September 08, 2017

R: September 8th, 2017 | R: 135 minutes | R: R

The town of Derry, Maine is truly terrifying. Adults are six times more likely to go missing or be killed than any other town. But the children's rates are much, much worse. After Georgie (played by Jackson Robert Scott) and other numerous children going missing, Georgies older brother, Bill (played by Jaeden Lieberher) and the rest of the loser club, go on the hunt for the missing children. But there’s one problem, whatever is kidnapping the children, will feed on the loser clubs fears to abduct them too.

This horrifying film is directed by Andy Muschietti, who has previously directed the 2013 hit “Mama”. And while this film is based on the Steven King novel, and the 90’s Tim Curry mini-series, I am going to strictly review this film on its own merits. I have to get this out of the way, “IT” was brilliant. Truly a step in the right direction for the horror genre. To start off, I do not think this film relied on scares alone. Rather, it fueled on being a beautiful character piece. And the character development was what really made this film for me. Starting off with the cast, all the kids in the loser club were absolutely fantastic. Each of the seven kids were given the perfect amount of screen time to flush their characters out. And Muschietti was able to draw amazing performances out of these young actors. Jaeden Lieberher (previously seen in “Midnight Special” and “The Book of Henry”) stood out doing a phenomenal job as the stuttering leader of pack, thriving to find his little brother. Jeremy Ray Taylor (seen in “Ant-Man” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”) also did a great job playing the bullied new kid on the block. But the highlight of the film was Sophia Lillis (who has been seen in “37” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”). She did a stellar job playing the abused and bullied character of Beverly Marsh. Her character had so much depth, leaving the audience to feel incredibly empathetic towards her.

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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The highly anticipated reboot of Stephen King’s clown horror that traumatized an entire generation of children has arrived at last. Does the new It have the same bite that will instill a deep-seated fear of clowns for decades to come? Despite its source material that centers around fear and how to overcome it, the cinematic version of the story offers a great viewing experience but lacks the ability to terrorize its audience.

A series of disappearances of children strike the small town of Derry, Maine. When one such child goes missing, his brother takes it upon himself to search for him against all odds. In a dangerous town with a death rate multiple times that of the national average, six kids find themselves intertwined on a quest to save themselves and to find closure for terror that lurks underneath their homes. Brought together by bullying and their shared status as the “Losers Club”, the six children find themselves being haunted by visions of their deepest fears and a clown attempting to murder them. When they realize that the clown is actually a dark spirit that brings to life the children’s darkest fears, the children must band together to fight for their lives and to overcome their worst nightmares.

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Johnny Johnny (Senior Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.
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'IT' is a fantastic and frightening experience propelled by great performances. The film captures the essence of the book while also giving the audience the same nostalgic feel that Stranger Things did last year. It reveals suggesting coming-of-age themes underneath while Pennywise, played by a great Bill Skarsgård, haunts our beloved "Loser's Club". Each boy or girl in the club has a backstory which ultimately connects to Pennywise and the town they live in, Derry. Among the young cast, Sophia Lillis's performance stands out as the most nuanced.

The only issue with 'IT' is its lack of subtlety when dealing with horror elements, such as jump scares and startling CGI. Skarsgård's design of Pennywise often feels silly and cartoonish as opposed to Tim Curry's terrifying version of Pennywise, and the effects are hit or miss.

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Gerardo Gerardo (Contributor) is a film student living in Philadelphia. He usually prefers independent and classic films, but he will watch anything in theaters.
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