Review: Psychological horror ‘IT’ proves not to be typical scary film

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Review: Psychological horror ‘IT’ proves not to be typical scary film

Gretchen Lawson

Gretchen Lawson

Gretchen Lawson

Mia McAuliffe, Staff Writer

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To all the horror movie lovers out there, director Andy Muschietti’s latest work, IT Chapter One, is definitely something you should put your to-watch list. It was a well-done psychological horror film that strays away from the typical “scary” movie.

Based on the 1100-page book by Stephen King, the film tells a story of a group of kids coming together to fight a shape-shifting demonic spirit that has haunted their small town of Derry for centuries. The most common form of “IT” is a clown known as Pennywise.

Bill Skarsgård took on the role of the terrifying Pennywise, and I have to say, I was quite impressed with his adaptation. He used his voice, facial expressions, mannerisms and certainly his makeup to their full potential, truly capturing a new kind of psychological fear. Just looking at Skarsgård in full costume would freak anybody out.

I also enjoyed the little references to King’s past works that Muschetti put in movie. He added details that related back to the original movie and the books that King lovers, like myself,  appreciated.

For example, in the book, one of the kids, Eddie, is afraid of werewolves. King makes his fear a big deal, but it’s difficult to fit all the details of his book into 2-hour movie. Instead, in one of the scenes where the kids face IT, the audience gets a glance at IT’s hand as it shape-shifts into a werewolf paw, showing the power the spirit held over the kids.

These small details sprinkled throughout the movie revealed how much time, effort and analysis Muschetti put into it.

Although, while “IT” had its great parts, it also had its bad moments. There were a few decisions that Muschetti made that I do not agree with.

For example, near the end of movie, Beverly, the only girl of the group, is kidnapped by Pennywise and put into some kind of sleep by the spirit.  Ben, another boy from the group, kisses her and awakens her from the death-like sleep. Muschetti does a fantastic job developing Beverly  into a strong feminine figure who is probably the bravest character, but all of that is crushed in this scene when she is portrayed as a damsel in distress who needs to be saved by a knight in shining armor. Not to mention, this scene does not even exist in the book.

Still, although it had it’s flaws, “IT” met most of my expectations, leaving me satisfied enough to want to see it again. It was the first scary movie I’ve seen in a long time that has actually left me wanting to keep all the lights on in my house for the night.

If you’re looking for a new horror film, “IT” is the perfect, shocking and spine-tingling choice for this Halloween season.

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