It ~ A Capsule Movie Review by Allen Kopp
Early in It, a small boy named Georgie has an encounter with a strange, though interesting, clown in a storm drain during a rainstorm. That’s the last that’s seen of little Georgie. His older brother Bill misses Georgie terribly and refuses to believe he’s dead. Bill and his group of adolescent friends (all troubled in some way) believe there’s something terrible going on in the little town of Derry, Maine, in the late 1980s. There are far too many missing kids and nobody knows what’s happened to them. The self-absorbed adults in the town don’t seem very interested in solving the mystery, so it’s left to Bill and his friends to confront the evil force, whatever it is. Welcome to the world of Stephen King. It is based on his massive, 1200-page novel.
There’s a pattern to the bad things that happen in the town. In 1908, an ironworks exploded, killing over a hundred people. Every twenty-seven years since 1908, tragedies have occurred. It’s now 1989 and that’s twenty-seven years since the latest town tragedy in 1962. By studying maps, the boys figure out that the places where the tragic events occurred all have something in common: they are all connected via the town’s sewer system and a thing called the well house. Just where is this well house, and how do the boys find it?
The clown, Pennywise, is by far the most interesting character in It. He is the personification of the evil force in the town. He lives in the town’s labyrinthine sewer system. Depending on your own perception of clowns (I like them), Pennywise is grotesque, scary, fascinating, creepy, compelling, or silly. Maybe all of these things.
Most of the characters in It are like cardboard cutouts. Some of the kid actors who play the parts talk so fast that we don’t understand a lot of what they say and they aren’t very convincing or likeable, with the exception of stuttering Bill and the one girl in the group, Beverly, who has to fight off the advances of her creepy, leering father. If you are a Stephen King fan, you will probably love this film adaptation of one of his most famous works. If you are not a Stephen King fan, you might find the onscreen horror of the ho-hum, obvious kind involving thirteen-year-olds and things jumping out at you in the dark.
We don’t know until the end of It that we have just seen chapter 1 of the story, meaning there will be more. The young girl who plays Beverly in the movie looks very much like the fortyish actress Amy Adams, so I’m figuring that Amy will be in the next movie playing Beverly as she would now look in the year 2017. And Pennywise? He’ll be back! He may be down but not out. Oh, that clown!
Copyright © 2017 by Allen Kopp