When time allots I plan to do a much larger, more in-depth review of this film; more for my own sanity than any other reason. But for now, my quick assessment of Andy Muschietti’s take on Stephen Kings horror classic It.

As usual, this may contain spoilers.

The film opens with what by now has become an iconic scene, the death of George Denbrough. From the interaction with the brothers George and Bill to the horrific death of Georgie by Pennywise ‘the dancing’ Clown the film is almost perfect (mood and adaptation in near perfect sync). It was exciting to experience and it encouraged me that this would indeed be a great addition to the Stephen King archive.

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Clown

There’s an old saying, ‘playing the long game’. Movies that have a high rewatchability factor play the long game; they are the ones that develop a cult status and etch a favorable opinion deep into the social consciousness. Many become known as classics.

Andy Muschietti’s It, disappointingly…plays the short game.

There are some great jump scares in this movie. Jump scares have a short lifespan.

There are some good scenes where the kids are just hanging out, being kids, reminiscent of other movies like Stand By Me (1986) and The Goonies (1985). For me, these were unfortunately tainted by the absolute butchery of other characters in this story.

I’m still trying to understand what was gained by this wholesale slaughter of characters save for a screenplay credit. Perhaps that was reason enough; as these changes did absolutely nothing to improve the film but only contributed to pushing it to towards standard horror schlock.

There were also changes to the original story that I can only guess were done for shock value but immediately introduced logical inconsistencies in the narrative.  More of ‘this would be cool’ and less of ‘does this make sense’.

More on this in the full review.

Whatever the reason for the changes, it turned what could have been a great horror film into a decent one and it earns my thumbs down as a Stephen King adaptation.

I don’t know why the creators of this film felt they needed to sacrifice these characters for short term gain. But they won’t be rewarded for it by me.

2.5 out of 5 stars