It, the highly acclaimed film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel, will show on campus at Price Center Theater on Nov. 30.
The film is based off of King’s novel released in 1986. It originally opened in early September and quickly exploded into the mainstream, becoming the highest grossing R-rated horror film of all time.
The story follows a group of children living in a small town in Maine who investigates the mysterious disappearances of other children. They soon come face-to-face with their fears, one being the terrifying clown, Pennywise.
Now that October, the traditional horror season, has passed and it has been a good two months since the film’s release, is It still worth seeing? Viewers searching for a visually frightening film with an excellent cast are in for a treat.
The strength of It lies in its ability to feed off of fear and nostalgia. Each of the children’s worst fears are directly manifested in the movie, and the result is unnerving. The visual effects, coupled with the cinematography, creates horror film eye candy at its best. It achieves this with very simple and raw imagery. The infamous floating red balloon seen in the film’s promotional artwork quickly becomes a symbol of impending dread, while the visceral scenes of violence and terror are both hard to watch and to look away from.
The score does a great job of setting the tone for each scene and every time the score intensifies, it threatens to completely immerse the characters and viewers. However, its use does not tend to be subtle and can sometimes land on the cliche side of the horror genre. Whenever a character approaches something sinister, a steady crescendo of dissonant string notes can be heard, indicating an upcoming scare for viewers.
It also does well to capitalize on the current widespread appreciation for nostalgia. The film captures the “coming-of-age” theme as it shows the lives of kids in the 80’s who mature and learn to grow past their own unique family issues. The scenes of the self-dubbed “The Losers Club” riding their bicycles across town evoke the same nostalgic feeling as another 80’s themed production―the widely popular Netflix series Stranger Things.
The similarities with Stranger Things and It continue on with a shared main cast member, Finn Wolfhard. Wolfhard plays Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things, and becomes the big-mouthed and confident Richie Tozier in It. Wolfhard, in particular, delivers some of the best acting out of “The Losers Club” bunch and elicits quite a few laughs as he excellently swaggers his way through the film with his brash nature.
When it comes to the real star of the film, Bill Skarsgård and his portrayal of Pennywise take the cake. Skarsgård gives an amazing performance as he delivers Pennywise’s lines with malice and derangement. He truly transforms into a terrifying creature through his physical actions. His movements blend together the mechanical nature of a child’s toy, dramatic human actions of a clown, and the feral, predatory prowling of an animal.
It is an excellent addition to horror cinema, as it creates a terrifying spectacle with narrative heart elevated by terrific performances from its cast. UC San Diego students with a valid ID can watch It on campus at Price Center Theater on Thursday, Nov. 30. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the film starts at 7:00 p.m.
Arun Dhingra is a contributing writer for the Arts and Entertainment section for The Triton.