“It” can’t keep its head over water

Stephen King’s IT remake barely stands out

Deklin Versace '18, Lifestyles Staff

With Halloween just around the corner, Hollywood has reawakened their annual tradition of pumping out as many horror flicks as possible before the end of the month. Most of these movies were completely overlooked, and for good reason. These September-October horror films tend to be lower budget paranormal films that follow the same tired tropes and cheap jump scares. Given that It is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel featuring one of the stars of highly renowned Netflix series Stranger Things, most assumed that it would be a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the garbage the genre pushes out. Unfortunately, It did not deliver.

It’s opening scene gives the audience immediate hope for the movie. It wastes no time getting straight into the grisly and horrifying murder of a young child, unlike most similar horror movies which would instead take an annoyingly large portion of the film to show. After seeing this scene, you get excited, believing this movie could actually be genuinely exciting and unique, but as soon as the screen fades away from the murder site, the film falls into one of its many lulls. Just like every other movie like it, It refuses to keep the audience engaged for more than one scene at a time.

It makes sense to have scenes that establish the characters outside of a deadly situation, but save for the initial introduction scene, these scenes run extremely slowly and push the most obnoxious clichés. Instead of developing the entire group, which has a lot of interesting dynamics that are merely hinted at, the film focuses on several romantic subplots within the group and leaves the rest of the kids in the background. This makes for a series of boring, frustrating, and predictable scenes.

Even when the film decides to get interesting, it doesn’t come off as scary as it does frustrating. All the jumpscares were predictable, and when they did manage to be somewhat original, they mostly made the viewer uncomfortable, stemming from how embarrassingly cheesy the scares were. The scary scenes prompted laughter instead of screaming whenever Pennywise appeared on screen.

It feels like it could have been a good movie if the directors didn’t decide to walk directly on the line the genre had established. If the film embraced its cheesiness and didn’t try to take itself so seriously, and instead just focused on the inanity of the kids and their terrorizer, it would stand out as a much more unique film. Unfortunately, due to how predictable and boring the movie was, it will quickly be forgotten.