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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cindy Prascik is Takin’ it to the Sewers: It

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the first big-screen stab at Stephen King's It.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know or have guessed from the trailers.
A group of young outcasts faces off with an ancient evil that haunts their town.
Disclaimers: While I am a fan of both the book and the original TV mini-series adaptation of It, I'm many moons removed from revisiting either, so you'll find little by way of comparison here. Also, for the record, I like clowns.
Regular reader(s) may recall I don't have much love for modern horror. Mostly I find it a series of cheap startles and gross outs. I have four cats, so I needn't pay for either; I can step out of bed into a hairball any o'l time. It has a fair bit of blood and guts and some of the effects are lame enough they could be right out of the film's late-80s setting, but it is much more than just a horror movie.
As with the earlier TV version, 2017's It has an air of melancholy that reaches to the very depths of the story, the town, and the characters. It's not just about missing children; it's about an unhappy home life and not fitting in and, from an adult standpoint, those childhood connections that invariably fade and disappear with time. The movie's visual tone beautifully conveys the uneasy mood, along with some legitimately great acting by the young principals. It's a common complaint of mine that kid actors, even when they're good, are generally "good for kid actors," but these kids are GOOD, and that's to a person, not one weak link. As for Pennywise himself, filmmakers have worked to make him as horrific as possible, but the frights are mostly down to to timing, makeup, and effects rather than to Bill Skarsgard's performance. (Editorial note: Incessant drooling is not scary and I'm not a fan.) It is smartly-crafted enough to more than make up for any small complaints, though, a suspenseful thriller highlighted by outstanding performances and enough gore and jump-scares to keep horror fans happy.
It clocks in at 135 minutes and is rated R for "violence/horror, bloody images, and language."
Send in the clowns! Of a possible nine Weasleys, It gets eight and a half.

Fangirl points: Keep those ears open for pieces of Anthrax' Antisocial and XTC's Dear God!
Until next time...


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