A Priceless Review: “It”


“It” is now in theaters globally. (image from itthemovie.com)

By Jake Price, Entertainment/Opinions Editor

Rating: 9.5/10

A young boy sees a creepy red balloon floating across the library. He follows it down the steps into the lower part of the building only to be ambushed by a dancing clown with teeth sharp as a great white shark, hair red as blood and eyes green as a granny smith apple . The Stephen King novel adaptation “It” is a horror story where seven kids search for a shape-shifting, demonic clown named Pennywise after kids begin disappearing. Along the way, they not only learn about importance of friendship, but the importance of individuality.

This film is now the best horror film to come out within the last decade. Not only is the film terrifying and disturbing, but the story, script, acting and visuals are hauntingly brilliant.

Stephen King movies have always been some of the best stories ever told, but this one is the most intriguing and well written. It had a clear beginning, middle and end, but it was still very complex due to some of the disturbing backstories of the characters. For example, one of the characters suffered from abuse by her father, but at the same same time, she explored her sexual awakening. This was amazing, because they told an adult story using an accurate portrayal of kids. The story and script were great but a bit fast paced. The first half of the film was very rushed, but the amazing second half made up for the inconsistent pacing. The writing was also really great in terms of dialogue. All of the one liners were fantastic and the conversations between the members of the Loser’s Club were just as entertaining. This movie was surprisingly a genuinely funny film, but, at the same time, it was creepy and disorienting.

However, the dialogue couldn’t have been as amazing without the incredible actors’ performances. This film has some of the best child performances I’ve ever seen. The two best performances in “It” were Jaeden Lieberher as Billy and Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. Lieberher accurately played someone who has a speech disorder called stuttering, which was really nice to see come from a child actor. He also really sold his relationship with his missing brother Georgie. Georgie was a bit of a problem for the movie because he didn’t seem real, but Liberher’s performance made you feel the loss of his poor little brother. Skarsgård on the other hand gave a terrifying performance as Pennywise. He definitely was under a lot of pressure due to the fact that Tim Curry gave an iconic performance in the TV mini series that came out in 1990; it adapted King’s novel as well. The pressure is now finally off and it’s safe to say that he did a phenomenal job. He took the character Pennywise down the direction of being a performance artist rather than just a scary clown. This made his performance very artistic and different compared to Curry’s performance.

Skarsgård not only gave a good performance, but is also the subject of one of my favorite shots in the movie. That specific shot is when one of the kids sees Pennywise for the first time and Pennywise just stands there in front of a haunted house, with red balloons forming an upside down triangle. This scene just defines Pennywise as a character. However, other than that and a couple of other cool shots, the visuals were pretty bland. There were some cool camera shots here and there, but, overall, the cinematography and art design was pretty dull. The reason why the visuals were bland was that compared to the Stephen King film “The Shining,” director of “It,” Andy Muschietti, just didn’t have the visual and artistic discipline to match the talents of “The Shining” director Stanley Kubrick which was terrifyingly brilliant.

Speaking of terrifying, this is the question everyone has with this movie: is “It” scary? The answer to that is yes and no. There were a decent amount of jump scares in the movie, and, depending on who you are, you might or might not get scared. However, overall the movie was more disturbing than it was scary. This is because they played more on adult themes that deal with children, and there is some grotesque imagery.

Horror is a genre that not everyone may like, but this movie changes that. The story is so good that even someone who hates horror will think it’s one of the best movies they’ve seen this year. With it’s fantastic storytelling and scary good performances, “It” is one of the best horror movies of all time.