IT (2017) – spoiler-free review
Okay, I’m going to say it. I loved it (IT). I didn’t know what to expect and I really like the original mini series (I only watched it a couple of weeks ago in fact – so my comparison could be nice and sturdy) – but I bloody loved it. It was great!
AND it was long. For me sitting in a cinema it was definitely long . Two hours and fifteen minutes. With the crap adverts and actually very enjoyable trailers (this time) that was a loooong time. And I wasn’t bored once. Hardly even had a fidget.
So why did I enjoy it so much? Well without giving too much away…..
One of the things I always loved about the 1990 adaptation of IT (and I’m sure many people feel the same) is the group of kids (The Losers Club) that the film centers around. Part 1 is much stronger than Part 2 and surely this is the main reason why. The 2017 adaptation only concentrates on the kids story and happily, they do a great job. The new group of kids (and actors who play them) are just as likable and funny as they the first time crew. Read the full cast list here. Bill Skarsgard who played Pennywise was also good (and almost as young). And Eddie Spaghetti was my favourite.
As well as the characters being well written, the dialogue and story are too. It’s funny in places, makes you feel emotional at times. The film – like the original – does put emphasis on friendship and we’re shown the sadder, more dangerous side of growing up with nasty people around you and the damage that bullies can do (sometimes OTT clowns aren’t the only enemy). There’s actually loads of stuff I found clever and endearing about the writing (full credit to Mr King I suppose) but I won’t say too much for fear of ruining it (IT).
It’s set in the late 80s, instead of 1958, as the mini series was. This works well because you still have the retro, hazy feel of following one group of kids crazy summer, yet – for someone of my age – the references meant more (some great movie and music ones) and I liked it being set in the Sony Walkman era. And yes it is scary. Definitely. It also has a great soundtrack (which I ordered earlier this evening). Scenes that are familiar to the original are upgraded perfectly and scenes that weren’t in the original make great additions.
I guess I should find some criticisms so…. (though nothing caused me any heartache). Some of the CGI seemed a little too….CGI. Though the person I watched it with thought it was good so maybe it just me. Maybe watching the old 1990 IT so many times, it was just weird seeing things so slick and modern and computerized. And sometimes I thought Pennywise looked pretty young (Skarsgard is 26 now in real life) but it wasn’t really an issue, more an observation. Of course the Tim Curry performance will always be legendary (“kiss me fatboy”) I thought he played IT really, really well.
Go watch it anyway. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And in a way I’ve always felt that remakes of films that are based on books (long winded), shouldn’t really be classed as remakes anyway. I mean, it’s just another adaptation, another interpretation. And this one is great. And I do know that Stephen King was given an advanced screening about six months ago and said it “exceeded all expectations” and called it a “wonderful job”.