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It is directed by Andy Muschietti, and it stars Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, and Sophia Lillis. When kids begin disappearing in the small town of Derry, a small group of misfits bands together to try and solve the mystery of a monster that has been terrifying them all. The film is the first of a planned duology that is based on the popular novel by Stephen King, but how good is it? Does it warrant a sequel?
A whole new generation of kids is going to be afraid of clowns now because this new It delivers in-full on all of the thrills, excitement, and edge that we’ve come to expect from this story. The film’s R-rating gives it the room to really breathe and be the horror flick it wants to be. Because of that, I would even say that this film is much more terrifying than the original mini-series from 1990.
The two best words to describe this film are terrifying and hilarious. You read that right. Hilarious. This film not only had a surprising amount of humor in It, but there was a surprising amount of consistently funny humor in it. There are a lot of jokes in this movie, particularly from Finn Wolfhard’s character Richie. While maybe one or two didn’t quite work, for the most part, all of the jokes land and never fail to get an uproar of laughter from the theater. The humor serves to really lighten the mood of the film, and it does that job brilliantly. It never blatantly feels like comedic relief, but it serves the purpose very well.
The suspense built over the course of this film was some of the best of any horror film I’ve seen over the past couple years. In a matter of minutes, you’ll go from laughing and having a good time, to absolutely terrified and afraid to move in your seat. Even if you’ve seen the mini-series (I don’t know about the book, I haven’t read it), you’ll still be on the edge of your seat. You never know what’s going to happen next. This new It constantly finds ways to surprise and scare the audience in new and unexpected ways. There is a lot of Pennywise in this film (powerfully played by Bill Skarsgard I might add), but it never gets repetitive or old. Every time it's on screen, it feels completely different from the last. That adds to the building tension because you never know what this monster is going to do next.
One of the most telling things about the quality of this film is the characters. Most of the characters in this film were actually very well developed, three-dimensional people. They weren’t just your cliché movie kids that have to fight a monster. They each have their own personalities and their own personal demons. The Losers Club feels like a genuine group of friends. You believe their relationships with one another, and that’s a testament both to the quality of the script and the performances from the kids.
It was a terrifying yet fun adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel. This film certainly meets and exceeds all expectations. Not only is It a great horror film that will undoubtedly become a classic, but it’s just an excellent film all around, from the directing, to the cinematography, to the musical score, to every other aspect. I would very highly recommend the new It. This is an event film that you need to see in the theater, as soon as possible.
So what did you think of the new It? How does it compare to the 1990 mini-series? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! My first reviews for the Daily Nebraskan will be posting next week, so be sure to follow me on Twitter for any updates!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
It (1990) is directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, and it stars Tim Curry, Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, and Annette O’Toole. When mysterious murders start happening in the town of Derry, a group of friends decides to reunite and face the demon that tormented them thirty years prior, when they were children. That demon would be Pennywise the Clown. This two-part mini-series based on the Stephen King novel has become iconic, and it’s a big reason for a lot of peoples’ fear of clowns. So how well does it hold up today?
Right off the bat, I would like to say that before last night, I had never seen this mini-series. In fact, I’d always assumed It was a film that had been released in the early nineties. However, when I did watch it, it was both episodes back-to-back, so it played like a three-hour movie. Initially, I was nervous about starting this, because I had assumed the three-hour runtime would really drag and it would feel outrageously long. Thankfully, It paces itself very well, and it didn’t feel anywhere close to three hours in length.
This two-part mini-series was developed for TV in 1990, and watching it today, you can definitely tell. The production level and acting, for the most part, is pretty bad. But the quality of the story that is being told keeps you glued to the screen for all three hours. The method in which they told this story worked very well. For the first episode (first half if you watch it as a film), they’re switching back-and-forth between what happened when the main characters were children and how that’s affecting them as adults. It simultaneously makes you fear for the safety of these characters as children and care about their adult counterparts. It was the quality of the script that makes It so iconic, and I’m sure that’s a testament to the original novel written by Stephen King.
If you look at this mini-series from a technical perspective, it’s not that great. Most of the performances were wooden and either void of emotion or too over-acted, the visual effects don’t hold up very well at all (granted, I’m sure they were great at the time of release), and everything down to the cinematography feels extremely made-for-TV. Which is to be expected, since it was, but it was still something that bothered me, so I figured I’d bring it up.
The one thing in this mini-series that, despite many of the other issues, is always great, is Tim Curry as Pennywise. Not only was the look of the clown extremely eerie yet convincing, but the performance that Tim Curry gave was fantastic. It’s easy to see why this version of Pennywise has become so recognizable. Not once did it feel too over-the-top or silly. Though many of the other performances were often less than stellar, Tim Curry as Pennywise always seemed to be giving it his all, and that really showed.
Overall, I wasn’t absolutely blown away by the 1990 It mini-series, but I still found it very enjoyable. That’s entirely due to the quality of the story being told. The story here grabs you and refuses to let go. Despite the lack of quality in production, it’s dramatic, it’s intense, it’s nerve-racking, and it undoubtedly lives up to the hype. This is the type of film (mini-series) that makes you want to go and actually read the book afterward. Also, if you’re planning on seeing the new version, I would recommend watching this first, just to get an idea of what to prepare for. It wasn’t amazing, but it was still pretty good.
So what do you think of the original It mini-series from 1990? How excited are you for the new film? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Wish Upon is directed by John R. Leonetti, and it stars Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, and Ki Hong Lee. It tells the story of Clare, a high school girl that doesn’t really have a lot of friends, and she doesn’t really fit in all that well. When her dad finds a Chinese box while dumpster diving, he gives it to her. She soon discovers that this box will grant her seven wishes, but those wishes often come with a terrible price.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Wish Upon. It’s the type of scary movie that people make jokes about in other, much better films. Everything in Wish Upon was the traditional horror movie tropes that we’ve all seen time and time again. The story is pretty much just being a Monkey’s Paw rip-off that features stupid characters that seem to have no basic survival instincts. Wish Upon was, to put it simply, was pretty awful. It was cliché, unoriginal, silly, and most of all, forgettable (thought that might be a good thing?). Legitimately, I forgot the name of this movie several times while writing this article. I can’t even imagine people who are really into scary movies liking this. It’s a PG-13 horror movie, so it’s made for the crowd of middle school students that think they’re super edgy for going to a scary movie, and it’s exactly what you would expect it to be.
At times, the film even becomes laughably bad. So in that aspect, there is some fun to be had. I saw this film with one of my coworkers, and we both had a pretty good laugh about it for about five solid minutes afterward. Is sitting through an hour and a half excuse of a movie worth five minutes of laughter? Maybe not, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
The worst thing about this film was how predictable it was. When the film began, and they set up the premise, I made a sort-of checklist in my head of what I thought was going to happen. As the film continued, I checked every item off of that list. There are no surprises in this movie. What you think is going to happen is exactly what happens. The film plays out beat-for-beat how you would guess it would.
Wish Upon is a bad movie. There’s no getting around that. It doesn’t really have any redeeming qualities. The characters are dumb, the plot is recycled, the entire film is extremely predictable, and in general, it’s one of the most cliché films I’ve seen in a while. Please, don’t see this movie. You deserve better than that.
So what did you think about Wish Upon? What do you wish you had seen instead? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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It Comes at Night is directed by Trey Edward Shults, and it stars Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbot, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Carmen Ejogo. It tells the story of a family living in a house in the woods, during what appears to be an outbreak of some kind. They've boarded up the house and never leave without wearing gloves and gas masks to avoid getting sick. They soon come in contact with another desperate family seeking shelter, and tensions arise as they're not sure who they can trust.
It Comes at Night is easily one of the best films of the year so far, and I believe it will still be in that conversation six months from now. This film perfectly utilizes the idea that what scares us most is what we don't understand. It Comes at Night makes the brilliant decision to hide what it is that is happening in the world. The characters in the story don't know what's going on and neither does the audience. This puts the audience in the same situation as the characters, and they become much more relatable and developed because of it. In addition to that, the story is told through the perspective of the son in the main family, which gives the audience yet another lens to view the film through.
Despite the audience not really knowing what there is to be afraid of, this film creates massive amounts of tension that keeps people on the edge of their seat. Multiple times while watching this film, I found myself being saying the cliche phrases "Don't go in there" or "Don't open that door". The anxiety that this film creates in the audience is inescapable. The film's clever use of dream sequences also makes you question what is real and what is not. It Comes at Night does something that is almost impossible to do. It uses confusion to its advantage. The situation of the film confuses the audience, but it does so in a way that adds even more to the already immense tension.
One thing that should be addressed is the divide in the reaction to It Comes at Night between critics and audiences. Currently, the film is at a 86% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, however, it is only at 44% audience approval. It's a very similar situation to last year's A24 thriller, The Witch. This is being largely contributed to the film's marketing. Many people are entering this film expecting a crazy, more traditional scary movie. That's not what It Comes at Night is. In fact, I would say this movie is more of a family drama that has some thriller elements. The movie explores how this family deals with the situation they are in, how they adapt to the world that they live in, and what they're willing to do to keep each other safe. As far as story and character building go, this is a film to behold.
The performances in the movie only highlight the film even more. Joel Edgerton gave an absolutely fantastic performance. I would go as far to say that this is one of the best performances I've ever seen him give. The supporting cast in the film was also very good. Christopher Abbott plays the father of the other desperate family, and he played his role very well. Just like the main characters, the audience isn't sure if he can be trusted, and he played that up really well. There was something that he brought to that character that just made the audience uneasy, and it was fantastic. Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays the son through whose perspective the audience experiences the film through. I've never seen him in anything before, but he gave (surprise surprise) a great performance in this movie. He doesn't have a lot of lines, but he's really good at showing emotion in his face. Just from a look, the audience can tell exactly how he's feeling, and when he does speak he delivers his lines very well.
The real star of this film is the writer/director Trey Edward Shults. This is only his second feature film, and he knocked it out of the park. This film, from start to finish, feels painstakingly crafted. It feels like every shot was carefully gone over to make sure they were exactly what Shults wanted them to be. Each scene plays into the next organically, and the dreams sequences felt very natural to the story that was told. It Comes at Night feels like a film you could watch and analyze time and time again and still find new things every time. The more I think about this movie, the better it gets. Even the title of the movie is more than it appears to be at first glance, which is a testament to the amazing attention to detail from Shults.
If you go into It Comes at Night and take it for what it is, it's easily one of the best films of the year. As of now, I'd put it in my top five, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't on my top ten by the end of the year. The film is an in-depth family drama that is set in a scary movie, and it works incredibly well. The performances across the board were solid, but the real star is director Trey Edward Shults. I would very highly recommend It Comes at Night. I'll definitely be seeing this one again.
So what did you think of It Comes at Night? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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