Evan Brown

Saint Joseph, MI Stephen King’s It was released on September 8th to mostly positive reviews. The film stars Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Clown, an assorted cast of little actors and was directed by second time director Andrés Muschietti.

“It” made $123,403,419 opening weekend, quickly broke records by becoming the 31st highest grossing opening weekend in the US and Canada of all time. It also became the highest grossing Stephen King adaption of all time and the second highest grossing R-rated movie opening, just behind Deadpool. (2016)

The film takes place in 1988 and follows a group of 7 children who band together to investigate and take down Pennywise a demonic clown monster who preys on their worst fears.

It starts out strong, with a truly chilling opening sequence, but suffers in the third act from length and structure problems. At the close of the second act, the charm wears off and It feels repetitive.

As the third act begins, it feels like it’s about the pick up again, however it just ends up feeling dragged out. There is about 30 minutes that could be cut from the movie entirely. The length and pacing of the film definitely hurt it.

The film also suffers from leaning on nostalgia. There are scenes and sequences that feel like the filmmakers hitting the audience over the head, driving the fact that it’s set in the late 80s into the ground.

As a horror movie, it is okay. It has a couple good jump scares. However most of the fear comes from the stand out performance by Bill Skarsgård. He truly shines in this film. In fact, most of the performances are pretty good. The kids are not unbearably annoying and I don’t want them to die, which is impressive.

While the performances are good, but the characters are boring. Apart from Pennywise, every other character in the film is completely forgettable. With some that are completely unnecessary and repetitive.

That being said, the direction and Cinematography are solid. It really is filmed like a cinematic, high budget horror film. Andrés Muschietti has a lot of skill and I tentatively look forward to seeing future projects from him.

In my opinion the main failure of the film comes down to the writing.

All in all, the film isn’t all bad, but it fails in several crucial places. The pacing, length and screenwriting are poor at best. In my opinion the main failure of the film comes down to the writing. But the charming young actors and the terrifying Pennywise save the movie. I would give it a 5/10.