IT – A Movie Review and Exposition

To begin, let me just say that seeing a movie on a Monday night is awesome. If you don’t like crowds, Monday is your night to go. I don’t think there were even ten people in the theater.

It by Stephen King, movie adaptation 2017.

I have loved this book for decades. I will still occasionally read it again, but totally skip over the puppy scenes. I can’t handle them. Carving up the kids, fine, not a problem, but don’t hurt the puppy! I was scarred. Mr. King is evil.

I liked the crew of actors they hired to play the kids.
I liked Bill Skarsgard’s take on Pennywise, although Tim Curry will always be Pennywise to me.
I liked the abridgment of the story. There is no way they could incorporate all that happened to the kids in their timeline into a 2-hour movie. They chose wisely the scenes to keep and the scenes to change because some of the kids’ adventures, as written, would have been wildly inappropriate for filming (those who have read the novel know what I’m saying).
I liked the adjustment from late 1959 to 1989. While I enjoy movies that take place in other times (who doesn’t love A Christmas Story???) and can adjust, not everyone can and this change allows the audience to connect with the storyline as the timeline is more familiar. Also, the change allows the next movie to be in current times. I’m looking forward to seeing how the adults deal with Pennywise in modern times.

The only jarring note for me was that none of the kids said “Beep, beep, Richie”. Pennywise said it once, and that didn’t make sense to me. Had the kids been saying it, then Pennywise saying it would work for me. But they weren’t, they just said shut up. Is “beep, beep” something that is only from the 50’s and therefore something the producers felt would be out sync with the timeline?

I did like the movie, however, I felt disconnected from the adventure. I spoke with my sister about the movie after she saw it and she felt the same way. She actually brought it up first, saying how she felt distant to it. We’ve both read and loved the novel and I’m wondering if knowing so well the events that transpire in the book, was I less anticipatory and more impatient because I was waiting to see how the writer/producers handled various acts? This is not a flaw in the film or the fault of the actors or producers, it’s all my mental state of being.

I wonder if others have issues losing themselves in the moment when watching a film adaptation of a favorite book. When the plot and storyline are practically committed to memory, do others also find themselves a bit…bored…waiting for the next act?

As a once heavy reader of books, I’m as opinionated as anyone can be about how Hollywood treats beloved stories. Don’t get me started on how they ruined Patriot Games. It’s only been in the last five years I don’t get boiling mad when someone asks if I watched it because they’ve learned I read Tom Clancy. Or Nora Robert’s books being made into those TV movies where they ruin the ending by changing her cool plot twisting killer for a lame and obvious villain. I don’t even watch them. Except for Blue Smoke, they screwed up the killer (as I expected) but did really well with the rest AND I adore Scott Bakula.

Mostly I don’t mind the changes needed to be made to convert a novel into a 90-120 minute film. I understand the novel is the novel and won’t be affected. The book will always be what it is, so I embrace the movie as a completely new project that salutes the novel I so enjoyed.

Bottomline, enjoyable movie. I can’t wait for the second part!