I have really sat and thought about how I am going to go about talking about this one. The movie review of Stephen Kings IT, which is the remake of the made for TV movie. I hope that you enjoy my take on it. I will explain the movie a bit, talk a bit about the differences between the original movie and the book and then give my insight on it. In other words:
It is 1988 in Derry, Maine. The movie starts by introducing Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and his little brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott). Bill is sick but has made a paper boat for Georgie to sail in the rain. As Georgie is sailing his boat, it dives into the storm drain on the side of the road. There we get our first glance of Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgård.) He talks to Georgie, introduces himself and then proceeds to kill him.
It moves on to show Bill coming out of the last day of school with his friends, the loud mouth Ritchie Tozer (Finn Wolfhard) and Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer.) Bill is intent on finding his brother and has decided that the barrens are the best place to look. They meet Ben Hanscome (Jeremy Ray Taylor,) Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis) and Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs) and Stanley Uris (Wyatt Oleff) and are attacked by bullies Henry Bowers, Belch, Patrick and Victor Criss. Patrick is then taken by Pennywise.
They begin experiencing horrifying things caused by Pennywise. They find that being together, Pennywise is unable to take them, so he works to break them apart. A fight between the crew ends in them splitting ways and Beverly is attacked by her father (who was thinking that she was sleeping with the boys) and she fights back by smashing her fathers head in with what appears to be the top of the toilet tank. She is then taken by Pennywise.
Bill visits her house to find her father on the floor and the words “YOU DIE IF YOU TRY” written in blood and her father dead in the bathroom. He goes and finds Ritchie and tells him that Beverly has been taken. They gather the rest of the guys together and set out to go into the sewer where they are sure Pennywise lives.
It moves to show Beverly laying on the floor of some concrete room that is filled with old childrens toys that is formed into a huge mound. and circus music is playing. Beverly looks up to see children floating up in the air around the mound. A voice comes over the music introducing “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” and as she looks over, Pennywise is standing in what looks like a mock circus tent. He begins to dance (I have to say this: It was quite hilarious) and then attacks Beverly. She says that she isn’t afraid so he introduces her to the Dead Lights. Her eyes turn white and she floats upwards.
Bill and the guys find the concrete room and see Beverly and try to get her down. They try to call to her, but nothing pulls her from the Dead Lights until Ben shakes her and kisses her. Slowly she comes back.
Bill hears a sound and moves around the toy mound to find his brother standing there. Georgie is telling Bill that he wants to go home. Bill is devastated, and says that he wants him to come home too, that he loves him but he knows that he isn’t Georgie. So he takes this gun thing (it is used to humanely kill what looks like Sheep) and shoots Georgie in the head.
He falls flat and as everyone gasps in horror at what he did, Georgies body begins to twitch and turns into Pennywise. Bill tries to shoot Pennywise again, but doesn’t realize the gun is not loaded. But his belief that it was causes Pennywise to fall back, a gunshot having smashed the side of his head. He falls back towards what looks like an old well and his head tears apart and he falls as they watch.
They all know that Pennywise is not dead, so they make a blood oath to come back if it starts again.
Henry takes the blame for all of the murders.
Now for the differences.
The made for TV movie will always be a classic, but it doesn’t go into the depth that this one takes. It is more subtle and tame. It never shows how the kids die, never really shows the depth of Pennywise and this movie does. The effects of Pennywises feeding is perfectly done. It shows how his mouth works which is a major plus. While I love the old movie (TIM CURRY IS THE BEST!) it wasn’t as detailed. You are able to see him biting into Georgie, and dragging him back into the sewer.
The movie also shows (subtle as it is) the truth behind the abuse of Beverly. The MFTV (made for TV) movies shows that she is abused yes, BUT you can really tell in this movie what that entails. And that goes for the book too.
It also gives an insight on how Pennywise works; goes more in depth about his actions. Let me explain. It shows the steps he takes to get the FEAR that he needs to survive. In the book, it gives the explanation in a candid and clear way, and the movie was trying to accomplish that while taking a few liberties.
Also, the kids are potty mouthed like crazy. In the original, there was only a slight show of that, this movie gives us more of it and the book. The “F” word was used more than 200 times in the book, the “C” word was said around 10 times along with other things.
Now, as for the book, it is more graphic, more disturbing. There is horrid violence, sexual violence, an orgy. What else can I say?
There is a lot of difference between the old MFTV movie, the 2017 movie and the book. I won’t go into detail about all of it but if you have read anything by Stephen King, watched any of the movies, you will understand.
As for my thoughts on it:
I think the movie is fantastic. I really do. Bill Skarsgård done a fantastic job of showing us the true side of Pennywise that wasn’t able to be shown on the MFTV movie. But Tim Curry will always be the top clown.
The kid actors were absolutely wonderful in their delivery. They made you sink into the scenes with them, made you feel the raw emotion that they did and that in itself is amazing. You do not expect that people so young could draw you in like that, but they definitely have the ability.
The effects were superbly done and flawless in their use. Pennywises mouth was something I was glad was elaborated on. While Tim Curry’s teeth were great, I always felt that using the teeth they did detracted from how terrifying Pennywise actually is. By doing it the way they have in the 2017 movie, showing the depth behind the teeth made it better.
I would also like to add a little about the “dancing” part. I have never seen anyone dance maniacally before. Well now I have. It was funny but scary all at once. Bill Skarsgård really nailed it. Bill, wow. Well done on that.
Do I think this is a movie for the younger folk? No… OH HELL NO. I mean, maybe over the age of 13 but no younger. It was vulgar, crude and that is something I do not feel is good for the young ones.
Now, for my end thoughts.
I think they done a great job. The movie is amazing and very well done. I was angry at first that they would take the old classic and refurbish it, but in the end, I am glad they did. I liked the changes that were made, the actions that were taken and feel that it could have even when farther in depth.
Will I watch this again? You bet I will.