The Hubs and I went and saw It last night at our favorite movie theater (Cinebistro is a 21+ dine in type theater). I was already pretty excited, but the movie theater had someone dressed up as a clown with a red balloon walking around (or at least I hope he was a movie theater employee and not just some weirdo who was way into Pennywise cosplay…) and special It themed drinks.
I had the Pennywise and the Hubs had a You’ll Float Too! Mine was yummy… which is a surprise since it’s bases on a murderous creature that often presents itself as a evil clown.
By the times the lights went down and the previews had exhausted themselves (Preview highlights: the new Flatlines, the new Bladerunner, and Happy Death Day), I was more than ready to once again become a member of the Loser’s Club.
The Loser’s Club has always been my favorite part of King’s epic tale. Their friendship and the bond they have is totally #FriendshipGoals. And while I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the It miniseries, I really only love the first half with the kids (the adult Loser’s Club casting was mostly really terrible). So I had pretty high expectations for this movie since it’s just the first half of the story which features what happened 27 years earlier.
The actors playing the kids did not let me down. They have great chemistry, they were funny and endearing and suitably tough and terrified. I liked the updated late 80s time setting a lot (especially one character’s fondness for New Kids on the Block). Some things were changed, but the friendship still felt perfect and magical, as it was meant to be.
Well done, Tinseltown.
There were some let downs though.
SPOILERS AHEAD, PROCEED WITH CAUTION (LIKE YOU SHOULD IF YOU SEE SOMEONE DRESSED UP AS A CLOWN, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S NOT HALLOWEEN AND THE CLOWN IS ACTUALLY INSIDE YOUR HOUSE)
Pennywise is scarier here than in the tv miniseries, but It has less of a personality. In the book and even in the miniseries, you could feel Pennywise’s hunger and anger, and the new movie doesn’t translate that as well.
Mike’s character. Like I said, the kids are fantastically cast, but they made some questionable changes to Mike’s character, and gave his story line of being the one to school the Loser’s on Derry’s troubling history to Ben. They did give him a more tragic background and he was the one Loser smart enough to bring a weapon to a Clown Fight. But… Mike is the one who stays behind. All the other Loser’s go off and become successful, but Mike stays in Derry and becomes a librarian (which honestly seems legit successful to me, but compared to the others, our boy Mike is not making bank) and he’s the gatekeeper. He’s the one to raise the alarm and bring the Loser’s home to fulfill their promise made 27 years ago.
I’m not saying his character can’t still do that, only that it will make a little less sense now. Book Mike is happy to observe and record, but in the new movie that’s not really his role. I wish we’d had a little more of his character, and that’s coming from a certified Ben fan. Ben is my Loser’s Club spirit animal, and I guess they gave him the history stuff since they took away his helping to build a dam. But it came at a cost- Mike’s love of history and Ben’s love of architecture is missing. I wonder if they’re planning on making Ben the one who stays behind? Hmm.
Some change is good though, and the movie definitely brought the chills.
There’s also some major changes with deaths and backstories- Georgie is missing rather than for sure dead, Henry Bower’s and his friends have some interesting twists with their characters, the kid’s fears are better (especially Stan’s- Jesus, that woman in the painting is going to haunt my dreams too!), and Bev’s bathroom goes from a light flow of blood to the elevator in The Shining (although I’m calling bs on those kids cleaning it up that well).
I’m really glad Patrick Hockstetter got a suitably gruesome ending in the new movie, although his character in the book is so entirely disturbing, as is his death… so I guess I’m glad they skipped that. Along with the infamous Lost in the Sewers Sex Scene. I mean, I love, Stephen King, y’all, but that is one part of the book I could have done without and definitely not one I ever want to see played out on the big screen. Like with a lot of things, you can show and tell things in books that just can’t be translated onto the big screen.
I really loved the movie. I tried not to get too caught up in the “That’s not how it is in the books!” and just enjoy the movie as it’s own thing. It’s definitely worth seeing if you love scary movies or just want to join the Loser’s Club.
#BloggersDressedInBlood Splatter Scale: 10 out of 10.
It’s super disturbing, and because it involves kids it’s that much more disturbing. I looked away a few times, but not often enough. Eek!