“It” revives strong plot in horror genre


Will Patterson

“It” can easily be described as the most anticipated horror movie of the year. All fans of cinema— regardless of movie taste— should have “It” on their radar by now.

Pennywise, the dancing clown’s return to the big screen has been met with sold-out theaters and a record setting weekend at the box office. This latest film recreation of the classic Stephen King novel revives many much-needed aspects of the horror genre. Unlike many modern horror movies, “It” puts the integrity of its story above cheap jump scares and thrills.

The solid plot of “It” can be contributed to a realistic depiction of a small group of friends trying to survive high school. Nerds have become an increasingly overused platform for the misunderstood student trope—but “It” pulls it off. The “Losers’ Club” is an original reminder of why the formula works so well. The characters are annoying, funny and frequently remind the audience of their younger selves.

Illustrating fear is a difficult, near impossible task, but “It” strives to do just that. Improved filmmaking technology gave the producers of the 2017 rendition much more creative power than in the 1990 version. Those seeking some blood-chilling effects will be pleased to find an abundance.

What truly makes the film scary is the position the main characters are in. No one is equipped to deal with a horrific, supernatural phenomenon—especially children. Watching the band of kids consistently run into issues directly relating to their age succeeds in frustrating viewers.

There is a greater message embedded in the story’s use of adults hindering the children’s mission. At several points in the film the main characters draw attention to how often the adults ignore an obvious evil lurking in their town. This creates a theme of incompetent authority figures who are more content with ignoring problems than solving them.

One of the major risks when creating a movie like “It” is relying on the talent of so many young actors and actresses. Films with incredible acting never remind the audience that they’re watching a performance. At times, “It” fails to do this with moments of unconvincing acting, but these pass quickly.

As with any film, there are bound to be shortcomings. With a setting like small town America in 1989, it’s hard to avoid the clichés that haunt modern cinema. There’s a love triangle—and it is noticeably uncomfortable. The development does little for the story and plays into the “damsel in distress” trope.

The final verdict on the film, despite its few disappointing moments, is that it’s a must-see. With such a strong opening, “It” is surely going to leave a positive mark on the film industry.

Movies based on Stephen King have an odd and unpredictable reputation. While “It” is soaring to new heights in the horror genre, “The Dark Tower” has been met with scathing reviews and poor overall reception. These differences are more likely contributed to production rather than source material, but the alarming contrast can only leave “It” fans hoping for a sequel equal to chapter one.