It’s a bad sign when there are people laughing in a horror movie in a cinema. But that’s what happened when I went and saw IT on the big screen. There were people laughing. And no, it wasn’t because of botched subtitles. Since every movie I see has Greek subtitles – even though the translation of the title alone had people snickering. Seriously, they had translated the movie IT to “Το Αυτό” meaning The It. The bloke sitting a few seats over from me, I genuinely heard him say “Why did they called the movie that?” In Greek of course.
But yes, I’m not impressed. I’m not even scared. I honestly feel less scared watching IT than I did watching Rings, and that movie didn’t even seem to be trying to be scary. If anything, Rings was more likely to be scary simply because a viral video that kills you seems slightly more sinister than a clown that murders some kids every 27 years in a small town in the middle of nowhere but only if they’re on their own and away from kids and not being watched even though the stupid thing can’t seem to make up its mind on its own rules.
I should point out, no, I haven’t seen the original movie, nor have I read the book. I shouldn’t have to. I am judging this film as a film on its own, separate from what it is based on. That being said, I don’t understand what people liked about this movie, because hardly anyone in the cinema seemed to be enjoying it. The second the credits appeared, people started leaving. There was a post-credits scene but no one gave a fuck, even more so because it screams “IT CHAPTER ONE” before showing us the credits.
Normally when I watch this stuff, it’s just me and the siblings picking the movie apart, but EVERYONE was picking the movie apart. The bunch of blokes sitting next to us in particular. They probably spent more time laughing and giggling than being even remotely scared. I turned to make a joke to my sister about them cutting their hands on glass and the men beside us made the exact same joke in Greek. But more importantly, no one was audibly scared. There were no gasps of horror, no screams, nothing.
The whole film was full of tropes. People seeing creepy things then not telling anyone. Everyone being a random douche bag for no reason. Tons of stupid ‘fake outs’ where they amp up the music and try and make you feel tense then it turns out to be nothing. Generic jump scares. A monster that was basically a cross between a clown and a Xenomorph.
Even the kids were tropes and cliches. They were pretty good actors, but they were all acting out cliches. The scared-but-brave protagonist who lost a family member. The smart-mouth. The sickly nerdy kid scared of germs. The fat one. The black one. The Jew one. The female one. All of whom seemed to have absent or abusive parents. Couldn’t get any more cliche if they tried.
Going back to the big baddie, I’m still not sure what its rules are. Can it only attack while its target is alone? It clearly can’t attack when an adult is present but what’s the range and do they have to be asleep or awake? If the rule is that the kid just has to not be near adults, then it shouldn’t have had a problem eating enough to be able to sleep for another 27 years on a full stomach. At the end of the day, IT turns into a massive fucking cliche with a weakness you’d see on an episode of a generic kids’ TV show. “I can only eat you if you’re scared.” Fucking bollocks.
The film wasn’t even that gory. IT was advertised here as Rated 18, but it wasn’t particularly gruesome, I’d call the original Predator movie more gory. Probably could have gotten a 15 rating if it wasn’t for the little kid losing his arm at the beginning – but that’s as far as the dead kids go, almost everyone else is killed off-screen or in bloody but not gory ways.
Honestly? At the end of the day, IT could have been a fucking kids’ mystery movie. Take out the gore and replace dead kids with missing kids and it could have been a feature-length, more cliche version of Stranger Things.
But at least Stranger Things was actually good and had some mystery and some real suspense and didn’t constantly rely on the same old cliches over and over again. And the fact that adults actually did things in Stranger Things made the whole thing feel more realistic. In IT, the protagonist’s brother goes missing, and the parents hardly even seem to care! They don’t even know that he’s dead yet they give up completely. Every other adult is either clueless, careless or a cunt.
It’s a shame. Not for me. I had low expectations going in and still came out disappointed. But my horror-loving sister was absolutely devastated at how mediocre it all was. She’s always happy to watch a horror movie but we left the cinema and all she did was complain about how bad IT was and how good it could have been if it hadn’t relied on the same old shit.
Save your money. Watch the original. Because they’re going to make you pay twice to see this remake. Gotta make everything into a damn franchise.