You’ll Float Too
Directed by: Andy Muchietti
Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis
Oh cool, another 1980’s period piece. We certainly don’t have many of those these days. Except this one actually has a reason for taking place in 1980’s.
It’s pretty well documented that I am not a fan of the horror genre in general. I have never read a single Stephen King book nor did I see the IT mini-series back in the early 90’s. From what I’ve heard, the best thing about it was Tim (still can’t catch Kevin McCallister) Currys performance. Alas I needed to check out what the immense amount of hype was that surrounded this film. Promotions coming into it were fantastic and it showed as the movie destroyed box office records in its opening weekend! (wow, its really difficult to have a conversation about the movie IT while using the word ‘it’ so frequently. #confusing)
This movie is a lot of fun. I actually wasn’t nearly as horrified as I was concerned about being and as of this writing I have only slept with all the lights on in the house approximately 3-7 times. The actual story of this film trumps any scary moments that are sprinkled throughout. By films end we have a group of seven misfit kids that are band together in two common causes. One is that they are all indeed misfits. They even call their group ‘The Losers’. Two just happens to be an evil demon that has been terrorizing their town for hundreds of years. Which could be worse – Shoved in your high school locker daily by bully upperclassmen or being haunted by an evil demon that normally looks like a insidious clown but likes to shape shift into your own personal fears and haunt you? I don’t know, some kids may choose the clown.
The movie actually becomes a coming-of-age tale as each kid learns to reach deep within their heart and soul to conquer their life long fears that have taken form as the demon known as Pennywise. A love triangle of 13 year old innocence helps you root for one character over the other to ‘get the girl’, while the broken and haunting home life of each teen pushes you to see them rise above.
This is actually where the horror part of the film is derived. Yes, the demon taking the forms of dead decapitated children or deformed women with animal teeth can be disturbing to see. Those are the scenes that are driven to make you cover your eyes and jump out of your seat….or both. Yet the fear each kid contains inside them spawns from their messed up parents. One parent is a little too handsy with his daughter. Another is a recluse that projects her hypochondriac paranoia onto her son. Each instance of horrible parenting is what should keep most folks disgusted throughout the movie. At times its almost refreshing to just see a creepy clown trying to eat the kids.
The acting and casting for the film is what makes it so great. Finn (arguably the greatest name in the history of names) Wolfhard plays Richie and is fantastic. He’s the comic relief and never once disappoints. Each of the other kids of the group performs perfectly for the role provided to them. I instantly looked up if Jaeden Lieberher stutters in real life after the film. He does not! The performance that trumps them all though is that of Pennywise by Bill Skarsgard. He was tasked with giving his take on an iconic character and he came through with flying colors. The switch from creepy to demonic within a scene was fantastic. I’m looking forward to more projects for him and he gets my vote to play the new Joker if the DCEU makes those films.
IT is good. Yes, you will get scared. Maybe not as much as you’d think going in, but that’s up to you. I fully recommend seeing this fun horror film about bad parenting….oh and a clown that tries to eat kids.
8 out of 10