nightmarish for an extended length of time, keep them out of this film for now (yeah, they’ll catch up to it on the digital release). “IT” capitalizes on their every fear.

Every 27 years the town of Derry, Maine, goes through a cycle of missing children. In 1989, it begins to happen again, including the eight year-old brother of Bill (Jaeden Lieberher). The older sibling has tremendous guilt associated with the disappearance, and begins to obsess over the last moments his brother had, which involved the sewer systems of the town and the legend of a circus clown called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard).

When school lets out for the summer, a gang of Bill’s friends agree to help him explore the sewers for clues, including Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Stanley (Wyatt Oleff). They begin to see strange sights, including Pennywise, and it also begins to happen to the girl-crush of the group, Beverly (Sophia Lillis). They are joined by another “loser” – as the local bullies call them – an African American boy named Mike (Chosen Jacobs). They all have their reasons for crushing the demon clown.

IT” opens everywhere on September 8th. Featuring Jaeden Lieberther, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff and Bill Skarsgard. Screenplay adapted by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman, based on a novel by Stephen King. Directed by Andy Muschietti. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “IT

IT1
Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgard) is the Terrorizing Force in ‘IT
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “IT

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