By Bartosz Szarek (Nowy Sącz, Poland)


Twenty-Seven Years Later

For some people fear can be paralyzing, whereas for others quite the opposite – motivating as well as refreshing like a sea breeze. Stephen King knows something about it. One of his most famous novels – It published in 1986 – after the two-episode television adaptation in the form of mini-series (It, 1990, Tommy Lee Wallace), with already iconic role of Tim Curry, after twenty seven years (distinctive in the context of the King’s prose and its film reprise) has been genuine adapted and can be daringly regarded as one of the best horrors of this year, if not the best films of this year.

Massacre on the screen in the infantile dimension has always been a taboo. Muschietti bends the standards and specific conventions, he likes intense scenes, but he also tries to balance them with humour, playing also with the emotion and nerve. The uncompromising director vision compiled from circling around the protagonists detached eye of the Chung-hoon Chung camera as well as drilling into the brain dispassionate scores of Benjamin Wallfisch, on the one hand strengthen anxiety, on the other, disperse fear enclosed in It (2017) on new, unknown spaces. The film is quiet and loud at the same time, treacly and faced with disease, which every fanzine suffers from and which is called nostalgia. The fight with intransigent clown Pennywise, the embodiment of pathological emotional disturbance and passiveness of the adult world; everything that horrifies and paralyzes victims the most is taking place mainly in the heads of the young protagonists and can be overcame only by the friendship and common sense.

Truly good horrors always focused on the climate rather than “gore”, built tension through suspense and unpredictability from which the fear emerged. Visual aspect of It, technical nuances and applied rhetoric, all of this has in Muschietti’s work its idiosyncratic rhythm. Hats off to the screenwriters: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman and Chase Palmer, who got blood out of a stone in the spectacular way indeed, they adapted the King’s book consisted of over one thousand pages to over one hundred pages of the screenplay. The Muschietti’s film belies to the critics opinions that the best adaptations of master horror prose are these based on its less impressive positions, like in the case of Carrie (1976) directed by Brian de Palma, and more Stand by Me (1986) created by Rob Reiner or The Shawshank Redemption (1994) directed by Frank Darabont, which in the King’s work started from novel limit.

Intelligent, fresh and shamelessly terrifying It is a classic from the debut, which viewers will brood long after the show. The film binds series exposure of Conjuring, spirit of Twin Peaks (1990-1991, M. Frost and D. Lynch) and poetry of New Adventure Cinema. In addition, well shown protagonists’ tragedy and their dynamics, verbal and situational humour: especially in the role of Bill Skarsgård as demonic clown, Jaeden Lieberher and his Bill, causative force of vendetta directed at It and extremely talented Sophia Lillis as Beverly of who we will certainly hear many times about.

Andres Muschietti connects grotesque and black humour, horror and anecdote about accelerated puberty in a unique way. It is an unpretentious genre cinema maintained in the comedy-drama convention served with sense and respect for King’s prose. I’m waiting for more…

Rating: 5/5



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