So I wanted to do a spoiler talk for the film as I wanted to talk about it more in-depth. I haven’t done a spoiler review in a while, but I figured this one definitely deserved a spoiler review. Now, I haven’t read the book (I’m not going to) and I have not seen the mini series (might some day) so this is about this movie. I’m not rating it or doing a pros and cons list. I’m just going to talk… write.
You can read the NON SPOILER review here.
I’m not going to go on each of them again but just a few more things that I didn’t want to spoil in my Non Spoiler Review.
For the other characters, we spend a lot of time with Bill and Beverly in their homes, so its easier to understand them I think, their fears, why they latch on to their friends, especially during this time, why they latch onto each other and are the only ones ready to fight Pennywise after their first actual encounter with him. Ben, Eddie and Stan are all pretty okay too, I would have liked to seen more of Ben and Stan’s parents, especially Stan’s relationship with his dad, I do want to know how often Stan got sent alone to his father’s office to make him afraid of that picture, or what I want to know why Ben is so into history… and for Eddie, I do want to know about his relationship with his mom. But those characters are the ones I think that I get the most or at least I get their fears the most and their presence the most. So Richie and Mike are the ones I had a lot of questions for.
Finn Wolfhard as Richard “Richie” Tozier. So like I said, he was my favorite, I might be a bit biased as I like the young actor but I did find myself enjoying him the most. He’s just the one who is always talking, cracking jokes and he seems to be the one always ready to go even though they always make him the “look out”. In the film, not much is said or shown about his home life but from what I read in interviews, the director believes he might have an abusive home (don’t know if its physical or not) I can see that though as everyone seems to deals with something at home that pushes them closer to their friends. He is the last one to be scared separately from the others and his fear is of clowns, don’t know why but I would like to know. Is the talking a defense mechanism? Is it to make up for being invisible at home? I really want to know lol. I’ll go into more detail about them later but I also want to know why the “Missing” poster was such a thing for him… sure the kids are disappearing but he really freaked out about it, not to mention, how Pennywise showed him a coffin with a doll version of him in it. I’m curious.
Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon. So he was probably my biggest issue with the kids and it wasn’t because he was a bad actor, or character or anything like that, I just didn’t like how he was handled. I think Chosen Jacobs was a fine actor and ultimately Mike was cool but my question is, why was he there exactly? I know in the book that he’s the one who knows the history of Derry, he’s the one who brings up the different tragedies and what not of the town, its all Mike who does that… not Ben. That actually ruins the idea of how they come back in the adult version. From what I know, Mike becomes a librarian in Derry and he notices what’s happening and he calls the others and they return at his prompting (except for Stan) BUT my thing is, now that he’s not doing that, what is he going to be doing? Did he stay in Derry and take over the farm? Is he going to still be in contact with Ben because I’m assuming Ben is going to stay in town to notice, or are they going to try to make it seem like Ben left too (even though he said he wanted to leave) and Mike notices what’s happening? I want to know. I just think it’s odd to take away such an important part of his original character in this movie and not replace with something that’s just as important. Instead, he’s given a gun. I recognize that he’s the biggest kid of them all and he seemed like the oldest, the protector but still, why couldn’t he be that AND be the historian? Even though that’s not something I’m connected to through nostalgia, I felt that something was off with him because he just felt there… the token black kid for real. Plus, he was separate from the others for so long, he was cheated. I was cheated.
Like I said, the story is interesting and I wish there was a bit more information about it. I don’t want to read the book, I’m not going too, sometimes scary books stick with me longer than the movies because it’s my imagination creating nonsense instead of me actually looking at it. But I want to know more, how long has Pennywise been in Derry and that book that had his picture in it, what was that about? Or what about the mural on the wall near the butchers? I definitely saw him in the mural. Was that real or was he just messing around? I want some more answers for this version of the movie in particular as I know things are different. I want to know how Pennywise came to be, what exactly is IT and where is it from? Why did IT torment these particular kids for so long? What was it about them? Why did IT wait so long to scare Richie? Why does like the form of the clown so much? These might be answered in part two but I want to know now! lol Not to mention, I want to know more about the kids and their lives considering their fears. What’s up with Eddie’s mom, why was she making him believe he’s a sickly child and he’s not? Where did Beverly’s rumors start? Richie and Bill seem like they’re the closest, how did they each become friends? I guess in a way none of that matters but those are just things I want to know.
It’s a very interesting story but I just want my questions answered lol.
The Kids Fears
I think each kid’s fear was handled very well. We get to see each of them be confronted with a physical manifestation that scares them. For one thing, the town itself is just scary, the adults in particular. I wonder if the adults will still look like that when our kids are adults, is it something that’s always gonna scare them or as they get older, they understand adulthood a bit more now. So I’m going to go in order of when we see their fears, at least I hope I got it all in order lol.
Mike Hanlon- So Mike is riding his bike down to the butcher’s to see meat from his farm. He looks like he was going to go through the front door but after seeing the Bowers’ gang he runs to the alleyway where the backdoor is. He starts to go through the meat and he hears something coming from the door. So, when he turns to see, the door (which has a lock on it) starts to shake, it slowly cracks open just a bit, enough that lock stops it and these many hands come from behind the door. Burned hands. There is screaming and he actually walks towards them, like he’s reaching out to them. Then, the door bursts open and far back in the room, where the meat is hanging you can see a figure in there, kind of swinging, then he just stands there and his eyes are the only thing that you can really see. So creepy. He later talks about this fear and how it’s related to how his parents died in a fire that he also was in and that it’s something he thinks about. Which is why it’s his fear. I actually think his fear is definitely mostly based on memory instead of something he sees and fears. We also see it again later when he’s fighting Pennywise, Mike hits him and Pennywise opens his mouth and you see a bunch of burned hands reaching for him. I actually thought his fear was interesting, it’s not going to be something he’s ever really going to forget. So it’ll be interesting to see how he will be as an adult.
Stan Uris- Stan is in his father’s church practicing for his Bar Mitzvah, so because he keeps messing up, his father tells him to put the book back in his office. When he goes into the office, he immediately has his hand blocking something on the wall from his sight, but he ends up looking at it anyway (which I’m like boy why…?) and it’s this creepy picture of this woman holding a flute. I would be terrified of that thing too. I hate creepy paintings, pictures, statues… anything that looks human but is creepy just freaks me out. But he looks at it and then fixes it as it was lopsided. So he goes to put the book back and then hears a clatter. The picture fell. I was like “nope, get out of there. Leave now” but of course he goes to put it back on the wall and the woman is gone from the picture. He just stands there, I would have been OUT. There is flute music and another door opens (maybe the bathroom door?) and he looks as it but then he slowly turns around and in the shadow you can see a tall figure, and the flute falls to the ground, then the woman comes into view and she’s ugly. I think she smiled at him and then he ran. It would have never gotten that far for me, the picture fell? I’m out. I put it back and she’s gone? I’m out. We see this woman later, when everyone is in the sewer to save Beverly, Stan somehow gets separated from the group and he ends up going into this room. He’s spinning around using his flashlight to see and suddenly there is a sound like someone is running towards him but it sounds like shuffling feet and the woman comes into view of his light. This was the only time I covered my face because that woman is creepy and her suddenly running into my view like that with that smile on her face…
When the others find Stan, they flash the light and the woman’s mouth is covering his face, but then she pulls away, slinks off behind a wall and she disappears then Pennywise comes into view, so obviously he turned back into his clown form. Poor child is screaming and scared “you left me!” But I’m like, you definitely walked away or something… I don’t know, but he was gone and the others were together. It was terrifying I’m sure, but you left Stan. His fear is pretty practical, creepy painting, definitely get that.
Ben Hanscome- Now, Ben’s I wasn’t sure I completely understood at least not at first. Ben is in the library and he’s looking at this book of the history of Derry and he sees information about this terrible accident that killed a lot of children. I think there was something to do with Easter eggs, not sure. But he’s looking at these pictures (again more human stuff) and then he starts flipping really fast as each picture is zoomed in more until finally we see a boy’s head in a tree. At first I was like what am I looking at? But it obviously freaked him out, then he sees a red balloon in the background and he follows it and sees an Easter egg on the ground (it was smoking), he notices there’s a trail and he follows them. Again, I’m like why? The egg trail stops and then he hears a noise, and he can see the legs of someone coming down the stairs, it comes into view more and it’s a badly burned body staggering down, with an armful of eggs, no head. So this must be a manifestation of that boy. So of course Ben tries to hide, and the body drops the eggs and it does some creepy “look around” before catching wind of Ben and it starts to chase him. He keeps looking back as the body chases after him then you hear “Egg Boy!” and it’s now Pennywise chasing him. Ben thankfully runs faster, then he runs into the librarian and he leaves. Again, why follow the egg trail? Not me. I’m not that curious. I mean I am as I obviously watched this movie but I’m not going off by myself, especially not in a huge library and the eggs are leading me downstairs into the stacks. I hate going into library stacks. I love the library but the archives rooms, the stacks that are usually downstairs… nope. The reason why I didn’t really get his fear at first, or at least his the least clear is because he’s reading this information, it doesn’t really affect him at least not enough to continue scaring him, is it dead things? Because later, when they’re fighting Pennywise, he tries to use a mummy’s wraps to pull him into him… so it’s kind of strange really. What is he actually scared of? He never mentions it again when they’re talking about what they’ve seen. So, did Pennywise use it because it was something he was just looking at and it was fresh? Curious.
Eddie Kaspbrak- Eddie’s fear is the most understandable as he’s a hypochondriac, he’s afraid of being sick, of health issues, I mean the kid carries around two fanny packs lol. He’s walking, and he’s passing this creepy house, he keeps looking at it and I’m like “ooo something about to happen, run Eddie. Run!” and he slows down and looks at it more, then his watch beeps “medicine time” and he pulls out his medicine box but drops it causing his pills to fall on the ground. So he quickly starts trying to pick them up and when he gets to the last one, another hand picks it up and says “do you think this will make me better Eddie?” and the camera pans up and it’s a zombified looking person. Eddie later says it was a leper, a walking infection, I figured it had something to do with the guy being gross, but I didn’t realize it was a leper until he said it later. The leper chases him on the grounds of the house, Eddie runs around the back (he falls lol) and then he sees Pennywise standing behind his little pyramid of red balloons. He doesn’t try to chase after him, he just threatens him before Eddie escapes through a little hole in the fence. The leper shows up twice, when they go into the house, Eddie is separated from Richie and Ben and the leper makes Eddie fall through the hole in the floor, and later when they’re fighting Pennywise, he turns into him really quickly and releases some disgusting bile at him. His fear has more to do with the infection thing, since his mother made him believe he’s always sickly, it makes sense for him to be afraid of something that is dangerous health wise.
Beverly Marsh- Bev’s fear is also interesting, I thought about hers the way I thought about Ben’s. I’m not sure what to really make of it. But she’s in the bathroom reading Ben’s secret admirer letter when she hears voices calling to her from the sink. She listens, then uses a tape measure to see just how far down it goes. It goes all the way down, at least the length of the entire tape. She starts to retract it but as it gets closer, it has blood on it and I think hair (her hair) and it starts to wrap around her and pulls her close to the sink before a geyser of blood shoots into her face covering the ENTIRE bathroom. Then later, when they’re fighting Pennywise, he turns into her father but she stabs him in the mouth (badass lol) and Bill makes the revelation that Pennywise didn’t kill Beverly because she wasn’t scared of him, he just put her in a trance and made her float, which makes sense after she fought her father who is her biggest fear. But I wonder if he just did it to get the boys as they were still afraid because he didn’t even try to eat her after she said she wasn’t afraid and I think he only tries to scare them because it makes them taste better. But in terms of the bathroom scene, Bev cut her hair after her father caressed it and stuff after he stopped her and saw she bought tampons. So I think the hair and the blood is kind of representation of that, which I thought it was interesting and deep. Her fear is like Mike’s in that it holds a personal emotional connection.
Bill Denbrough- While sleeping, Bill is woken up by his dripping ceiling. He ends up going into Georgie’s room and has a moment, then he sees a shadow and goes to see what it was, he sees Georgie run quickly across a room and he goes after him. He sees Georgie run into the basement (nope) and he’s in the corner with his little raincoat on. They have a conversation and then Georgie starts to say “you’ll float too” and he repeats it many times, his face distorting and then Pennywise comes out of the water (I think their basement flooded) and he tries to catch Bill but I mean you do this whole creepy show, of course he has a chance to run first lol, I think that was the scariest Pennywise was to me in that moment (oh and the garage scene lol). Bill sees Georgie later in the sewer, he’s holding his boat, his arm is gone (Pennywise bit it off in the beginning) and they have a conversation, it’s really sad. Bill is so torn up about his little brother, he swore he was just missing and not dead and in this moment, he knows that Georgie is dead and that it’s Pennywise in disguise (Side Note: Georgie’s biggest fear it seemed like was disappointing Bill). So not only is his fear something that is real, a memory and something that happened and existed but it also gave Bill strength.
Richie Tozier- Richie is the only one we don’t see before they know that something is going on. He even makes a joke “are only virgins seeing this thing? is that why I haven’t seen it?” lol, but when they’re all talking at the park, it’s mentioned that they all are afraid of something and Richie says “You got that right” and Eddie, I think, asks him what he’s afraid of and Richie looks back at the stage, there’s a creepy clown on it, and he says “clowns”. Now, we don’t know much about him to really know why he would be afraid of clowns, outside of them being creepy. Anyway, during that scene, Richie did look back at that clown a couple of times before saying that’s what he was afraid of. Later, when they go into the house, Richie’s first actual scare is when he finds a missing poster with his picture on it. He freaks out “Am I going to go missing!?” So, I wonder why that scares him, I mean, yeah a bunch of kids have gone missing but does that scare him or is it more along the lines of something to do with his parents? I want to know. Then, they go upstairs after hearing Betty Ripsom’s voice, Eddie gets separated from Richie and Bill, the door closes on them and Richie goes into another room after hearing someone yell his name. He chases after them (really Richie?) as it looked like it was Eddie hiding in the room. He goes to see but nothing is there. Bill sees that Richie went into a room, calls for him but the door is slammed shut. Richie goes to open it but it won’t, then he turns around and he sees that the room changed to a room full of clown statues/dolls. His reaction is hilarious but I feel you Richie (oh note in the picture, there’s a nod to Tim Curry’s Pennywise next to Richie).
He turns back to the door and sees a little doll and it scares him. Then, he goes up to one of them and taps its face and says “plastic” then a coffin pops open and it has his missing poster with FOUND written on the lid. He sees a doll in that looks like him, it’s mouth is sewn shut (which I thought was interesting considering how he’s the talker) and the face was decaying so he slams the lid shut and backs away. Pennywise pops out of the coffin and lands on top “beep beep Richie” and he of course chases him back to the door and Bill managed to get it open. I really want to know why is he afraid of clowns (did he see the Poltergeist movie that came out in the 80s and that scarred him?), what did it stem from and he actually handled himself pretty well, even when they fighting Pennywise who is a clown.
Looking at all the kids’ fears, it was the audience learning more about them but some of them were more visual than others, like Stan’s painting, or Ben’s pictures, there were the emotional ones like Beverly, Mike and Bill and the abstract one with Eddie’s leper and then I would say Richie’s clowns are physical but it’s the Missing poster I don’t understand.
The scares kind of tie in with the fears, but I’m not going to really mention the kids again, but the scares are scary, at least to me. I think the main thing about this film is that while it’s scary, it’s not really gory or bloody. At the beginning, when Georgie first sees Pennywise, he’s of course in the sewer with his boat, he attacks him and bites off his arm, Georgie screams and tries to crawl away and then an arm snakes out and drags him into the sewer. That’s a terrifying moment, a lot of it has to do with the fact that Georgie is a child and the way he tries to crawl away… man. The only other “bloody” part is when Richie and Bill open the door that says “Not Scary AT ALL” and Betty Ripsom’s body is only the upper half and she’s hanging from the ceiling. Those are really the only two bloody parts. We see Stan bleeding when Pennywise feeds from him but I don’t remember blood any other time that was in direct relation to Pennywise.
The scares with the kids, especially the ones when they’re alone are all pretty terrifying and I think it’s mostly because they are alone and there’s no one there to help alleviate the fear. I do think though that Leper looked a bit comical, for me it was more like “eww” then being actually scared of him, which may have been the point. I think at least from what we see of their separate fears, Stan and Ben’s were the scariest.
The garage scene is one of the most terrifying scenes, I couldn’t look away but I was so scared haha. They’re looking at a map of Derry over a map that Bill created. Eddie tells them that it’s too crazy for them to go looking for anything, then the slides start to go by themselves, showing pictures of Bill’s family, as each slides goes, the pictures zoom in on Georgie until they do the creepy slide show thing where the mom looks like wind is blowing in her hair until it turns into Pennywise. So creepy.
He shows his face, they’re all freaking out and Bev tells them to shut it off so Mike kicks it over and the slides stop. Then Pennywise shows back up before disappearing THEN he suddenly pops out of the screen, he’s gigantic and I think he barked lol. They’re all freaking out and he starts to close in on Beverly before Ben opens the garage door. Oh man, my heart was beating so fast.
Then of course the Haunted House of Horrors was also a fantastic scene, the horrors were… scary but the scene itself was a good one. Richie’s clown scenes and the missing poster, Eddie and his leper, Bill and Richie both saw this kid’s head come out of the mattress, I feel like it was supposed to be Eddie and he said something about loogies and he spits acid from his mouth that started to eat the floor towards Bill and Richie. When Eddie fell through the floor (his arm is broken), Pennywise came out of the fridge (contortionist over here) and he attacks Eddie (the story behind this scene is hilarious, watch Bill Skarsgard’s interview with Conan or Jimmy Kimmel not sure which one) but Bill and Richie come and Pennywise says…
“It was real enough for Georgie!” and I was like DAAANG that’s rude. He tries to attack them but Bev comes in like a boss and stabs him through the face with a spike from outside. Pennywise slashes Ben across the stomach (He always getting cut) before he slinks away, while everyone is worried about Eddie, (him shouting at Richie to not touch him while Richie is trying to snap his arm back in place) Bill chases after Pennywise to see him slink into the well that’s in the basement.
Lastly, the scenes in the sewer but I think that whole scene is probably the least scary out of everything I saw minus the creepy woman as this scene is whee the kids overcome their fears. So, after Bill finds that Pennywise took Beverly, they all come back together to rescue her. They go back to the haunted house and into the well, Mike and Henry Bowers have a fight (Henry is crazy) and Mike knocks him down the well and he falls. I don’t know if that means he’s dead as I know he’s supposed to come back as an adult but we’ll see. Mike also drops the rest of his ammo from the little gun he uses on his farm. But they get down there Stan gets separated and has his run in with the creepy woman, the others find him with the huge woman with her mouth over his face, she slinks away and transforms back into Pennywise. Stan has his freak out and the others try to calm him down but Bill sees Georgie run so he goes to follow him. He sees Beverly floating, tells her he will come back for her but he goes to talk to Georgie. Definitely an emotional moment, I think both young boys did a great job in this scene.
So the previous section goes right into this one. So after Bill talks to Not Georgie, he pulls out Mike’s gun and shoots Georgie in the head, the body turns into Pennywise, and the others shout at him to shoot it but Mike knows it’s not loaded. So they start to fight, as they fight him, Pennywise turns into their fears but no one backs away, not even Eddie when he turns into the leper and releases disgusting bile.
Bill gets the drop on him, he’s on his back, Richie jumps up there with him but Pennywise throws Richie off and grabs ahold of Bill and he starts to bargain with the others. He tells them that he will take Bill, he will take all of them OR they can leave Bill with him, he will feed and then he’ll go back to sleep for 27 years and they’ll all be left alone and be able to live long happy lives. Richie has a fantastic monologue (Finn Wolfhard is great in it too) in which he starts talking about how it’s all Bill’s fault, that they’re all down there and that he even said they were all going to die, but now “I’m gonna have to kill this f******* clown”. They all charge and manage to really harm Pennywise, causing him to slink back into another sewer opening and Bill lets him know “they’re not afraid of him anymore”. Pennywise is mumbling something, it sounded like the same thing Bill says when he’s trying not to stutter but I’m not sure and he drops down the hole.
This whole fight was fun, and while I was “scared” as I watched it more, I felt a bit less scared as time went on. I felt like I was part of the Losers’ Club watching them take him on, it was such a banding together moment. They knew that they had to fight together in order to win and watching them do that was fun, even Stan who seems to be the most skittish out of them all. I loved how Beverly was the one to deal the last blow. Pennywise turned into her father but that didn’t work as she already conquered that fear. I was like YASSS girl.
So at the end, they’re in a field and Beverly is talking about what she remembers when she was in the trance Pennywise put her in. Bill, then says that if IT’s not dead then they’ll come back to Derry and finish it off, and to promise. So he cuts each of their hands and they have a moment in the circle holding hands. Stan then says “I hate you” to Bill and he laughs and I’m like “Nah, he means that” lol and he leaves, then Eddie leaves, then Mike, Richie and we’re left with Ben, Beverly and Bill and it seems like Ben and Bill are trying to see who can out wait the other but eventually Ben leaves and Bill and Beverly have a moment. It was cute. I don’t know if Bev gets with Bill or Ben when their adults, but at least right now, it seems like she would have a thing with Bill even though she and Ben did connect and she obviously appreciated his poem BUT he did break her out of the trance with a kiss so who knows lol.
The Tonal Issues
So I saw a few comments about the tone of the movie and how it doesn’t know what kind of movie it is. Is it a “coming of age”, a “horror”, a “comedy” and I’m just like why can’t it be all three? If I had to pick though, it’s mostly a “coming of age” story because it’s ultimately about these kids, their fears and facing life ahead. I think that’s truly what the film is about, it just happens to also be funny and also happens to be scary. I don’t think any tonal shifts is really a sin against the movie because it kind of reminds me of real life. For example, one of the things I’ve seen is that there will be a scary moment then all of a sudden it’ll jump to a happier scene and I’m like yeah, it does do that but it didn’t annoy me as much as it might have in another movie. I say this because, when something scary happens, most times people keep it to themselves, especially if they’re alone. If I was by myself and I saw a creepy clown in the distance, I’m probably gonna be like “nope, I didn’t see that” and not say anything to anyone and that’s what happened with all of the kids. Beverly was the first person to say something and that’s because her bathroom was covered in blood and she was shocked that her father couldn’t see it otherwise she might not have said anything. I will say though, it would have been nice if certain scenes were just a bit longer before transitioning just to give a bit more marination, or that if we were spending time with the kids and their relationship with each other, it would have been nice to SEE MORE OF THAT because that’s what really makes this movie. It is truly a “coming of age” story… but other than that, the shifts didn’t bother to me, in fact I was kind of happy because let’s move on please… I’m scared lol.
The Fake Out
I actually forgot to put this in my regular review, but I’m not going to add it or change the rating or anything. But it would have been a “con”, so after the Haunted House, Eddie’s mom takes Eddie home after seeing that he broke his arm. The Losers have an argument, Richie and Bill fight (Finn always fighting a friend lol) before everyone walks away leaving Bill and Beverly understanding each other and what has to be done but they can’t fight IT alone, they have to do it together. So, then there’s a song playing and we see each Loser doing their own thing. Stan does his Bar Mitzvah, Ben’s in the library (I think), Mike is actually killing the sheep (He was afraid to do that before), Richie is in the arcade doing what he said he wanted to do, train with Street Fighter lol. I don’t remember what everyone else was doing but basically I said aloud to myself though “Is the movie over?” because it felt like an ending of a chapter or an episode or something and I was upset because I knew they had to fight Pennywise as children before they come back as adults. I know enough of the story to know that so since it didn’t happen in the sewers I felt cheated. It wasn’t the end of course but the way it was set felt like it. If it was intentional I think it was kind of weird. In a way, it’s the end of them being “afraid” but it felt like the end of the movie lol.
I think that’s all I wanted to say and talk about. I had some questions (I’m sure someone would say just READ the book but again, I don’t want to lol), honestly questions just might be answered in the second part, or in deleted scenes which I’m very interested to see. I will be buying this movie (which is surprising every time I say to myself I would see it again) and maybe more will be shown. I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I liked the kids, I liked their friendships, I enjoyed experiencing things with them, I was scared but the more I think about it, the less I am scared (minus Judith, the creepy painting woman, she still scares me). If you’re curious definitely watch it.
Okay so that’s my Spoiler Talk on the 2017 IT film.
Let me know your thoughts below! I hope you enjoyed this!