“Derry is not like any town I’ve been in before. They did a study once and, it turns out, people die or disappear at six times the national average. And that’s just grown ups. Kids are worse. Way, way worse. ” – Ben
Number of Times Seen – Twice (12 Nov 2017 and 11 Oct 2019)
Link to original review – Here
Brief Synopsis – Seven young kids become close friends as they band together to fight off a supernatural entity that is killing kids in the town of Derry, Maine.
My Take on it – This is a film that I loved the first time I saw it nearly two years ago and upon reflection of a rewatch, it’s clear to see that it isn’t as powerful as one might hope.
Stephen King is an amazing author and this film is based upon one of his very best books.
The choice to relocate this story to the 1980’s works quite well in helping to establish the camaraderie of these characters in an age of a decade that at least is perceived as being a more innocent one than the one we are in now.
The tone, music and feels of things is quite 80’s and that allows for these characters to thrive as they bond together.
This film actually does a great job making Pennywise look and feel much more menacing than he is but that has lots to do with the way that they utilize some great techniques to raise the level of suspense throughout the story.
Bill Skarsgard is great as the evil clown, but his performance still doesn’t manage to even match the one by Tim Curry in the miniseries from 30 years ago.
Due to the length of both this movie and the next chapter of the story, they have plenty of time to develop the characters really well which helps make them come to life before us without a feeling that things are being rushed at all.
Of the two films in this series, this is the more powerful one since it is able to deal more with the lost innocence of these kids as they begin to understand the ways of the world around them.
In addition, it’s much easier to relate to these characters as kids than as their adult counterparts decades later.
This film’s story is slightly diminished by the fact that the second part isn’t as good and that hurts any connection that their can be between them especially when they don’t manage to flow well together.
Bottom Line – Great adaptation of the amazing novel by King. The choice to have this set in the 80’s works extremely well and in some ways helps the camaraderie of these character in an age of seeming innocent time. The tone, music and feel of the 80’s perfectly set here for these characters to live through. The film does a wonderful job making Pennywise even scarier than he perhaps truly is by use of some great techniques that raise the level of suspense throughout this film. Skarsgard is quite good as the evil clown, but his performance still can’t equal the one of Curry in the miniseries from the 90’s. Due to the length of this film (and the second part), they have enough time to help establish all of the characters on so many levels which helps make them come to life for this story. Of the two films in this series, this film is the more powerful one largely due to the lost innocence of the characters along the way and the way that it is much easier to relate to these characters as kids than as adults. After having now seen the second part of this film, the story here is diminished a bit because the two films don;t flow well enough together as companion stories. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Pennywise has only four minutes of dialogue in the entire film. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (slight downgrade from original review)
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