At First Glance: “It (2017)”

When it comes to remakes, the golden rule among filmgoers is usually don’t do it. However, most studios, and the writers and directors hired, don’t seem to seriously consider this before getting to work on what’s usually a wasted effort. The final film is that bad that it’s a wonder anyone thought it a good idea in the first place. Because horror films seem to fall into this exact category more often than not, it’s difficult to get excited about any remake, no matter who’s involved creatively.

The upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema film “It”, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, is starting off quite well in convincing me this may be well worth seeing and that it deserved to be made at all. I don’t get excited about horror remakes, even though I know at some point I’ll see them, but this time, I think I could see myself sitting in a theater chair for however long this film is. While I’m still going to be cautiously optimistic about this film, this teaser has managed to do quite a lot and that alone has me intrigued. I want to see more footage and really get a feel for this film, but stop just short of spoiling anything. While this new film could prove that some remakes are better, it probably won’t be anything more than a brief moment of happiness. Another remake is closing in on completion and will once again remind viewers why they should never be attempted.

“We All Float Down Here”

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For a teaser, which I was anxious to see, it did everything right. It intrigued me and showed me what’s potentially in store with the film itself. An added perk is that it also laid out the plot in a pretty good way, even though it really didn’t need to do so. The only slight upside with some remakes that have strong legacy behind them.

Fear and suspense. They’re both big in this trailer, and because of that, I’m far more excited for this film than I ever thought I could be. I was actually dreading the trailer. However, interestingly, when it was announced that the trailer would be released today, I became more interested in what would be contained within a few minutes. Gone was the uncertainty. In its place, the very start of what could be well controlled fear and suspense.

One instance of this, after another important one, which I’ll mention in a moment, involved the kids and the slide projector. It was just creepy. By this point, I’d already started to feel on edge. So, when the scene was playing out and what sounds like the film’s score was playing, I was held in suspense at what would be revealed. I knew it would be Pennywise the Dancing Clown in some way, but it was because of how it was shown, that I was able to respond. Perhaps not like the characters, but still somewhat surprised. With a scare like this, involving this highly familiar character, it’s kind of remarkable. It gives me hope, that even if I feel I know all of what’s going to happen, based solely on my viewings of the original 1990 miniseries, that the writers and director will be able to shape this in a way that, no matter how or when I see the film, I’ll pretty much forget the original exists at all. I’ll sink into this new world and be terrified once more.

Other things worth mentioning are those balloons. Creepy! Just watching them float there and knowing how and why they’re there is enough. I don’t think the original ever gave me a reason to fear red balloons, but perhaps this one will make me think twice about them. It really is all about the imagery with some horror films. Perhaps, with the exception of some scenes where it will be necessary as that’s just who King is as a writer, this film won’t be all that reliant on blood. This film could very well be even better if this ends up being the case.

However, even with all of these positives and things to look forward to, I’m not yet fully convinced this new design for Pennywise is the best. Nor am I convinced that Bill Skarsgard was a good choice, but that’s more to do with the fact that I’ve seen virtually nothing he’s been in. Is he a good actor or even a decent one? Not helping this is the fact that there wasn’t enough of Pennywise in the first place. Now, that being said, this is where the trailer really embraces that idea of being a teaser, and is that much better because of it. You get just enough to understand how he works and also get treated to what will potentially make him the thing you lose sleep over once again. Well, except for when he does whatever the hell that was at the end. I can’t tell if that was meant to be scary or semi-silly, which would explain why I wanted to laugh, or maybe a combination of the two.

I certainly wasn’t expecting to jump because of Pennywise, but I did. I jumped, when he appeared in the storm drain, which is weird because I knew he’d pop up and it also wasn’t really meant to be that scary. Perhaps it says enough about the way in which director Andrés Muschietti approaches developing suspense. That even the smallest of spaces could dangerous in this world. After this I knew the trailer had my attention and thus I was able to be affected by all of the other creepy, suspenseful and fear inducing bits.

I say this a lot, but I really think it applies. If a trailer can have me responding this much, liking what’s been shown, and envisioning what could come to be in the finished film, then the film must be one worth seeing. Also, there’s a high probability that it will be really, really good.

Expected Release Date: Sept. 8, 2017

Director: Andrés Muschietti

Writers: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman

Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer and Nicholas Hamilton

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