i put off watching this for so long because i've always said i don't "do" horror films... i don't know if i can really claim that truthfully anymore, but i also didn't find this scary? the feeling of dread, i think, is the worst thing: the anticipation that something will come, but not knowing when and what is makes me sink low into my seat, hide my head in the crook of my friend's arm. It, however might be just a little too-well choreographed for its own good. there are a few jump scares that got me—and the truth is they got me real bad—but that's shock, not horror. the film's surprises are fun, but the building & release of tension is so evenly-paced that i never found myself wondering about what was to come.

which is not necessarily a bad thing, either. because what came was friendship and failure and fear, and that was so warm and loving and triumphant. It reminds me so much of Stand By Me, in the way it encapsulates a life-defining summer, marked extraordinary tragedy; the ephemerality of friendship itself being both a calamity and salvation. the dynamic between the kids is organic, electric, cacophonous, and although each character is very much a caricature, they're novelly earnest and charming.

for all the strange pacing (again, the balance of tension and release is on a tight schedule, and conversely, it feels like it takes more than an hour to establish the status quo), its strength is in its smaller moments. that quarry scene... that's an entire lifetime of summers right there. the score, the lighting, the unspoken interplay of character dynamics... so fucking smart. i think i could love this film for that scene alone. but i love it, too, because my friends love it, because i'll never watch it again without thinking of how the first time i saw it was in a crowded living room, with more bowls of popcorn than we knew what to do with, and an empty bag of chips being passed around, and maybe one too many glasses of wine. there was more laughter than fear, i think, but that's how i feel the film is, too: the joy prevails over the terror, never mind the passing of time or the impermanence of it all.

and also i am damned scared to type this but......... Pennywise was Not Scary............ please don't murder me in my sleep, demon clowns, but...... Pennywise dancing is best choreo 2017

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