by Sean Harrison
Director: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough), Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben Hanscom), Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh), Finn Wolfhard (Richie Tozier), Wyatt Oleff (Stan Uris), Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kaspbrak), Nicholas Hamilton (Henry Bowers)
While watching It, it became all too apparent that I may have seen too many horror movies in my lifetime. That’s not to say the movie is bad in any way, but I didn’t feel it was that scary; however, this may be the result of having seen many of the scariest movies ever made. But more on that later.
First, let’s discuss the story. The film begins in 1988 with the death of seven-year-old Georgie Denbrough at the hands of Pennywise the clown. A year later, the film picks up as school is getting out for the summer. The film then quickly establishes Georgie’s older brother Bill as the leader of a group of outcasts known as the Loser’s Club, with Henry Bowers as the leader of a gang of bullies that enjoys terrorizing the group. Afterward, it becomes apparent that children have been disappearing all over town. Only the seven members of the Loser’s Club are able to realize what’s responsible (which ultimately makes them targets).
The above-mentioned plot involves the children facing many of their fears. And in fact, they each sell it very well. The acting is, without doubt, the most effective part of the movie. Most are going to talk about Bill Skarsgard’s creepy performance and how well he plays the part, but the child actors also deserve praise. This is especially true of Jaeden Lieberher (who, admittedly, had already proven his worth in Midnight Special).
However, this is a horror movie so it also needs to be judged on how scary it was. On one hand, it was very scary since much of the horror is happening to children. Though, aside from this, I felt the movie was only that scary on a superficial level – meaning the movie made me jump, but it’s not going to give me nightmares. It’s not going to leave me with an ongoing sense of dread, though that doesn’t mean I did not enjoy this movie. I did; very much so in fact. The movie is quite suspenseful, actually, only my standards for fear have been raised due to some of the horror movies I’ve seen in the past.