la rogue’s review published on Letterboxd:
I vividly remember the first horror film I ever watched: ghost ship. I was very young at the time and I to this day have no idea why my parents allowed me to watch that movie. But something about the feeling of experiencing terror intrigued me. I became obsessed! I watched horror films non-stop and for nearly a decade I have. I read about gothic literature and the origin of horror in Frankenstein and Dracula. I've read about the biology behind horror, why it is that we like being afraid. Horror cinema has always been apart of who I am in ways it feels like my child. I've also unfortunately had to witness horror limp on an injured leg. For the past years, us horror fans get treated every once in awhile to a great display of what horror is all about, but never abundantly. We are merely teased with treats, nothing more. For years I've waited to walk out of a horror film and say "that was true horror", well my wait is over because this is IT.
There has been an extreme amount of hype for this film, and for a minute I began to suspect it wouldn't live up to its hype. But this goes above and beyond any expectation I held. I still have chills just thinking about this. Tech wise, IT is simply beautiful. The cinematography here is absolutely amazing. The film manages to envelope such natural colors and warmth but also so much darkness. There is a lot of red. Bright rich vibrant reds. The sound in this film is simply fantastic. I don't know who scored this film (I'll have to look) but this is what terror sounds like.
I cannot put into words how much I love this cast. The film takes time to introduce every single character and you really begin to love these kids, and in ways I see myself in each of them. Seeing these kids interact brought genuine smiles to my face and made the packed theater i was in laugh many times. These kids really do an amazing job and there's some seriously dark and heartbreaking actions that occur. Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, my goodness. Bill's performance, is up there with that of previous horror legends. He is simply cynical and downright maniacal in every single way. Simply put - he's evil and every time he's onscreen you know its not gonna go well.
What's so surprising, is the amount of motifs this film manages to encapsulate. I didn't expect this to be as gestalt it is, but it is. IT touches on interesting topics like: innocence, violence, love, letting go, independence, unity, and most of all; fear. Fear is really taken to a level in this film I haven't seen since A Nightmare On Elm Street. There are scenes in this movie, that were so monstrous and horrific I felt chills. Now IT isn't flawless. I did hate the abundance of CGI a bit and I thought some plot details were a bit iffy. But they're only minor flaws and don't detract from the overall experience or sequence of events. I don't wanna spoil anything but in my opinion this is the horror experience us horror fans deserved.
IT takes all of your worst nightmares, and brings them to life on a scale many horror films have failed to accomplish. Hellish, nightmarish, grisly, disturbing, and downright grotesque; IT is the return of true horror.