The Californian

‘It’ satisfies but has the audience wanting more

Photo courtesy by itthemovie.com

Photo courtesy by itthemovie.com

Matt Martinez, Staff Writer

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The highly anticipated film “It” based on Stephen King’s bible of terror was finally released, and everybody wants to know if it lives up to the hype. 

First off, yes, the film is very well made and entertaining, and it will likely please a majority of viewers.

“It” follows a group of social outcasts in junior high known as The Loser Club that is investigating the disappearances of multiple children in their hometown of Derry, Maine. This is what leads them to facing off against Pennywise the Clown, a demonic creature that preys off of the adolescents’ greatest fears.

By far the best part of the film is the relationship between the kids that is established. The chemistry between all of the actors is incredible, and the banter between the main boys make up some of the funniest scenes in the movie. All of the members of The Loser Club bring their A-game to the table, especially Finn Wolfhard, who some of you might recognize from the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things.” Their coming-of-age tale is what will bring viewers to watch “It” multiple times for years to come.

What about the “It” of “It”? Bill Skarsgard does a devilishly good job of portraying Pennywise the Clown in this iteration of the story. His best decision was crafting a performance that was entirely his own, and as separate from Tim Curry’s iconic portrayal in the original “It” TV mini-series that aired in the 1990s. However, many questions about just what “It” is remain unsolved by the time the end credits begin to roll, and most likely won’t be answered until the inevitable “It: Chapter Two.”

The movie is visually appealing as well, and maintains a dark and gritty aesthetic throughout the entire runtime, which matches the grim tone incredibly well.

What doesn’t work about “It” though? Let’s start off with the reason the majority of people are buying tickets for “It”: the scares. The movie isn’t necessarily the pure nightmare fuel that some horror fanatics are hoping for. It undoubtedly has its fair share of creepy imagery and scenes. But unfortunately subtlety was not on the filmmaker’s mind. Every remotely scary part is accompanied with an ear piercing sound that does little to genuinely frighten the viewer, and only succeeds in a cheap jump scare. But if you’re hoping for a film to truly leave a lasting impact on you, “It” isn’t it.

While most of the characters in the film are fleshed out and relatable, there are a few that get left by the wayside, simply because there is not enough time to give every boy a compelling arc. For example, the character of Mike Hanlon is one that feels very half-developed, and when his arc is eventually fulfilled it doesn’t feel earned.

Despite its flaws, “It” is definitely worth watching and will entertain most movie-goers for the entire two hours.

Overall, I would give “It” 3.5/5 grizzly paws.

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‘It’ satisfies but has the audience wanting more