Summary: Pennywise the Clown is defeated by a group of under-dog kids. Now, they are all grown up. They promised to return if Pennywise was still alive. Killing begins again, so the group returns to end the clown for good.
Score: 4/5 (pretty good) This movie surprised me. It is more of an adventure than a horror movie. I like an adventure. I usually dislike horror movies. The scares are telegraphed before springing, so I could brace for impact. Like typical Stephen King, I liked the characters more than the scares. Think of this as a grown-up Goonies.
Review: I don’t like horror movies. I don’t like the feeling of being afraid. That’s not why I go to movies. Life is scary enough as it is. Why would I choose to go to experience fear on my fun time?
At the same time, there are different kinds of horror. If it is completely impossible (like a zombie film), I can detach from the film and view it as a story. If it is horrible violence (like a psycho killer), I can do without. Psycho killers actually exist, and I am very much afraid of them.
The real question: Is this movie the former or the latter?
Some people like horror movies of both types. It mystifies me. Is it like a roller coaster?
As a kid, I liked Stephen King novels. They were thick and meaty. I could appreciate the rich character development. I didn’t so much like the horror elements, but I believed his characters were real people. That was cool.
The original It resonated with people. It was about “loser” kids who embrace their fear, come together, and defeat something scary. A lot of us can identify with that.
The book was a best-seller. The book turned in to a mini-series. The mini-series turned into a movie. Now, the movie turned into a sequel. I knew the plot of the original, and I was curious about how the story continued. I sucked it up and got a ticket. I was wincing on the inside. Would I regret my choice?
No, the movie was a lot better than I expected. It was actually good.
Was Pennywise the Clown scary? Yes, but all the scary scenes were brief. I could also see them coming. That let me brace for impact.
The actors were all a good choice, both young and old. Good choices all. My favorite was Bill Hader. His character grew up to be a famous stand-up comedian. He brought fun one-liners to the party.
It was cool how old memories are revealed one by one. The characters came to town without memories of their childhood. It’s been a while since I have seen the movie. I had forgotten a lot. There were a couple “Oh, yeah!” moments throughout the film.
Lastly, Pennywise was creepy. A couple of weeks ago, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, featured sharks with razor teeth. Pennywise was creepier. But more on that some other time.
Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Probably not. The regular size is plenty scary. I’m all about the plot, which plays well at any size.
Would I see it again? Actually, I would. If somebody wanted to see it, I would sit through it again. Would I want to see it again? No. I know what happens. I’m good. (no score adjustment)
Should I rent it? Buy it? If you are a fan of Stephen King movies or the first one, rent it. I don’t think it would stand up to repeat viewings. Don’t buy it. If you are a fan of scary movies, I’m not sure it would be scary enough for you. It was plenty scary for me. I’m a mild salsa kinda guy. So, unless you’re a fan of this storyline, skip the rental. (no score adjustment)
Is it family safe? No, not really. There is some adult language and the violence could be a bit unsettling. I would peg this at a PG-13. If your teens really want to see it, they should be OK. Keep your little ones away. (no score adjustment)