Its been a long time since I’ve seen the original “It”, to the point there are only a couple of things I remember for it, or I might be getting it confused with one of the many clown horror movies from WAY back when, so going into this movie is basically going in with a semi clean slate. I have some general ideas of what was and what happened, but not enough to really formulate any real ideas or expectation.
First Lets start with the experiences which are basically promos of the film. They went all out. VR experience inside a creepy bus, to literally building a haunted house in Hollywood. Someone wanted this movie to succeed.
First theres the 360 VR experience which was okay. It gives you a very computerized CG vibe of the movie where you basically are on a ‘roller coaster’ / ‘rail’ experience of the sewer. The VR experience is pretty meh in tame by all standards, but worth it if you’re given the chance to experience.
Then there was the haunted house (in Hollywood). Very interesting, very well designed. For those interested in haunts/haunted houses, you can definitely tell there was a lot of love built into this one. You get to walk into the house the kids visit in the movie and get to experience some of the movie first hand. Ultimately the haunt doesn’t do much in terms of building an atmosphere, and is very often times predictable in whats going to happen, you still get to enjoy parts of the movie, worth wild for any IT fans, but it will be lost on most not too familiar with the movie.
The movie itself can best be described as a non stop horror-coaster of sorts. With little introduction into the world of It you’re throw into the horrors of ‘the clown’ from the very beginning.
Where this movie shines is capturing the ‘fear’ of a moment. Its not like other films that throw scary at you with cheap and predictable tricks to scare. Its definitely a throw back to the days of horror that took originality, and very often unrealistic in a good way. It feeds on those moments that are just off the wall but horrifying. There are times you think you see whats coming, but then it takes a different direction entirely and you feel like “Damn That was Kinda Crazy”. And the movie just keeps you along for the ride the entire time. You expect them to slow down at moments to build story, but the story and the ride are one in the same.
Stylistically, the movie is superb. From the movements of the clown, to the way some scenes were shot, to the soundtrack. This movie could easily find itself in an art museum from the way its designed. It almost makes completely unrealistic moments feel very real and life like. A lot of the experience moments in the film feel like they came straight from your nightmares where you just cant wake up.
And the scares. Some predictable, but a lot of the scares WILL catch you off guard. even when you know a jump scare is coming, it STILL manages to catch you off guard.
While this movie is great, it definitely isnt without its short comings. There are a lot of moments that are off the wall that make sense in there own twisted way, but a lot of disjointed horror where you’re trying to find the ‘connection’ thats just not there. Without spoiling the movie, theres certain imagery and phrases that echo throughout the entire film without any real pay out. It would be like I kept mentioning In-n-out to you during a road trip only to pass by it during our journey. You’re left trying to come up with the why? While not everything NEEDS a why, it feels like this one shoulda left you like “oh I get it” but you never really do. The story is another area where its lacking. The ride is definitely wonderful, but its a lot of “this is whats happening NOW”. They often tease “this is how we got here” but do little to actually go into the how. They even go as far as force feeding you the how, but still leave you feeling like “wait how did we get here again?”.
The Meh part 2
This movie very much plays out like “Stranger Things with clown (and I say that as a fan Stranger Things). This movie could have been horror to the point of pissing your pants, but it definitely plays out more like ‘playful horror’. This may come from my ignorance of the original IT. I feel like this movie could have taken a different most dark atmospheric route, but it made sure not to go that route with the amount of humor it put in.
Its a wild and fast pace ride into the world of the horror It-clown. Its a throw back to nonsensical horror in the sense that theres not a lot of ‘logic’ or ‘reason’ to the why or how, you just accept that things are the way they are in this universe and enjoy the ride. While there are moments that could have been elaborated and better explained, you arent left feeling like ‘it could have been better’. This is a horror-thriller that takes itself seriously, but makes sure to throw you a laugh every now in then making the film enjoyable on different levels. You wont leave this film on a down note, but you leave feeling like you’re on an adrenaline in a way because you survived and overcome IT. You can tell no effort or expense was wasted in the making of the film. It does not simple feel like a Hollywood remake cashgrab, it definitely feels like fans of the It story (both movie and book) were trying to do both fans and newcomers justice.