Tag Archives: Stephen King

It: Movie Review from a Lifelong Fan

I just came from the 7 o’clock showing of IT, and I almost don’t know where to start.  I’ve been waiting for this movie since they announced it way back before even Cary Fukunaga was attached to direct.  If you’ve read any of my blog, you might already know I’ve been a fan of Stephen King’s It (1990) since it came out when I was 5.  Tim Curry’s Pennywise has forever earned a place in my heart.

So what did I think about the reboot?

I.

Freaking.

Loved it.

This. This is my face right now.

There were so many ways to go about this movie that, while I was excited, I was also worried that someone would butcher it.  Yes, the 1990 TV miniseries was a little cheesy with it’s extremely era-specific thumping horror beat and somewhat off-putting acting (IMHO) from the adult “Losers,” but I still loved it for what it was and for bringing so many of the scenes from the book straight to the screen.

This movie took a different path, keeping the spirit of the book while updating it for a new audience.  It might not have been scene-for-scene from the book or even close to that, but the changes they made were actually things that made since.

WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS

  1.  The Setting:  This adaptation set the young losers in 1989 instead of 1958.  I really enjoyed this aspect of it because as someone born in the 80s, this helped me relate more to the characters and time.  It also kept it interesting for the original TV miniseries audience because it gave us a different spin.  The book itself came out in 1986, so the 50s to 80s settings made perfect sense when the TV movie was first made.  If they did that here, it would have felt stale.
  2. The Monsters:  Everyone who knows It, whether from reading the book or just seeing the 1990 movie, knows the titular character turns into whatever scares you to get the most fear for its feast.  That being said, the monsters used to scare the kids were much different from the source material to capture the tone of the time.  After all, how many kids are just straight-up scared of teen werewolves and mummies in this day and age?  Instead, we were given zombies, headless ghosts, and a sorta cameo from another Andres Muschietti movie (cough*spoiler*cough*Mama*).   I thought this was a smart choice because they were definitely scarier than any werewolf in a letterman jacket could ever be.
  3. The Characters: Although essentially the same, some of the characters themselves got a bit of an update in terms of their origins, which were a little different but for good reasons that made sense within the scope of the movie.  I didn’t care that Mike was being raised by his grandfather instead of his parents on a vegetable farm or that Bev’s mom was missing from the picture.  It worked in the story and gave us a little fodder for some of the creepier/unsettling moments.
  4. The Interactions:  Since the time period was updated, the interactions between the characters were updated to match.  I really enjoyed all the snarky jokes between friends and less wholesome overtones than that of the original.  I did not expect to laugh as much as I did, but all the mom jokes and name-calling really cracked me up.
  5. The Rating: Being a made-for-tv movie in 1990, there wasn’t a lot of gore and swearing they could get away with back then.  Well, with it’s R rating, we’re treated to a whole different ball game with this movie.  The kids cussed like sailors through the whole thing (which I very much enjoyed), and they were actually able to bring some of Pennywise’s nastier kills to the big screen.  My favorite addition because of this: THEY SHOWED GEORGIE’S ARM GETTING RIPPED OFF.  That made my day, not because I enjoy seeing children getting eaten (for the record, I totes don’t), but because it was just how I imagined it should be and made me realize the direction the rest of the movie would take in terms of gore.  Talk about a good set-up.

Those are the major differences between the book/1990 movie and this new adaptation, and I think they really were thoughtfully done and made so much sense with what they did with the movie.  In addition to these differences, another way this movie separates itself from the 1990 version was by actually bringing things in from the book that were skipped over in the tv movie: the house on Neibolt Street, the leper, and the Paul Bunyan statue to name a few.

And, speaking of that last thing, I’m really interested to see if they tackle adult Richie’s Paul Bunyan scene in Part 2.

Now, let’s talk acting.  I’d heard than Finn Wolfhard stole the show, and let me tell you: he got skills, son.  His delivery of Richie Tozier’s motor mouth was fantastic and hilarious.  Jaeden Lieberher as young Bill Denbrough was so engaging in dealing with the loss of his brother and his desire to bring down It, and Jack Dylan Grazer’s portrayal as hypochondriac and chronic worrier Eddie Kaspbrak was both funny and realistic.  Really, everyone in the ‘Loser’s Club’ did a great job in this movie.

As for Pennywise…?

Bill Skarsgard killed it. No pun intended.

It’s hard for me to say he even got close to being as good as Tim Curry, but *ahem* he got pretty close.  His goofy voice, creepy laugh, and dead eyes just brought the character to life in a very different way.  I was really happy he made Pennywise his own instead of trying to copy Curry’s performance because I think that would have fallen a little flat.  And I’ve got to give some credit to Muschietti for this, too, because he really made Pennywise a more dynamic character on screen.  He definitely drove the more terror-filled moments on screen.

I could go on and on, but I’m going to stop here.  If you couldn’t tell, I totally recommend this movie.   Go see it tomorrow night or this weekend. Or both.  I might.

 

Stephen King’s IT Remake Trailer Is Here!

Oh.  Em.  Gee.

The first trailer for the remake of Stephen King’s It is finally out, and I’ve already watched it about 20 times.  Exaggeration?  You’d think so, but no. I’m freaking obsessed with this thing, and I’ve only seen 2+ minutes of footage.  If you haven’t seen it yet (oh, you weren’t constantly refreshing your browser this morning? Weird…), check out the link below:

DID YOU LOVE IT??!?!!  (Whoa. Settle.  Stop screaming.)  Did you love it?  Because I did.

I’ve been a little worried about this one because the original made-for-tv version of Stephen King’s It holds a very special place in my heart.  As you can see, I’ve mentioned it several times on different posts like here and here.  I even gave it lucky #13 on the list of my favorite scary movies.  But after seeing the trailer, I am SO EXCITED!

Seriously.  I’ve got to stop screaming.

So to begin the trailer, we’ve got the iconic scene of Georgie’s death.  Not the whole thing.  Just a taste (forgive the wording).  And as is tradition, Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, pops up in the drain.  Skarsgard looks pretty cool and creepy but doesn’t get to talk yet.  I’m really interested in hearing his voice because I just don’t know what direction they’ve taken with it.  Is it gruff like Tim Curry’s Pennywise, or is it creepy clown high pitched?  We just don’t know.

Then we have a glimpse into the lives of the members of the Loser’s Club.  I’m so happy to see them all in action.  That scene where they’re looking at a family photo slideshow was freaking awesome.  So creepy.  Those things aren’t usually very entertaining, so Pennywise just brought a little excitement.

I also was pleased to see the scene with Beth in the bathroom because it looks like they definitely upped the gore factor in this one.   Very pleased with that.

Oh, I could go on and on and on, but I’ll stop here.  We’ve got a little over 5 months until this movie comes out on September 8, so I’m sure we’ll have much more to look at before then.  Until then, keep an eye on the blog for updates, and let me know what you’re most excited about in the comments.

Also, make sure to subscribe to the blog and follow me on Facebook so you can be sure not to miss anything important.

#stephenkingsit #itmovie

 

 

Top 5 Most Disappointing Movie Monsters

We’ve all been there.  You’re watching a horror movie.  Strange, scary things are happening, and you just know whatever is the cause has got to be equal parts creepy and awesome.

Then, it shows up.  And it kinda sucks.  Why did it have to suck?

So in honor of our shared disappointment, this Top Tuesday post is dedicated to the Top 5 Most Disappointing Movie Monsters.

Quick disclaimer: I will not be including any SyFy movies in this list or else it would’ve been too damn long.  And it would have been redundant.  Most of them are supposed to be stupid, right?

5.  Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

I was pretty excited for this movie when it was advertised. I only saw the trailers that didn’t show the creatures (I try to limit my views of horror movie trailers so they aren’t ruined), so I had no idea that the BIG BAD THINGS were cute, little fairy-like creatures. I mean, I wouldn’t mind having one of these little guys as a pet. I’d dress it up, take it to the park, feed it nice things. One thing I wouldn’t do is be terrified of it.

4.  Cloverfield

I can’t say so much that I was disappointed in what this monster looked like; I was just disappointed they showed it all. It wasn’t that bad or anything. In my opinion, the movie just went downhill after they fully showed the big guy. I liked the glimpses, just not the whole enchilada. It was too much enchilada. Like when you think you can eat three at a Mexican restaurant, but you really should have only tackled two. You don’t hate the enchiladas. You just know you had too much.

3.  Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

I’ve said before that I love the Paranormal Activity movies. I just do. I enjoy the subtle effects and the storyline.  Toby, little Kristie’s best friend, is the malevolent force behind all the chaos in the movies, and I think Toby, in his invisible form, was pretty cool.

And then they gave us the sixth installment, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

It wasn’t exactly terrible.  It just sorta ruined the air of mystery surrounding Toby.  I admit I was pretty excited to find out that they were going to “show the activity” in this one, but I was pretty disappointed to see Toby as just another CGI ghost.  Oh well.  It didn’t ruin the series for me. I just wasn’t a fan of visible Toby.

2.  Stephen King’s The Langoliers

This one’s a little obscure if you aren’t a fan of 90s-era Stephen King TV movies, but it makes the list because it annoyed me soooooo much as a kid. I was so excited about The Langoliers when it was advertised.  I remember even asking one of my teachers in fifth grade if he knew what they were at recess.  Surprise, surprise. He didn’t.

So I watched this movie.  If you don’t know, it’s about a group of people on a plane that flies through the aurora borealis.  Everyone who was awake when that happens disappears, and those that were asleep awake to find themselves wondering why the hell all these people left without their clothes, wigs, pacemakers, and dentalwork.

Thankfully, one of the sleepy passengers just so happens to be a pilot who is able to land the plane at a deserted airport.  After some quick sleuthing and leaps of logic, they figure out they went back in time, proving what middle schoolers already know – history is boring.

One of the passengers, an annoying businessman expertly played by Bronson Pinchot, tells a story about the Langoliers, monsters his dad used to tell him would come and eat him alive if he was bad.  They end up hearing a buzzing noise off in the distance and decide they should get out of there before the source makes it to them.   When the source finally shows up – the titular Langoliers – they are nothing but flying cannonballs with teeth, eating the landscape and devouring time as we know it. WTF, guys?

1.  Stephen King’s IT (*Not Pennywise. He’s Cool.*)

Yep.  Another King entry.  It makes me a little sad to add this one to the list, but as much as I love Stephen King’s It and as much as it holds a very special place in my heart, even I can admit the monster reveal at the end was a let-down.  Maybe it was because Pennywise was so awesome.  There just wasn’t anything they could do to top him, so I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Guy 1: “Okay, we need something to be the actual monster at the end, so what could be scarier than this clown guy?”

Guy 2: “Giant spider?”

Guy 3: “…Yeah. Giant spider.”

Guy 1: “I guess. Let’s tell the effects team.”

Fin.

So those are the top 5 monsters that disappointed me.  Are there any that I missed that made you a little sad?

IT’s Coming

Well, if you’re up on your horror news, you know that Warner Brothers recently announced the release date of the remake of one of my favorite movies, Stephen King’s IT.

Cue happy dance.

My mom has said time and time again that she can’t believe she let me watch that movie when it premiered on TV in November 1990.  I was just 6 years old, and I remember watching it with her in my parents’ bedroom, hiding my eyes at some points and loving every minute of it.

Back in those days, we taped everything.  We recorded a VHS copy of the movie, and I wore that thing out.  I can’t even estimate how many times I watched it, but you know how little kids are with their favorites.  It was on constantly.

Seriously. I’m pretty sure it rivaled my little sister’s obsession with Space Jam and Spice World.

I took it with me to every slumber party and sleepover.  It wasn’t my intention to make all my friends scared of clowns, but it happened. I’m not proud of it.

Okay. Maybe a little. 😉

We’d turn it on late at night and watch Pennywise terrorize kids our age.  It was so fun.  We loved the scene where Georgie’s picture winks at Bill with its awesomely 80s horror movie track and the one with Pennywise coming out of the drain.  I don’t know if I ever took a bath or shower without thinking of that one.

Another favorite was the scene in the Chinese restaurant. Fortune cookie, anyone?

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Tim Curry’s Pennywise will forever hold a special place in my heart as one of my favorite villains.  I don’t know anyone that would argue that Curry didn’t play that role to perfection.  That voice. That laugh. I don’t know how anyone can fill those shoes.

Let’s see if the September 2017 date sticks.  I’m not holding out hope since the production has seen so many problems, but you can bet I’ll be first in line if it does.