Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

“It” was real enough for Georgie: A Movie Review

Desi LaPoole
A&E Editor

With October just days away, ‘tis the season for all sorts of scary classics and, of course, new horror films hitting theaters. Arguably the best of the new releases is “It,” the reboot and adaptation of the 1990 mini-series and Stephen King’s massive novel of the same name.

The story follows seven friends as they fight their worst nightmare, a shapeshifting monster who calls itself Pennywise, the dancing clown. Every 27 years Pennywise emerges from the sewers of the town Derry to feast on the children who reside there. Over the course of the summer of 1988, the kids, or the “Loser’s Club,” as they call themselves, band together to try to defeat the evil that has been haunting the town for centuries.

Since its release on Sept. 8, “It” has become the highest grossing rated R horror film domestically, unseating “The Exorcist” from its throne. This is no easy feat. Horror films have a difficulty that other genres do not always share. It’s easy to scare the audience with some jump scares and a lot of eerie sound effects, however, it’s harder to have the audience scared for the characters. This is where the film excels.

To start off, is “It” scary? Well, yes and no. “It” feels like it’s two movies in one: primarily a horror film, with the added benefit of being a coming-of-age tale. The audience is able to watch the children grow and mature throughout the film, giving it its coming-of-age feel. Parents and adults take a backseat in the story, as the children are at the forefront with personalities that are both dynamic and distinct without being out of place. There’s Bill (Jaden Lieberher), the stuttering leader of the pack, Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), the inhaler-wielding hypochondriac and Richie (Finn Wolfhard), the fast talking, foul-mouthed comic relief of the bunch. The characters work like a group of frantic pubescent 13-year-olds, with a sort of energy that bounces off each other and draws the audience into the world of “It.”

At its core, the story is about overcoming your fears. Pennywise needs children to fear it before it can eat them, which is where its ability to shapeshift becomes useful. It’s able to become anything the child fears most, whether it be a leper, your dead little brother or a creepy woman in a painting. This provides the audience with the unique opportunity to not only be scared with the characters, but also to overcome their fears with the children throughout the movie.

As the film progresses, its fear factor decreases and the suspense increases as both the children and the audience begin to become less scared of Pennywise. In order to defeat the monster, they first must defeat their fears, only further developing the characters and our empathy with them throughout the film.

Some recent horror movies have relied on jump scares targeted at the audience to gain their praise. By incorporating multiple aspects of horror and other genres such as coming-of-age tales and comedy, “It” gives such a remarkable experience that it’s not surprising it’s become such a hit. Hopefully it will only get better in its coming sequel.

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