“It” is as much about the horror of the creature as it is about the connections between the characters.
BY MEGAN DERBYSHIRE AND AURORA HARRIS
“It” will make you fall in love with its cast of lovable misfit characters and never look at a clown or drain in the same way.
The opening sequence of “It” is one of the most chilling horror openings of recent times. Featuring a group of children, self titled “The Losers Club,” “It” is as much about the horror of the creature as it is about the connections between the characters.
Although defined as being a part of the horror genre “It” could almost be classified as an adventure film, giving off “Stranger Things”/“The Goonies” vibes. One of the main strengths of the film lies in its portrayal of friendship and what it means to be a part of a group, as throughout the progression of the film we see the characters help each other to grow and face their fears.
The first 10 minutes is the scariest part of the film with the most menacing appearance of Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) in the entirety of the 2-hour-and-15-minute duration. From this point, as we see more of Pennywise, the less scary he becomes. However, although he starts to become less terrifying we gain a stronger sense of the adventure aspect of the story. In spite of loosing the more horrific side of the film, we grow an attachment to the characters, so as an audience are still invested in the film.
Unlike a lot of other horror films being made today, “It” does not focus as much on creating a feeling of horror within the audience but instead focuses on making the audience feel empathy for the characters and their fears. As a result of this, this arc of narrative may disappoint hard-core horror fans, as well as those going in with the expectation of a traditional horror. However, “It” is good at building tension and will keep you on edge throughout the film.
“It” builds a believable universe within the town of Derry and the characters are well established with three-dimensional aspects. The main cast all portray their characters very well, with Bill (Jaeden Liberher), the leader of “The Loser Club” being a stand out character, as the audience root for him while he faces off against Pennywise. Within the film there was a lot of light-hearted comedy incorporated into the otherwise dark story. The younger cast had an impeccable sense of comedic timing and were the heart of the film.
“It” is a manifestation of fear and becomes whatever the children most fear most, however, Pennywise the clown is by far the scariest side of the character. Although important to the plot of the film the other personas of the character were nowhere near as scary and engaging as Pennywise and the film could have benefitted without them.
Overall, “It” is a heart warming and well-made film that will leave you wanting to revisit the town of Derry for a second round.