IT – The Scariest Movie About a Preposition Since Pixar’s UP

“We all float down here!”

Never could I have imagined that a Modest Mouse song could be adapted into such a riveting tale of systemic child murder by a demon clown hiding in the sewers of a fictional New England town. Go Patriots! Screw the Cowboys. Nickleback isn’t as bad as everyone says. Taylor Swift’s new single sounds like to two wombats mating but remixed by Tiesto, so it’s still kind of a banger.

Now if I didn’t lose you after that last paragraph, lets proceed.

IT is a scary good movie.

At IT’s/its (these its are gonna get confusing) core, Stephen King’s IT is a veritable coming of age story for a group of misfit kids (affectionately to us not so much to them) dubbed the “Losers Club,” as they face down their innermost fears. Now stop the synopsis right there and you’ve got yourself the workings of a darling little indie dramedy (look it up, its a term)…but we’re gonna keep going.  Now toss in a demon clown wielding the powers of hypnosis and industrial balloon blowing as a metaphysical representation of these fears and the hardships of growing up and you’ve got yourself the cannon fodder for nightmares.

Now I’ve never bought into the cultural groupthink that clowns are the most terrifying beings to ever walk this space rock, but this iteration of “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” was outstanding. Bill Skarsgard gives an inspired performance that deftly teeters back and forth between evil and menacing, and goofy and well clownish; never straying too far to either side. This Pennywise will go down as a classic horror movie monster, dancing his way into our nightmares and wallets for decades to come.

Let me take a quick sucker punch at the throngs of die hard DC fanboys: this was the best Joker we’ve seen since the late great Heath Ledger.

But again let’s not get wrapped up in the clown or even comic book movies (it’s possible; took me 3 months of rehab though) so much, because like I said this story is about the kids. And these kids were great. Our director, Andy Muschietti, crafts a film centered around an ensemble cast of kids balancing our time spent with each kid individually and as a group so we can really grow to care about them. The narrative takes moments to breath too, never overloading you with manufactured moments of “horror” in the form of jump scares and the like, instead giving us moments of levity that juxtaposes well with the darker moments that follow. This approach serves to heighten the scares and creates stakes for our characters, and emotional investment by the viewer.

From the script, to the direction, to the performances, to even the visual effects and especially the score (which will unfortunately get overlooked I’m sure), IT is a must see…in a theater, with a crowd, shamelessly suffocating a stuffed animal caught in your fear induced vice grip. I brought my cardboard cut out of the ORIGINAL High School Musical Zac Efron (looking at all you HSM band wagoners). He’s been reduced to tear soaked rubble…not the first time though.

In what has been a horror renaissance over the last couple years with the likes of Conjuring, Get Out, Don’t Breathe, It Follows, The Witch, The Babadook, and the list certainly goes on, IT stands among the best of em. And IT along with the rest stand in such high regard because they’re good movies before they’re scary movies (reread the my first statement above and you’ll notice my subtle yet deliberate phrasing of “scary good” [I’m brilliant, I know {ok these nested brackets are getting out of hand}]). They’re scary movies because they’re good movies.

That’s all folks.

Oh and remember to tip your clowns generously. Between this demon clown and Jared Leto’s Joker, the jesting industry must be experiencing some kind of mini recession. Just as I enrolled in clown college too. Poor timing.

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Epilogue: According to the book, the creature IT, is actually a billion year old inter-dimensional shape shifting alien whose natural enemy is a equally powerful Turtle-god, responsible for creating our universe (obviously). They are locked in an eternal battle of creation vs. consumption. Now that’s a versus prequel I want to see. Holy crap, we could cross it over with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and feature them as loyal assassins to the Turtle-god on a holy mission to eradicate their devil figure through the sewers of history’s greatest civilizations. Get me Hollywood on the phone, STAT!

Sorry this is getting out of hand. Thanks for sticking around though.

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