The horror movie genre will never be the same.
We saw IT this afternoon, and I gotta say that this has the potential to turn the whole genre on its head. A talented cast. Striking cinematography. The complete and utter absence of cheap scares. What’s going on here?
Well, for starters, this isn’t a horror movie in the traditional sense. It’s more like a coming-of-age film about a bunch of kids facing their fears – and it just so happens that the thing they fear is a shape-shifting clown from another dimension who eats children. You know, that old chestnut.
Each member of the Losers Gang is fully realized. While they play to the typical archetypes, not one of them is expendable – you don’t get the immediate sense that one of these kids is only introduced so that they can die later. You’re rooting for them the whole way – especially because most of the adults in the movie are garbage people.
And, damn, those set pieces. The library. The bathroom. The garage (what’s spoiled in the trailer isn’t even the tip of the iceberg). That’s the other thing, too. The trailer sells the movie just enough to get people in the seats, but the real meat is still hidden, waiting to be uncovered by the viewer.
Maybe I’m crazy because I haven’t seen the original miniseries with Tim Curry. Nor have I read the original work by Stephen King. But the feature film remake fired on all cylinders for me. I’m sure there will be horror purists that contend the movie isn’t scary enough. To them, I say that the real terror lurking at the heart of the film isn’t a homicidal clown – it’s adolescence, bro.