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IT

Opening Date
07 Sep 2017
Rating
NC16 Horror and Violence
惊悚及暴力画面
Runtime
135 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Horror, Thriller
Director
Andrés Muschietti
Cast
Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis
Synopsis
In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind torn body parts/remains. Soon afterwards, in a place known as 'The Barrens', a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with a clown called Pennywise, which they all share, but one kid, Bill Denborough, has a more personal vendetta with the clown. 27 years after their last encounter together with Pennywise, the 'Losers Club' has regrouped from their successful lives and businesses by Mike Hanlon,the only member of the Losers Club that stayed in Derry, because IT has returned, and kids are disappearing again. The only problem is that they have all forgotten what occurred that summer. But through a blood oath, they return. It's up to The Lucky Seven to regain their memories, to think of the key to killing Pennywise, and to stay alive long enough to end his tyranny but to also realise what brought them together in the first place.
Reviews
By Yun Huei  07 Sep 2017
This version of IT would easily have been one of the best Stephen King movie adaptations, but even in its current form, it is an enjoyable, good-looking movie that stands on its own, even if the sequel doesn’t come to fruition.
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While this is not the first screen adaptation of Stephen King’s much lauded novel IT (full disclosure: one of my favourite King novels), the original TV miniseries was frankly a poor showing, with nothing going for it except for Tim Curry’s unforgettable, iconic performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. In its first proper big screen outing, Muschietti’s IT manages to deliver a reasonably engrossing and somewhat scary experience, though it runs a little too long and is a bit too repetitive to rank amongst the best Stephen King screen adaptations.
 
While Bill Skarsgard has big shoes (hur hur) to fill as Pennywise and he does a decent job, what truly makes the film watchable is the eminently endearing young cast. This is no Stand By Me, but there are echoes of Stranger Things (including a cast overlap), and the total exclusion of the flashback, two-timeline narrative that drove the novel (this adaptation of IT is being split into two parts, with ostensibly the second movie featuring the grown up “28 years later” portion) means the teens get all the screen time. This is a good thing, and IT’s ensemble cast is probably one of the best assembled in recent years, even more so than Stranger Things. While they all do well playing scared teens, the cast really shines in the moments where Muschietti allows the kids to be kids, bringing a much-needed human touch and heart to the film.
 
Unfortunately, Muschietti and his screenwriters also decided that each teen needed to have their own run-in with It, and the law of diminishing returns kicks in after the third or fourth encounter. The film would certainly have done even better if it had focused more on the friendships forged by the Losers Club rather than the increasingly impotent attempts of Pennywise (at least Freddy Krueger had the chance to kill off some of the main cast members). While there are very well set-up scare sequences in the film, there’s also a sense of déjà vu by the time the running time crosses the halfway mark. Perhaps this is exacerbated by the ensuing decades between the original novel and TV series, and It being such an indelible part of pop culture that everything new feels old.
 
One major departure from the novel and TV series is a change in period – rather than being set in the 50s and the 80s, this first half of IT takes place in the 80s. It’s a change that makes sense since a good majority of adult viewers would have also grown up in the 80s, but the script does lean a little too far into the period to elicit laughs (seems like someone in the production is a big fan of NKOTB). Given a slightly tighter edit – a good half hour could probably have been lopped off without hurting the film – this version of IT would easily have been one of the best Stephen King movie adaptations, but even in its current form, it is an enjoyable, good-looking movie that stands on its own, even if the sequel doesn’t come to fruition.
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