Film Review: IT

Abby Wormsbaker, Staff Writer

My friend and I could barely contain our excitement as we arrived at the movie theater late last Saturday night. We had been waiting forever to feel the adrenaline rush that came with watching one of the most anticipated films of 2017: IT.

Let me clarify that this film was indeed filled with moments that made our hearts race and jaws drop, but it also made us laugh (and, yes, even cry). The film’s opening scene begins on a stormy afternoon in a small town in Maine and illustrates the peculiar feeling that a gloomy day can provide to give you a bone-trembling chill. Within the first fifteen minutes you are introduced to Bill, Georgie, and Pennywise. Before I go into further detail about the children of this film, I would like to address an honest opinion of Pennywise. He was terrifying in the best of ways: the drool dripping from his lips and bizarre jitters gave me chills and made me want to look away (but I couldn’t resist looking right at his eerie set of crooked eyes and dainty teeth).

The film is filled with several face-to-face moments with Pennywise (that are little uncomfortable), so if you find yourself uneasy at the site of clowns, then maybe try watching another movie.

Soon enough you are introduced to all of the kids in this film: Bill, Richie, Eddie, Stanley, Mike, Beverly, and Ben. I instantly felt love for these characters as though they were my own friends. They have the classic humor that a lot of middle school kids of have: dirty, cruel, and hilarious. It was almost nostalgic to me whenever I heard those young kids tell jokes and cuss when something (in this case terrifying) happens.

One of my favorite scenes in this film was when Ben brings his friends to his bedroom, and as Beverly passes the bedroom door she spots his guilty pleasure: a poster of New Kids on the Block.  As that scene unravels, the camera zooms in close to each band member’s grainy face and then back to Ben’s startled face. The awkwardness of that scene filled my head with pure embarrassment because I could totally relate to Ben 100%. Again, the humor is spot on.

Let’s dive into the cinematic aspects of this film: the cinematography was fantastic and alluring. My favorite scene in the entire film was when Beverly is in her bathroom and the blood explodes from her sink; the color of red splashing every inch of the room making the lighting a dark cherry red was EVERYTHING. It reminded me of the classic horror films with such heavy use of blood like in The Shining and Carrie.

Since I am already on the topic of brutal disturbance, let me mention a scene that was one of the most chilling: As Mike is getting beat up by the typical hick bullies he turns his head over and sees Pennywise hidden in tall grass munching on an arm. Yes, an arm. As Pennywise makes eye contact with Mike, he gives an eerie smile and waves the chewed up arm right at him. This scene was disturbingly great in its own way. It was not trying too hard; it was a clown being absolutely traumatizing in such small actions. This film is consistent with scenes like this which I feel makes it great.

I won’t go into detail on every single aspect of this movie (sorry, you may need to go see this beautifully made movie for yourself and experience all of the guts and glory). But, all in all, this movie was truly spectacular. I am rarely ever impressed with horror movies these days. I don’t find most of them entertaining because they typically tell similar stories and lack a lot of key elements (including just being plain scary). However, IT was a movie that thoroughly impressed me with a lot of aspects such as the cinematic elements, the cast, and the fact that it went on a level of horror that most directors don’t go to.  
I know I can’t speak for everybody, and I know that I may be hyping this movie up too much, but rarely do I ever find a good horror movie that stands on its own. My list of favorite horror films is a very, very small, list but IT has definitely earned a spot.