Something I’ve been really looking forward to for ages is the new “It” movie. You know the one – the Stephen King story about a creepy clown who kills children, appears everywhere and seems to be immortal, ensuring that generations of children are terrorised by this creature who represents everything children fear most in this world.
I saw the original “It” movie at my very first sleepover (slumber party, if you prefer). Picture a sitting room crammed with 11 year old girls who were experimenting with the most badass, rebellious thing any of them had ever done – rented an over 15’s movie.
Bold, or what?
So, we turned off all the lights, piled up all the snacks, snuggled together in a wodge of sleeping bags and pillows… and pressed play.
I have no hesitation in admitting that I was honestly never as scared as I was watching that movie for the first time. I had no real issues with clowns before then but that movie completely unnerved me and I couldn’t sleep for weeks afterwards. It was probably the first time I had properly and completely scared by something. It was months before I stopped looking over my shoulder, checking under my bed and always ensuring there was a wall behind my back when I walked just in case something might creep up on me from behind.
After a few more horror movies and sleepovers, I slowly started to get braver and eventually I actually became a big horror movie buff. There was an old movie rental shop in my town and they had a great horror section so when I’d go babysitting, I’d rent out three movies for a fiver (oh, for the good old days…), turn off all the lights and watch them by myself – see how hard core I became 🙂 From teen slasher movies like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legends, to classics like Psycho, Candyman and Silence of the Lambs, I could watch them over and over again.
So it was, that when the trailers were released for the remake of It, I was suddenly right back in that moment of anticipation, excitement and complete fear. Really want to see it, really DON’T want to see it – because I know I’ll have to sleep with the lights on, check under the bed and make sure I’m not alone for a single moment lest It should appear when he gets me on my own…
Ahhh… turns out I’d nothing to worry about. The It remake was disappointing and not scary at all. The plot is slightly different, which is not a bad thing but the story they replaced it with was too simplistic and the movie was too long given that very little actually happens in the movie. Then there’s the clown – Pennywise – he’s on camera a lot, which is unusual for horror movie stars. They usually exist in the dark or are invisible for the majority of the movie and typically don’t make a visible appearance until the end. Not the case here. I thought they did a good job from a filmmaker point of view of not making Pennywise laughable when he appears on screen – the new Pennywise is positively demonic in appearance and the makeup/ outfit is to be commended. However, I cannot say that I found new Pennywise even remotely as creepy as the original. Original Pennywise had a genuine clown look going on and it was only when he suddenly became evil or you noticed his eyes (or the hideous teeth) that you suddenly became aware that this was not about to be a happy clown experience.
I have to give a mention however to the kids in the movie, who are just brilliant and easily the best thing about it. Great cast and exceptionally entertaining.
New It merits 3/10 stars from me. Old It merits 8/10.
It’s okay. I probably wouldn’t be recommending this movie for anyone to go and see. Instead, I would without a doubt, be recommending you find an old DVD of this movie (or online if you can), pull the curtains, turn out the lights and have a good night scaring the life out of your good self.
Off you go now…