What happens when a bunch of kids are up against a clown, who hunts down the kids of ‘Derry’ town, using their fears against them? This is the one liner of the horror movie IT (2017). Does it scare it’s audiences enough? Read below to find out.
IT 2017, has been directed by Andi Muschietti and has screenplay by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman. First things first, directing a 136 minute movie banking on teenage kids is a bold step and the director has to be praised for this. The kids are natural and this especially goes to Jaeden Lieberher. He plays the kid who stammers whilst talking and he has done a neat job.
The movie starts off with an intense emotion filled scene involving Jaeden and his younger brother. This is the very start of proceedings and forms the base for the rest of the conflict related events that follow in the rest of the movie.
The first half has very few scary moments and the biggest backbone of the film’s former half is its comedy. This quotient works well among audiences and most of the jokes seem natural with no force fitted feeling. The very chemistry between the kids is also another positive. Actors Finn Wolfhard and Jack Dyan Grazer who play Richie and Eddie respectively, steal the show with their one liners.
Also, the episode starring Sophia Lillis, the only female character in the losers’ club of the bunch of kids is something interesting and is a track of its own. She adds value to the film with her performance and her character sketch is attractive. Her character also defies the judgemental lot who go by what they hear and also proves them wrong subtly.
The clown’s character is bold and does not try hard to scare. It is more of manipulation and this again is an experimentation. But the flipside is that, this experimentation steals the mystery element about the clown and could gather mixed opinions about it.
However, the predictability factor of the entire film is a slight worry and might not surprise those who are in to watch something hard to guess or decode. The scary moments are few in number and not very impactful with the small yet noticeable immature side of the script, popping up in these parts.
The technical aspects, especially the lighting and cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung is apt for this genre and the edit by Jason Ballantine is neat, except for certain slow moments in the latter half. But again, this could be what was enforced by the direction department. Sound design is easily the most important sector when it comes to a thriller or horror film and this has been handled quite well too.
The track featuring the set of bullies that trouble the kids, does not seem very necessary but again adds value, thanks to nice negative performances by the senior boys. Certain chase sequences and reveals can be guessed by the watcher and if this had been kept a little more interesting, IT could have stepped up to become a brilliant watch. Nevertheless, inspite of its predictability being a minus, IT the movie engages its audiences in most parts. The film has a good clarity right from the start with a fair deal of execution done right, making it a decent one time watch.