By Dalton Patterson
Banner News Staff writer
Move aside Joker, the real clown king has arrived. Pennywise the dancing clown returns to the screen with director Andres Muschietti at the helm, and it’s a refreshing call back to the old school monster movie style. Pennywise returns once more to the sewers of a small town as children disappear left and right yet no one seems to notice anything out of the ordinary. This leaves it all to a groups of misfit kids led by Bill, a boy determined to find his missing younger brother, to find out what exactly is going on.
Bill and the “Loser Club” do a great job of portraying actual behavior of adolescent kids, misusing swear words, arguing endlessly, and telling “your mom” jokes. It really makes me have to give credit where it’s due. Child actors often get a bad rep in most films, but these kids steal the show and run with it.
A constant question asked about this film is “How scary is it?” and I’d say that depends on who you see it with and what you are expecting going in. Anyone with the fear of an endless stream of jump scares and dramatically tense music that modern horror has accustomed us to will be surprised. Rather than shock the audience with jump scares and distorted images, Muschietti takes a classic approach by bringing the disturbing monsters front and center for all to see. Fear not though as many will most likely be pleasantly surprised as the film has plenty of moments that had the audience and myself laughing. However, this is also where the first flaw of the movie arises: it’s pacing. Scenes will feel a bit stitched together as one scene filled with terror and suspense will suddenly experience a massive tone shift to the Loser Club getting up to hijinks and cracking jokes.
Aside from that, there’s not much to complain about, though some of the themes seem a bit heavy handed at points in the story. As far as the acting and style though the film is top of the line, though fans of the original may disagree. Stephen King’s original boo was first streamlined into a short TV series and then streamlined once more into the film we have today. Throughout these iterations certain arc are shortened or cut entirely. Muschietti does reference these lost arcs but original fans are left wanting as they these references never impact the actual story.
In conclusion I would rate this film as a 9 out of 10. I found myself thoroughly entertained and occasionally unnerved by this new look on the dancing clown and I would highly recommend fans of horror to drag their poor friends to this film.