It movie review: Not just a highly entertaining horror film, you'll be craving a sequel too

Mihir Fadnavis

Sep 08, 2017 08:54:12 IST


When first class story material meets first class execution, you get films like Andy Muschietti’s It. Not only is It a highly entertaining horror movie, it’s also the rare movie that makes you crave for a sequel. If you have even a remote interest in having a blast at the cinema with your pals, go and watch this movie before even reading the rest of this review.

It seems like Stranger Things has brought back the style of funny American kids in the 80s encountering something supernatural in the neighborhood.

It, based on Stephen King’s book, follows a similar formula where a bunch of kids, led by Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher) investigate the disappearance of Bill’s brother Georgie. There is a known psychopath in the neighborhood, but there is also a mysterious otherworldly presence that seems to be haunting the town, and more children seem to be disappearing. It’s up to Bill and his friends to figure out what the hell is going on and save the day.

It movie review: Not just a highly entertaining horror film, youll be craving a sequel too

A still from Andy Muschietti’s It.

If you’re a fan of the 80s mini series starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the clown, you’re going to be surprised by this updated version. Bill Skargard takes over as the titular character, and he’s equally fun and menacing. His presence in the film is added in increasing doses, as director Muschietti expertly balances the intensity of the scares with each subsequent setup.

The film differs quite a bit from the original show mainly in regards to the mythology of the monster in charge, and the changes mostly work in favor of the film.

The narrative storms ahead, going from one big scary setup to the next, dripping in atmosphere thanks to Park Chan Wook’s cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung whose visuals perpetually disturb the hair strands at the back of your neck. It’s also nice to see a horror movie where having fun is a priority over boring family dynamics or over the top gory deaths.

The ensemble of the child actors is amazing, each character having a memorable quirk. The casting director in particular deserves a mention considering the ridiculously strong performances from the children.

The only drawback here is the over reliance of CGI in the finale of the film – an element which was also problematic in Muschietti’s previous film Mama. The balance between practical and VFX work works superbly as long as the setups stay small, but the moment the film tries to wow you with gigantic spectacle towards the end one tends to disconnect from it. The excess VFX also seems unnecessary seeing as this is only the first of two movies – hopefully the next installment does more than increase the size of the sets.

It may not be the best Stephen King adaptation (that trophy goes to Misery), but it’s a still a very good one. It’s also a good sign for the horror genre that It is well received critically and commercially because it would get more studios to invest more money in the genre.

The less you know about the movie the more you will enjoy it. It’s the kind of film made for everyone, so it’s pertinent that you go and see it now that it’s out in theaters. Be careful walking around water drains though. And if you lose a paper boat around the drain, good luck getting it back.

Updated Date: Sep 08, 2017 08:54:12 IST