Young SDCC had a lot of nightmares about clowns, with far too many nights including a knife wielding Ronald McDonald.
So as I popped myself into my not so comfortable “Premier” seat, I did wonder to myself…
Was watching It really a good idea?
Upon relaxing my backside and leaving the cinema, I realised that it wasn’t the scares I was remembering but rather the characters. Kids can be hard work, but The Losers Club is a group that I found emotionally engaging. The chemistry between them feels real as they form a team capable of taking on Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Let’s not beat around the balloon – Pennywise is one creepy bastard. Bill Skarsgård stays away from Tim Curry’s classic portrayal of the monster with a far more child-like and off kilter delivery that kept me on edge throughout. Add in various jump scares and some very disturbing imagery that had this new dad feeling very sensitive, and you have a film that has made me very careful about keeping my feet under the duvet at night.
Story rules dictate that the more you see of something the less scary it becomes. That definitely happens with Pennywise, but the growth in my own bravery mirrored that of the Losers.
From what I’m aware of regarding the original book and TV adaptation, 2017’s It takes the strengths of those stories and adds it’s own spin, resulting in a film that both scared and delighted me. Some may rue the moments of levity and feel it undermines the horror, but I felt that it enhanced things. I’d go as far to say that It isn’t just a good horror film. With some proper laughs and a range of emotion throughout, calling it such would be doing it a disservice.