Originally published in September 2017
Remakes are a minefield. Why bother? In the TV world remakes/re imaginings/comebacks are all the rage. Prison Break worked which was a surprise as S3 and S4 were atrocious. I enjoyed the Dallas comeback a few years ago and even the new Heroes had it’s moments. Prisoner Cell Block H has been amazingly re-imagined as Wentworth and next month sees the ultimate 80’s glam-soap Dynasty get the same treatment.
Why though? Surely there is enough talent out there for brand new ideas? Anyway the powers that be decided IT was next for an upgrade so Kato booked us tickets for the opening night. IT is the greatest book ever written. I’ve read it 8 or 9 times and seen the TV mini-series countless times (probably 5). So it was with a fair bit of apprehension I plonked myself into the luxurious recliner seats at Ipswich’s brand new Empire cinema complex.
Due to the film being a remake the inevitable comparisons will always happen and that’s a shame. IT can never be judged on it’s own merits. Oh that bit was different, Why did they change that bit, I’m sure she wasn’t that fat in the original etc etc. The biggest change is the timeline. The book/miniseries was based in the 50’s and 80’s with the new incarnation set in the 80’s/current day (well we don’t see the current day but working on the 27 year cycle of IT then that has to be right). The other change is focusing on just the Losers Club as kids and not flitting between timelines. I did like this as quite often time shifting can complicate the narrative somewhat.
This is also quite a brave move as you are carrying a major blockbuster on a group of relatively unknown kids (well Richie is played by the kid who is Mike in Stranger Things which was bugging me throughout as I couldn’t quite place him). I think all the young actors will go on to have successful careers but the standout for me was Sophia Lillis who plays Bev. She stole every scene she was in and has an on-screen aura that screams STAR.
Visually IT is quite breathtaking. I’m glad we watched in the cinema as sometimes even our 55″ TV doesn’t do justice to great cinematography. Is IT genuinely scary? If you are new to the story then I suppose it would be. Familiarity ruined any surprises and took away the fundamental basis of the film which is HORROR. Granted there are a few jumpy bits but Pennywise is such an iconic monster and his image has been replicated for years so when he appeared on screen there was little to no impact.
IT is basically STRANGER THINGS crossed with STAND BY ME
I give the film a 7 as I feel it works as a standalone (maybe would have got a 9 if the original didn’t exist). Being a cricket fan I’ll leave you with the words of Sir Geoffrey:- Never judge a teams score until both sides have had a bat!
With that roll on Chapter Two
So it was our first trip to the new Empire Cinema in Ipswich last night. We had gone to see the remake of IT. I absolutely loved the original (know a lot of the dialogue by heart!) So was eager to see what changes had been made and how Bill Skarsgard took on the role of Pennywise. Being a fan of his brother, Alexander Skarsgard, certainly filled me with hope that he would do the iconic role justice.
I was so impressed with the new cinema. When we walked in to our screen, my 1st words were F*ck Me! as it was ENORMOUS! We made our way to our recliner chairs which were fab although Jamie insisted on farting all the way up the stairs in a very quiet cinema! We had so much room, didn’t feel claustrophobic or anxious at all. The lights went down and on came the film.
I’m not a snob when it comes to remakes of films. I really enjoyed the new Ghostbusters film and I’ve never even seen the original of Miracle on 34th Street as I love the remake so much. Also I surprisingly really enjoyed the new version of Annie. However, I didn’t love this. And I was so hoping I would. I did like that some of the dialogue was the same and the boy who played Richie (who is also in Stranger Things) was fab in his role. It all just felt a bit rushed and cheap.
I loved in the original how Tim Curry made his version of Pennywise quite comedic in places and weirdly for a child killer, quite likeable! I’ve only read the book once or twice, many moons ago. It’s hard to give it a proper review as they are doing it in 2 halves.
Overall it was a bit Meh and slightly underwhelming.
6/10 from Kato.
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