I can’t remember the last time I went to the movies with a whole group. By myself, all the time. One companion, fairly often. Two, maybe? But a group of five? It’s been a while. When the initial responses to IT started coming out and talked about how terrifying it was, it made me rethink my default plan of just going on opening night. I invited a friend, who was already seeing it with another friend, and it all snowballed from there. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to make a night of a movie with your crew.
We’d sprung for the Dolby auditorium where you’re upcharged for the nice seats and the better sound system. I realized there were speakers in the seats, which would either end up being the best or worst thing ever for a horror film. Because it was a big thing, I even bought popcorn (a rarity considering how often I see movies). I was even compelled to get candy (a rarer rarity than the popcorn). At the last second, I impulsively switched the bag of (I think) Reese’s for the box of Junior Mints. I’d never gotten Junior Mints at the movies before. Later, I remembered the article Stephen King wrote for EW a few years ago about his favorite movie going snacks. He talked about skewering Junior Mints on toothpicks as his go to snack. I feel like this subconsciously influenced my choice.
This is certainly a movie to see with a big crowd, whether or not they’re a part of your crew. A buddy on one side kept visibly jumping out of his seat. One on the other side kept screaming “Why am I watching this?!” at various points during the film. The energy in the room was palpable. People were reacting and screaming and laughing and having every kind of response possible. Me? I was loving the whole damn thing!
I’ve railed about how bad horror movies focus on the scares and how bad Stephen King adaptations forget about the characters. This movie gets right what so many of those get wrong. At it’s core, the movie is a coming of age story about a misunderstood group of kids. I could watch them all day (in particular Finn Wolfhard stole the show, with the signature King-ian juvenile trash talk). I think I laughed more than anything else during the film. But then on top that, it was a rather scary movie. I’m not just talking jump scares. There was certainly a psychological aspect to it as well, esp since Pennywise often took the form of whatever they were most afraid of.
Yeah, Pennywise. Let’s talk about him. Bill Skarsgard from Hemlock Grove (sidebar, that show has the all time best werewolf transformation I’ve seen) plays Pennywise the clown and he was brilliant. So much range. He was not a one note demon by any stretch, but fully embodied the capabilities of the entity to become anything he wanted.
This was a total win for me. Despite being over 1000 pages, the book is already on its way to me from Amazon and I intend to drop what I’m currently reading and switch over immediately. If I was this in love with the characters from the movie, I can only imagine how much more there is to discover in the pages. I’m also keeping an eye out for gaps in my movie watching schedule so I can get in a repeat viewing. Given how well it’s doing, I would wager it’s not going anywhere any time soon, so I’ll have plenty of opportunities to float over to the theater again.
IT – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/