By Jack Tecca, Contributor
[New Line Cinema; 2017]
Pennywise awakens to terrorize the sleepy town of Derry once again, and it’s up to a rag-tag team of adolescents to stop him. Filled with nostalgia and a touch of spine chilling effects, It delivers a look into the twisted psyche of Stephen King. Director Andres Muschietti does an adequate job of showcasing the chemistry of a young cast and the terrifying expositions of Pennywise in the new adaptation of the much-beloved novel.
Multiple components of this film show much promise. For example, the special effects are absolutely fantastic and really spur on Bill Skargard’s performance as Pennywise. From the blood exploding from the sink in Beverly Marsh’s house to paintings coming to life, these scenes are jaw dropping. The chemistry between the actors in the film is also very apparent. The group of friends, known as the Losers’ Club, really keep the audience interested in the movie through their relatability. Countless memories of adolescence return as the characters ride their bikes through town, go cliff diving and rip on each other constantly. Finally, the cinematography and shot selection throughout the film keep the eye from becoming stagnant through the many cutting shots within the more frightening sequences. Overall, It has much to offer in terms of positive components.
While this film carries a lot of good parts, there are a few major flaws that hold It back from being spectacular. The major problem of the film is its pacing, specifically the lull in the middle. After Bill and the gang go to Pennywise’s lair for the first time, they go their separate ways in solemn silence, which would have been a perfect cliffhanger for the sequel. But instead of cutting it off there, there’s a twenty-minute stretch where not much ensues and the audience is waiting for them to band together again. After this lull, the movie loses much of the steam it had built up and doesn’t truly become interesting again until the second climax of the film.
Another disappointing component of It was that the movie was pretty light on scares for a film, despite the fact that it was marketed as a horror movie. Besides a few exceptions, many of the jump scares in the movie were predictable and cliché. Also, some of the characters either developed slowly or didn’t develop at all. Ritchie (Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard) showed glimmers of being a very full character but was instead delegated to comic relief. Ultimately, these mistakes hold It back from being one of the best of the year.