Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
For those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s, the 1990s version of Stephen King’s IT wasn’t really scary for ANYONE. I enjoy Stephen King’s films immensely, but IT was a made for TV movie that was heavily neutered from the book due to playing on broadcast television. It’s not that I didn’t have a fun enough time with the non-scary film, but it just doesn’t really hold up with repeat viewings. Out of all the King works on home video, I would say that the 1990s IT is the one that holds up the least (unless you’re counting the painful Dark Tower film that just came out in 2017). When it was announced that Warner was going to do a reboot of the movie for modern audiences I was curious, but also reserved in my hopefulness due to how middling the TV movie was. The production issues behind the scenes meant the movie was delayed for quite a while, and the constant casting and recasting in the pre-production had me even more nervous. However, when the first trailer dropped with Bill Skarsgard (yes, son of Stellan Skarsgard and brother to Alexander) as Pennywise, I began to get excited. There was a sense of terror to the dancing clown that wasn’t there with the Tim Curry version, and the whole move just looked “dark”. Now, I’ve been fooled by trailers before but I waited until it came out in theaters before my horror fanatic buddy and I decided to hit it up for a late night watch. Color me pink as a ballerina's tutu and put a bright red clown’s nose on my face. IT was a blast!
Andy Muschietti took over the director’s chair after the previous director got canned, and he decides to keep the film much closer to the book (or at least the first portion of the book), which is a distinct advantage over the old movie. Instead of starting out with the kids giving us their pact to come back after a few decades if Pennywise returns, and then jumping ahead to when he does, IT starts out with the famous Georgie incident and progresses naturally from there (ending the film with them making the pact as kids, thus allowing for the sequel to explore the material from the 1990 film, effectively making this a prequel of sorts). We see young Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher) and his young brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) making the infamous toy boat, and then merrily running it down the rain sodden streets of Derry Maine, only to be eaten by the evil clown Pennywise (which plays out much more gruesome and violently than the TV movie had the capability to display).
Fast forward to a bit later, Bill and his parents are still grieving about their lost son, but Bill is still obsessed with finding out where Georgie’s body may have ended up. His obsession fuels some conflict between himself and his friends, but ultimately leads them into investigating why so many kids have turned up missing. It seems that Derry is not a stranger to missing children, as every 27 years (as the kids discover) kids start to disappear and right now, it’s 27 years since the last rash of children vanishing. Bill and his friends ultimately realize that the mysterious clown images that they keep seeing are related and band together to try and find out WHAT happens to the kids, and if they can stop this evil once and for all.
I honestly didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did with IT. That’s not to say that the movie is a comedy, but the children’s interactions is hilariously good natured, despite the horrific circumstances. A couple of the children’s interactions are flat out funny as can be, especially with the classic 1980s “your mom” type jokes that the children engage in (I’m usually not a fan of juvenile humor like that in my horror films, but if you can remember how you used to be as a 12-14 year old boy, then it fits PERFECTLY into the scenario). Even Pennywise manages to garner a few creepy chuckles, but even then. They’re VERY darkly humorous.
As the film went on I began to realize that this was NOT going to cover the whole book like I originally thought. Instead my suspicions were confirmed the longer the movie went on without a confrontation with the evil clown. This was going to end us RIGHT where the TV movie started, and it was done marvelously. The first half of the book was completely self contained, and so is the movie. But it leaves you with the knowledge that yes, Pennywise IS coming back in 27 years, and sets up the sequel with room to spare.
Rated R for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language
• The Losers’ Club - Get up close and personal with the teenage stars of “IT” as they bond together during the production,
• Author of Fear - Stephen King reveals the roots of his best-selling novel, the nature of childhood fear and how he created his most famous monster, Pennywise
• Deleted Scenes – Eleven deleted or extended scenes from the film
IT was the surprise horror film of the year for me, and I absolutely loved the movie. The film is expertly directed, but the actors themselves are what give it the added boost to becoming great. Skarsgard is chilling as the evil clown Pennywise, and actually outshines Tim Curry (something I didn’t think was possible). The 1980s setting and interaction with the kids is like a blending of Stranger Things and traditional Stephen King, which adds to the charm of the film (also making it so that 27 years later will be right about modern times). Warner’s 4K UHD is a nice upgrade over the Blu-ray, with the same stunning video and reference quality audio. For those wondering about the upgrade to 4K, it is a solid uptick over the 1080p Blu-ray, and I once again have to give the nod to this version.
Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Written by: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Stephen King (novel)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese, English DVS DD 5.1
Runtime: 135 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: Own IT on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack, and Blu-ray combo pack and DVD on January 9th, or Own It Now on Digital HD!
Recommendation: Must Watch