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9/18/17

IS THE DEATH NOTE MOVIE REALLY THAT BAD?


Some thoughts on Netflix's new Death Note movie.

GOTHAM: SEASON 3 - VLOG REVIEW


I talk a bit about Season 3 of Gotham.

IT - REVIEW


A convenient 27 years after the memorable miniseries, we are finally treated to a movie adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel IT with Bill Skarsgård taking on the role of creepy killer clown Pennywise made iconic by Tim Curry back in the day.

The film focuses on the child characters, a group of seven friends who are each terrorised by random sightings of Pennywise years after the latter abducted a child called Georgie by luring him into the sewers. Georgie's older brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) has been trying to find him ever since and this becomes his and his friends' main goal. Unfortunately, particularly dangerous bullies, crappy lives at home and specific fears brought up by Pennywise get in the way of their mission. Like an ingenuous mix of Stand By Me and The Goonies with some Stranger Things thrown in, IT is both an effective coming-of-age story with a group of very different but equally likeable kids at its heart and a supernatural horror film every bit as unsettling, brutal and wacky as you'd expect from a classic Stephen King story. This movie boasts a lot of charm and its real strength is the characters portrayed by its young cast: from Jaeden Lieberher to Stranger Things alumni Finn Wolfhard, who plays his loud-mouthed best friend, to the group's one girl played by an excellent Sophia Lillis.

Indeed, in-between scares the film is a beautifully made retro teen flick about a group of average kids having to grow up quicker than planned by literally facing their fears. However, IT really banks on its main monster to offer up tons of jumps for the audience and, while Bill Skarsgård does a great job as Pennywise, the scares themselves are hit-and-miss. As enjoyable as Tim Curry was playing the clown back in the 90's, he was never truly frightening except to younger viewers. Skarsgård's Pennywise, however, should creep you out throughout (especially when taking over a creepy painting) and startle you a couple of times. But for every successful scare, there are unfortunately about 10 anti-climactic ones as, despite being a long film, IT doesn't really have the time to give each of its many jump scares the proper build-up. Furthermore, the tone of the film is overall more fun than it is gloomy so only the scenes with the actual scares are creepy, which makes them predictable. As far as modern horror films go, though, this is much better than most: it's very well made and it manages to capture a lot of what made IT such a stand-out novel and miniseries.

If Chapter Two can somehow up the scare factor significantly, this could easily become of the best Stephen King movie adaptations ever. As Chapter One stands, it's a solid mix of weird, spooky stuff and late 80's nostalgia with a worthy successor to Tim Curry's Pennywise leading the way.

This one definitely floats.

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