Kids, I can’t stress this enough. Do not talk to sewer clowns. There’s no good reason for a clown to be in a sewer. Really, it’s just common sense.
BQB here with a review of “It.”
3.5 readers, if you’ve been following the movie news, it was a bummer summer for the box office. Audiences found Hollywood’s offerings to be little more than a pile of poop and the box office haul was way down. Maybe it’s because so many entertainment options are available for free or a low price via your smart phone, but maybe it’s also Hollywood just can’t offer anything original anymore.
Ironically, “It” is a reboot of an old TV mini-series based on a book by Stephen King but it feels as original as ever. It’s well done. Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t even get a seat last week during opening weekend. People went in droves to see this movie.
The plot? A malevolent, demonic spirit has taken up residence in a New Hampshire town for centuries. Every twenty-seven years, “It” surfaces and causes death, destruction, and murder most foul, terrorizing children and feeding off of their fear.
In the summer of 1989, it’s up to a group of young Generation Xers to summon up enough courage to face their fears and destroy “It.” That won’t be easy as “It” takes on many ghastly forms, most notably the terrifying visage of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
“It” knows how to get into the heads of these kids – playing on all of their individual fears, seeking to drive them into madness before killing them.
Oddly enough, the story is butt puckeringly scary. I’m an adult man yet I’m still feeling chills over the movie a day later. This is literally the scariest film I have seen I think in, perhaps all of the 2000s. It’s not just blood and gore scary, though there is plenty of that. It is also psychologically scary.
At times it is also touching. It’s a mashup of “Stand by Me” meets “The Nightmare on Elm Street.”
Perhaps King has figured out a formula for when people find themselves facing their worst fears. At age 13, roughly the ages of all the kids in the movie, a youngster must begin shaking off youth. They must enjoy being a kid but they must also come to grips that they will be adults soon and can no longer retreat to their parents’ arms as though they are babies every time the world does them wrong.
27 years later, they’re 40 and they face a new fear, namely, that of realizing they are too old to change many of their mistakes, yet young enough that they might still find a little happiness should they see a need to turn things around. It’s a short window but it’s not impossible.
Not to spoil it but this movie is Chapter 1, which means there will most likely be a Chapter 2 where the adults return to New Hampshire to fight “It” again. At least that’s what happened in the old mini-series starring Tim Curry as Pennywise and the late, great John Ritter of “Three’s Company” fame as the adult version of the chubby kid.
I can tell you something that scared the piss out of me more so than the killer clown was that this film takes place in 1989. These kids are just a little bit older than me. I would have been 10 at the time, perhaps one of their younger brothers.
As the home schooled kid Mike rides his bicycle past a movie theater that lists “Batman” and “Lethal Weapon 2” on the marquee, I was terrified to think how much time had passed. 1989 was such a good summer for movies, those two listed being my faves. And keep in mind that in the original mini-series/book, I believe the kids were all 1960s kids.
There’s legit terror in this movie but when we walk away and the dust settles on the scary images, we are asked to look at the span of time, how short life is, how hard it is to fix past mistakes, how we really have to try to do things right the first time.
Shit, had I been Pennywise I’d scare these kids just by telling them all that by the time they are 40 and ready to accept a big, well paying job as a reward for their life’s work, it will be yanked out from under them from some snot nosed 20 something millennial who started a multi-million dollar app business on his cell phone.
I know I’d of screamed enough to feel “It’s” fear hunger meter for sure had someone told me that in the summer of 1989.