I just want to start with how good It is (see a pun huh?). For a horror flick that stretches over two hours and a half, not a minute of it bored me, it is a feast of emotions, all kinds of emotions that you once had when you were a kid, and you still do when you watch It. I couldn’t find it more realistic they way It visualises its monstrous protagonists any child once feared at a point of their life, as someone who couldn’t watch Indiana Jones or Mummy due to the headless corpses gave me nightmares for months when I first watched them – the grotesque monsters in the shadows when you stumbled in the attic or basement, the excessive amount of blood and decomposing corpses, creepy controlling stranger adults and parents, bullying at school, being a lone loser, and clowns. To be honest, I found the clown itself to be the least concerning fear while the other monsters roam around freely. Yet ultimately, as It sparks true horror in the most authentic 80s slasher film fashion, it is essentially a story about love and loss, healing and growth.
I’m sure most people have known a thing or two about It, either the plot line or the notorious clown that possibly tainted the name of clown biz. Clown itself really isn’t that scary, it serves merely as an shapeshifting conduit for all the monsters that prey on little ones’ fears. The story starts with a kid named Georgie went missing, and his older brother Billy, who has stuttering issue, went on a mission to find him along with his gang “The Losers’ Club” – a bike-riding, dynamic, mostly positive, energetic and empathetic group of kids in a town where adults seem to be nonchalant to the cases of missing children. Hats off to the young cast, every single one of them did a brilliant job of portraying a type kid that is kind of by the textbook but definitely not cliché, Jaeden Lieberher’s Billy is a fantastic post-trauma young teen with so much story and emotions written on his face, Finn Wolfhard departs from good boy Mike to play filthy-mouthed joker of the crowd Richie which gives the film a surprisingly light-hearted touch from time to time. Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise is a great portrayal, however, the kids stole the show, and they owned it.
Old-fashioned B grade slasher films are always known for their cheesy lines and signature gore. It paid a great homage to that. The cheesiness of eighties and the excessive amount of gore and other unspeakable revolting elements contrast the innocently funny tone of the other half of the movie – it is a mash of a good ol’ horror film and a coming-of-age drama, and the balance of the two is spot on. The characters grow and learn and bond as they slay their own demon, the innocent first love and the purest friendship between kids make you reminisce the days you were just as naive. True, kids are weak, some kids are even weaker, but the world is never dull for them, no adventure is impossible for them, and during the course of exploring the unknown world, they will find love, friendship and support from each other and that’s when they grow stronger. Muschietti’s It is only half a horror movie, the innocence jerks tears off your face just as often as the monster terrifies you off your seat. And in the end, you couldn’t find anything more beautiful or therapeutical than a bunch of thirteen years olds’ blood pact as they stand in a circle hand in hand, to further the bond they already have.