‘Stephen Kings – IT’ Movie Review 

The perfect blend of 80’s nostalgia, a classic horror tale and honestly just an overall really fun and scary movie going experience.

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(WARNER BROS.)
Seriously, what is is with clowns anyways? They’re fun, they’re creepy, and they have honestly made me lose more hours of sleep then I care to remember. I’m now a grown man, and I find it hard to believe that Stephen Kings newest adaptation would cause me such pain. Well guess again Nate, because Andy Muschietti’s IT really scared the crap out of me. It’s been a long time since I was this excited walking into a movie theatre, this has been years in the making. Being in production hell, going from one director to another, and casting and recasting the famous Pennywise The Dancing Clown, I wondered if they would ever get around to making this happen. Finally things started coming together when director Andy Muschietti got on board with the project, and even helmed part of the script himself. Having grown up with the 90’s TV mini-series, I fell in love with Pennywise, and was also terrified of him. I can remember watching it when I was very young, probably younger than one should be when watching IT, but props to my grandfather who decided to hell with it, and now here we are 27 years later, and Pennywise still gives me goosebumps. The story is pretty simple, 7 loser battle a clown that brings out their deepest darkest fears in the town of Derry Maine. Boy I would not want to take a vacation to that place. 

So like I just mentioned its been 27 years since Tim Curry made parents wash more bed sheets then they could ever dream about. Did you know that in the novel, Pennywise actually comes back every 27 years, I found that very neat. I’m not going to spoil anything in the movie, but this is drastically different from the TV mini-series, and I’ll say this movie is more faithful to the source material, and that made me happy and sad. I was expecting certain things to happen that didn’t and they take certain things in other directions, which in the end I was fine with, because I know they just didn’t want to rehash everything that went on in the mini-series. For instance, I’m going to start with the main attraction, Mr. Pennywise himself. I recall when the first images of Pennywise were released, everyone and their mother threw a massive hissy fit about the way he looked. Well lets just toss this out the window, because take a bow Bill Skarsgard, because you had pretty big shoes to fill, more like clown shoes (I AM RIGHT!) Sorry I couldn’t go this entire review and not toss that pun in there. I don’t want to sit here and compare the two Pennywise’s, that’s not fair to either actor, they are both completely different interpretations of a character. I will say I enjoyed this Pennywise more, he was certainly way more creepy, and people forget that Pennywise is a shape-shifting entity from another dimension, he is more than just a clown. Tim Curry’s portrayal felt more clown like, where Skarsgard’s felt like he was portraying a super natural being. He brings it though, the first 5 minutes of IT, you are sitting on the edge of your seat. You can tell he really put everything into this role, and the kids seemed genuinely afraid of him, almost like they weren’t acting in certain moments, there was real fear inside of them. He was creepy to boot, funny at times, and part of me was kind of rooting for him in moments. He really sucks you into the movie, the very moment you lay your eyes on him. I had one very small gripe with Pennywise, and that was simply just not enough of him. Just the way he was able to put his whole body into his performance, from contorting his body, to using different voices. He was so animated that it made Pennywise so much creepier, and seemed so much more unhinged, that I I wanted to see more, because every time he was on screen, you didn’t know what he was going to do or say. A little more interaction with the kids would have been nice as well, but those are small nitpicks in an overall fantastic movie. There is about a 7 minute stretch, that involves Pennywise, that is some of the most disturbing and scariest stuff I have ever seen in a movie. It sums up his role, and is the purest form of what I want in my dancing clown.

Now for the Losers Club. Bravo to the casting director of IT, because they casted the Losers so damn well. I couldn’t believe the chemistry and the camaraderie between all the kids. They felt like just a bunch of friends, who happened to be in the same movie together. I’m not going to go over seven different performances, but they all deserve credit. For me the stand outs were Finn Wolfhard who plays Richie Tozier. Who serves as the comedic relief for the movie. He has so many incredible one liners, that involve dick jokes, mom jokes and just easing the tension, and I found myself laughing a lot throughout the entire movie. IT is actually a really funny movie, there are a ton of laughs to be had, which makes sense, because it’s about a group of kids. Remember when you were a kid, you knew all the swear words, but you would only say them around your friends. These kids have really foul mouths, and I loved every second of it. Besides being really funny, the movie has so much heart. There are just some real endearing moments, about kids really becoming young adults, and overcoming what scares them most. All around IT just has such a nice blend of different genres and themes, that it makes you appreciate what the director was able to pull off. Sophia Lillis plays Beverly Marsh, and I thought she did such a wonderful job in this role. Her character goes through the most development in the movie I’d say, and she really seemed mature for her age. She has some really tense, emotional scenes, and she showed her acting chops in those scenes. But my man, my guy, Jack Dylan Grazer who plays Eddie Kaspbrak, the geek/germaphobe. I think this kid as a hell of an acting future, there’s just something about him, maybe he reminds me of a younger version of myself. I just found him having almost the most to do in this movie, and he seemed like he was acting the hardest, and I really respect that about the kid. All the kids did such an incredible job, they are all rockstars, and all have bright futures. Everyone and their dog is about to see IT, and these kids are about to become house hold names. Shout out to Port Hope, Ontario, that’s where IT was shot. The cinematography is simply stunning. There are some gorgeous sets, and shots of the town were spectacular. There is just some amazing imagery throughout, with Pennywise, the kids, and just some little subtle things that people may or may not pick up on.

This story just has a really special place in my heart, and it’s movies like IT that make me have such a strong appreaction for the film industry. This is more than just a horror movie, it’s just a really good, well made movie. It’s also more than just a horror story, it’s got a comedy aspect, a thriller aspect and what I like most, the coming of age story. This is at its core a story about kids coming together, and facing their deepest fears. It’s about friendship, about being part of something special, and coming together for a common goal. Each loser overcomes what scares them most, while at the same time dealing with everyday problems, that 13 year olds are faced it on a day to day basis. It just so happens they are dealing with not only bullies from school, but a psycho killer clown, that wants to rip them to shreds. This just reminds me of other movies I hold dear to my heart, Stand By Me, The Goonies, ET, Sandlot and of course Stranger Things. Whenever kids are involved and a great story is being told, I don’t know, something about that just warms my heart. I loved my childhood so much, and it’s nice to just feel like a kid again, get scared in the theatre, not have to worry about the responsibilities of being an adult. Just to be around your friends a go on an adventure, maybe it’s because that’s something I need right now, but these are why these are my favourite types of movies. IT just made me feel like a kid again, while I was sitting in the theatre, scared like I was when I was 6 years old, clinching my seat and trying to not whimper like a baby. I never really look at my watch or phone during movies, but I did during IT, because I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to spend more time with the Losers Club. When the title screen is finally revealed at the end, and it says “Chapter 1”, I smiled, knowing that we will get to see Pennywise again. One thing I will say about chapter 2. I hope they are careful with their casting. They did a perfect job casting the young losers, and I think casting A-List actors, could take away from the movie. Some how make it seem less believable, but I can’t wait to see who they cast. This was just a really special movie going experience for me, and the most fun I’ve had in the theatre in a long time. It’s not the best movie of 2017, but right now I think it’s my favourite. Get over your fear of clowns and go out and see this movie. See you in your dreams!

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – IT = 97/100 – Saw it a second time, even better than I thought, original score was 93.

 

 

 

 

Overall Thoughts About ‘IT’ & Casting The Adult Losers Club!

Kingston was founded as a beaver-trapping town……Still is right boys!

(WARNER BROS.)
Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and even Dom Toretto himself were no match for Pennywise and the Losers Club. Can you believe that, IT, a movie without any mega A-List actors, a horror movie and most importantly a rated R movie. Walked away from the weekend with an opening of 123 million dollars. Making it third, only behind Beauty & The Beast and Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol 2. IT set records for the largest September opening and the best opening for a horror movie ever. Honestly I can’t believe it, I thought the movie would open to a modest 80 million dollars, which again is humongous for an R rated film, considering Logan, which came out back in March, only opened with 88 million dollars. That’s Wolverine we are talking about, and that couldn’t even crack a 100 million dollar opening weekend. I know what you’re thinking “who cares,” well one, I do, and secondly this is a massive success just not for the horror genre, but for movies in general. The 2017 summer box-office was one of the worst in a long time. With flop after flop, sequel or reboot after another. Or just movies that didn’t seem to have any steam leading up to their releases. I didn’t go to a single movie in the month of August. I can’t recall the last time I went an entire calender month without going to the movies. For instance, another Stephen King adaption came out earlier this summer, The Dark Tower, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, two of Hollywoods biggest stars, and it BOMBED. It bombed so bad, it took IT one day to make more money at the box-office than The Dark Tower did in its entire theatrical run. The only person people knew in IT, was “that kid from Stranger Things.” Not only did it have an incredible opening weekend, it’s sitting pretty at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. There’s a reason why I brought up The Dark Tower, and it’s something that’s happening a lot in the film industry right now. Zero to little passion being put into these movies. They thought let’s get McConaughey and Elba together in a movie, it will make a killing! The studio was never behind the project and didn’t let the director behind it make the movie they wanted to make. That will never lead to success. Warner Brothers let Patty Jenkins take Wonder Woman by her gauntlets and make the movie she had invisioned and it showed, because it’s the most successful movie of 2017 thus far. They let Andy Muschietti make the version of IT he believed could do the fans justice. They didn’t interfere and again it shows. Studios need to start letting directors with creative visions make the movies they want to make and not muddle in the process. Incredible things can happen when they do, and IT just showed that.

That was just a little rant, but now I’m going to go over the movie, and will spoil a few things, so if you haven’t seen IT yet, I suggest you float away now, I’d hate to burst your balloon.

The more I think about IT, the more I am becoming aware of just much I loved this movie. I think I had such high expectations of what I wanted it to be, and what I wanted from my movie going experience, that when it was all said and done, it was really hard for me to digest what I had just witnessed. It wasn’t what I was expecting, it wasn’t even that scary, more creepy and disturbing. But its almost been a week now, and I have come to realize just how special this movie really was, and I can’t wait to watch it again this week. Just some things that I noticed throughout the movie, that maybe some people may have missed, or some just really awesome imagery. For instances the very beginning of the movie, Bill draws a smiley face on his bedroom window when it was raining, and right as Georgie walks out of the room, the rain washes away the face. Just the entire opening sequence is special, how Pennywise is almost sweet and innocent during his interaction with Georgie, and how he is trying to hold down a conversation with him, but he doesn’t really know how to. He isn’t human, so when the water and his drool are pouring down his face, human instinct would be to wipe that away but yet he doesn’t. And the quick shot of his arm reaching out to grab Georgie is actually one of the scariest moments of the movie, because you know his arm is extending in order to grab him, but they don’t show that. It’s just after this scene we get to see the real Pennywise, and he isn’t ever like that again, he’s demonic, scary as hell, and enjoys toying with the losers.

The house scene with Eddie, Richie and Bill was why favourite part of the whole movie. It simply encapsulated everything I wanted this movie to be. Tons of Pennywise, scares and most importantly the losers banding together to take him down. It has most of the kids dealing with their fears, which at its core, is what the movie is about, and my favourite moment of the entire movie, is when Pennywise crawls out of the fridge. Its honestly just so disturbing, and Jack Dylan Grazer does such an incredible job in this scene. This was the first time he had ever seen Bill Skarsgard in character, and it showed on his face. People are somewhat complaining about to much CGI with Pennywise, because in the 90s that wasn’t the case. But in the 90s version the little CGI they did use looked so bad, and laughable they couldn’t do stuff like that. And he’s a shape-shifter so they could do some weird stuff like that with him. But I think my favourite Pennywise moment was when Mike first sees him in the meat shop. Just hanging himself with the chains laughing like a fool. That’s why I think Skarsgard’s performance was just brilliant, he seemed to be enjoying himself to the fullest playing this role, and I don’t know this moment just really stuck with me. This will probably change after multiple viewings, but when I left the theatre this was something that was stuck in my head.

Casting The Losers 

I have seen this already going around, so I wanted to share my thoughts on who I think should play the adult versions of the Losers Club. Now it’s difficult because they are 12 in the movie, and it comes back every 27 years, so technically we need actors near 40, but some of mine are a little bit younger. This is just hypothetical and I bet not a single one of these people will be casted in the movie, but I think they would do a really good job in their roles! Minor spoilers for Chapter 2. Nothing big, just what they go on to do for their jobs when they get older.

Bill Denbrough  – Adam Driver 


Fresh off his Star Wars success, Adam is a not quite a house hold name yet, but I think he could do adult Bill justice. Bill becomes a very respected and renowed writer. He writes horror stories to be exact, and when the losers get back together to battle Pennywise once more, once again Bill takes charge in the leading the group. I think Adam Driver could take the reins on being that leader, and I just think he’s a fantastic actor.

Ben Hanscom – Armie Hammer  


I know what you’re thinking. The little fat kid, grows up to be Armie Hammer, yeah right. But Ben, who is actually referred to as “Haystack” in the book, well puberty hits him like a freight train, and he grows up to be a tall, slender, successful architect. Like one of the best in the world, he’s award winning, and sophisticated, and I think Armie could pull this off beautifully. He’s also just one of my favourite actors, and I would love to see a man his size be scared of Pennywise, and even better, if they made it seem like Pennywise still towered over him, that would make him seem even more terrifying! The one big chance that will happen with chapter 2, the novel takes place in the 50’s then in the 80s. The movie takes place in the late 80s, so that means chapter 2 will be taking place in almost modern time, so things will certainly change from within the book.

Beverly Marsh – Amber Heard 


Everyone in the world wants either Jessica Chastain or Amy Adams for this role, but I don’t. Love them both and I actually do believe one of them will be casted in the role, but I’m going with Amber Heard. Beverly grows up to be a beautiful fashion designer and well that role screams Amber Heard to me, I know she’s a little on the younger age, but she’s involved with the WB studio, playing Mera in the upcoming Aquaman, so she’s already used to having red hair.

Eddie Kaspbrak – Johnny Galecki 


Yes Leonard from The Big Bang Theory. When I see Eddie, I see Leonard. I think he could really get into Eddie’s character, and he’s already used to playing a nerd and outsider, so this could be easy for him. Eddie grows up to own a really successful limousine service, but seeing how this will take place in almost modern day, well I don’t think that will be the case. He will probably own some sort of driving app, or something along those lines.

Stan Uris – Neil Patrick Harris


That’s right, suit up! NPH baby, he’s got a background of playing a dramatic role in Gone Girl, and I think he could crush this role. Stan grows up to be a very successful accountant, and already, if you’re not thinking that’s not NPH, then shame on you. Also he’s awesome, and I would love to see him in more things.

Mike Hanlon – Anthony Mackie 


I didn’t realize that he was older than he was. Anthony is almost pushing 40, so it’s perfect! He’s also a fantastic actor, who could really show his acting chops in this role. We are used to seeing him as Falcon in the MCU, but he’s done a ton of stuff. Mike has such a larger role in chapter 2 as well, serving as the librarian in Derry. He serves almost as the leader of the group early on in chapter 2, as he is the one contacting all the other Losers, when he realizes that IT is back. Would love to see Anthony in this role.

Richie Tozier – Bill Hader 


I’m stealing this one from Finn Wolfhard himself. The cast was asked this question and Bill was his answer, and well I think it’s perfect. I know that Bill Hader is only known for his comedy, well Richie was the comedic relief in the first part, and Richie goes on to be a world class comedian, so yeah this makes perfect sense. Bill Hader is also phenomenal at using his face, and I think he could come up with some really wacky, funny stuff when it comes to him seeing Pennywise again. Really hope this one happens, I would love to see Bill Hader take on a role in a horror movie.

Check ya later.