“It” does exactly what it was expected to do. It scares and it frightens. For many, it will induce nostalgia for the novel or original miniseries. However, for those new to the story, it may confuse.
The film focuses on the “Loser Club,” a group of six, young outcasts in middle school.
Following the disappearance of his younger brother, Georgie, Bill Denbrough, the leader of the pack (played by Jaeden Lieberher), plans to find out what happened to him. While on the search for his brother, the club soon discovers why Georgie and many more children have gone missing in the town of Derry.
Obviously, this movie does not need much of an introduction. “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” has become a staple of pop culture, even to the point of Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise becoming an online meme.
This new iteration of “It” tries to balance humor and horror. The humor, however, pales in comparison with the horror.
Many of the jokes tend to be sexual. Richie Tozier (played by Finn Wolfhard) always has a one-liner ready about the length of his penis or a crude joke about another club member’s mother.
Throughout the movie, the sexuality of these teens is often paired up alongside the intense gore, which starts right at the beginning and never relents.
This pairing makes for uncomfortable and, at times, distracting viewing.
It is understandable that this is a coming-of-age story. The young kids face their fears together in order to move on to the next chapter of their lives.
However, in a story which focuses mainly on the fears of the children, the sexual aspects of the film feel out of place.
Using sex as a main theme of a coming-of-age story works when the other parts of the film complement that theme. Here, amongst the scenes of arms being bitten off or metal rods being forced through a person’s skull, it is just jarring.
For some, that may be a deterrent. For others, that may be perfect.
It does add another level to the discomfort already present, and in a movie that shows it all, that extra step might be what works for many people.
This movie is far from realistic, and that should be expected. It’s exaggerated, from the characters, to the jokes, to the gore. It’s an assault to the senses, which is why, in a way, “It” works.