So far 2017 is considered one of Hollywood’s worst box office years in recent memory with many big budget action and comedy movies completely flopping while costing their studios millions of dollars. Against all odds and expectations, 2017 is proving to be the year where horror movies are reclaiming the box office glory of the old days. After the huge success of Get Out and Annabelle: Creation, IT easily continues the trend and it will definitely rule the box office the coming few weeks.
Based on the popular Stephen King novel of the same name, IT revolves around the disappearance of several children in the town of Derry in the state of Maine. After no one seemed interested in digging further into the mystery, several children decide to take matters into their own hands and try to uncover the truth. Their curiosity and bravery leads them down a very dangerous road full of fear and a very mad clown called Pennywise.
Director Andy Muschietti (Mama) passes the Stephen King test with flying colours after Hollywood’s many years of failure in adapting several of King’s novels. He is able to establish the small town creepy mood with a very distinctive imagery and visual style to go with it. The scary scenes are creepy and suspenseful, the emotional scenes are effective, and the humourous parts are funny. The characters are likeable and well established which makes the audience’s investment in them worthwhile and even emotional at times.
The young cast absolutely knocks it out of the park in this one; they are the biggest surprise here as they lend their characters a lot of raw emotions, fear, and humour. The score is also another knock-out as it goes well with the mood and the tension-filled moments. Some will certainly consider this one a new horror classic, but I will have to settle for something close to a horror classic for several reasons. It is super long and it could have easily lost 15 minutes with no impact on the final product. The film also feels, at parts, like a series of scary scenes with some humorous elements put together instead of a clear cohesive story. I really wanted to see more of the clown talking because his conversations are creepier than his looks but sadly we don’t get much of that.
The film reminded me of the Netflix series Stranger Things, which is also about a team of children trying to uncover a supernatural mystery. So if you are a fan of that series make sure you catch IT this weekend because it will fit right up your alley. Overall, IT is a very clear success story for everyone in-front and behind the camera, and it will give you exactly what you expect and then some. It is another triumph in a year that is proving to be a golden year in the horror genre books.