Why do kids like clowns? Why do parents hire them for birthday parties? Why do kids flock to them and ask them to make a balloon of the Milky Way galaxy? I have never understood it, and I probably never will.
Clowns cannot be trusted. Their faces are literally a façade that masks their real emotions and intentions, which, let’s face it, can sometimes be murderous (See: John Wayne Gacy).
Hopefully, with the popularity and success of Stephen King’s IT reaching record-breaking heights, what I like to call Clown Danger Awareness will be more appreciated and widespread.
The director is Andy Muschietti, who also directed and co-wrote the film Mama. The editing in Muschietti’s movies provokes fear in a way that is atypical of today’s horror movies: by movement of the malevolent objects on the screen. Instead of reverting to the fast-cutting technique to amp up the shock like we see in almost every horror film now, he leaves the camera on Pennywise as he slinks like a slug offscreen, or when Pennywise uncontorts himself and menacingly approaches the camera. It’s scary enough seeing something that’s not supposed to be there, but it’s another to have it chase you. And, when it comes to a story about your biggest fear finding YOU, it’s much more frightening having it both mentally *and* physically pursue and unhinge you.
The kid actors were exceptional, with group chemistry and individual likability that leaves the viewer sympathetic to their supernatural and not-so-supernatural plights. Even little Georgie, who has only a small amount of screen time, is the epitome of childhood innocence and naivety; this is why, despite the hope that maybe he will be smart enough to run when he sees a clown in the sewer, that he cannot survive. Innocence, however pure and good, sometimes is no match for pure evil.
One of the things that sets this horror film apart is the fact that child murders and child exploitation are at the forefront of the plot – not something that is very popular in mainstream media. You never see it, and even if the story requires it, you rarely ever get to actually SEE it onscreen. When it comes to cinema, child killings have been a taboo subject since its inception.
Not the case for this film. IT strays from the norm and stays true to its source material and includes extremely ruthless scenes that had me think “Wow, they just did that”. But, if you are going to brutalize children, you should go all the way with it.
From flying to the back of your seat and almost defecating yourself, to almost being moved to tears when Bill is confronted by Pennywise posing as little Georgie in a heart-wrenching battle of wills, IT hits all the points on the horror film spectrum.
Beep Beep, Richie!
>> Person to see this movie with: Your uncle who used to be a rodeo clown.