IT Review : A Welcome Addition To The Horror Genre

Pennywise | I.T | New Line Cinema
Photo: Pennywise | I.T | New Line Cinema




Andy Muschietti



Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgard & Finn Wolfhard






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Horror as a genre has always been hard to crack. A Scare is like a drug. You get used to the high and for the film-makers, there is a constant challenge to push cinematic boundaries to recreate an experience of dread. Despite the lack of quality in the genre over the recent years story-telling wise, audiences have never the less thronged the theatres for the adrenaline rush. But, in an effort to deliver the big scare, film-makers have often side-stepped the story and the quality has suffered. Is that so with IT, as well? Well, can gladly say no.

Adapted from the Stephen King novel, IT starts with the horrific disappearance of a seven-year-old boy Georgie. Cut to six months later, his brother Will, played by Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) and his gang of middle-school ostracized friends are still looking for him. The world, however, has given up, as Georgie is another statistic in a small town with a weird history of disappearances and murder. The apathy of the senior members of the town does not leave the gang - who call themselves the Losers - with any other option but to launch their own dangerous search mission. They are unaware of what lies ahead of them, but Pennywise the Clown is feeding on their worst fear. The bright summer holidays are spent exploring the dark underbelly of an uncaring town. As they investigate, they also add three other teenagers to the group and come to encounter the vicious clown monster that's haunting the town for centuries.

Director Andy Muschietti does a fantastic job weaving together small personal stories of a huge cast, that finally intertwines to a big payoff. There are seven teenagers in this movie and we get a small glimpse into the lives of each one of them. This is enough to make you care about them as individuals and as a team. Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård makes for an insanely scary clown. His expressions exaggerated by the makeup and a tinge of CGI give him a feel of a mythical otherworldly being trapped inside a clown costume. He is even more horrifying in the way he lunges straight for his victims.

Andy, however, relies too much on jump-scares. This works on a few occasions but you eventually get used to it. It also comes at a cost of building suspense, which the movie sorely lacks. Yes, there are moments of scare but you are never gripping your seats in anticipation that something bad is going to happen to our Losers. You just know that Mr.Pennywise is going to make a sudden appearance to some jarring violin score.

That still doesn't take away from the fact that IT is a good movie. It will keep you entertained because at the heart of the story are seven well-defined underdog characters chasing a vicious monster to save their friends, family and the town. There is a commentary about the perilous world the children often have to navigate and figure out on their own. Most importantly, see it because a good horror movie is rare these days.

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