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Movie Review: It

The recent adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, “It”, has released in theaters and once again reminded us of the fear of clowns.

As one of the most anticipated movie this year, “It”, has released in theaters worldwide and once again reminded us the long lost childhood fear–clowns. Despite its success from the original film in 1990 with its iconic symbol of clowns, the new movie has been able to overcome the the overall anticipation, delivering a different perspective of the novel.

As I am no horror movie fan, I knew nothing about Stephen King’s novels nor novel based movies which makes it more interesting for a horror movie watcher newbie. Through the whole 135 minutes, the movie put me on the edge of the seat.

As you may have already seen in the trailers, the movie starts with the main protagonist (Bill)’s brother floating down a paper boat and meeting the clown, Pennywise. Bill and his friends from ‘Loser’s Club’ try to defeat Pennywise as it eats feared children in every 27 years. But what makes this movie so different from other Stephen King movie is its 1980 retro vibe with simple and funny teen melodrama moments. With the movie involving a love triangle between the adolescent characters, the combination of melo comedy and eeriness makes the movie more unique.

Another factor that made Pennywise horrifying for all was its visuals. The CGI for Pennywise’s transformation to other creatures with its tooth looked incredible, making the original clown from the 1990’s look silly. Starting from the first scene, when Pennywise eats Georgie, Bill’s brother, its blood and it’s teeth has turned all audience’s horrified. The CGI for Georgie’s lost arm had the audience’s stomach churning as Pennywise’s eyes gave them a chill creeping from the back. Overall, I thought that the visuals and CGI for Pennywise intensified its thrill of the audience.

My favorite aspect of the movie was how the movie was able to scare the audience only by its slowly creeping horror. Although there were a few jump scares, the slow appearance of Pennywise and its uncanny movements made the movie disturbing yet appealing as a horror film. Many reviews overall highly praised its plot and the director’s scene choices, but what I thought needed to be highly praised was Pennywise’s symbol. (Spoiler Alert) Pennywise represented each character’s biggest fear, making it indestructible against each individual. The movie’s main theme was the strength of teamwork and synergy which help characters overcome any fear. Although, this may be a cliche theme, it was unique to see a deep theme in a horror movie. Unlike the other horror movies that puts people to jump every 10 minutes, “It” put people to tightly hold onto each other on the edge of the seat for the whole 135 minutes.

Although, I praise every actor’s eye catching performance, many of the protagonists looked like elementary kids instead of high schoolers. I could understand why the director chose younger actors as he wanted to represent innocence against fear. But when they fought with bullies twice their size, it seemed like child abuse rather than bullying. Although, this is only my personal viewpoint of the actors, I thought that many would agree that the main characters looked too young.

Talking about the disappointments of the movie, I would say that the director overly focused on the children’s fears into Pennywise. Pennywise appeared too much in the movie as towards the end, the horrifying appearance of Pennywise faded. Furthermore, the movie couldn’t capture the indifference of adults, questioning why are adults ignorant about these missing kids. Although the movie couldn’t fit all aspects from the novel, it still was able to deliver the thrills.

As the movie was based off of the novel by the king of horror books,, it terrorized people with clowns and haunted them with their childhood fear. Although, the movie couldn’t show all the aspects from the book, it was able to have all the audience tensed and at the edge of their seat. The dialogue and its subplots further added a retro vibe, differentiating the movie from other horror movies. Already, the upcoming release of the sequel with the protagonists all grown has begun to excite people.

In case you didn’t watch it, here’s the trailer:

Featured Image: Observer.com

-Mark Park (’20)

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