Review: It (2017)

“When you’re a kid, you think that you’ll always be… protected, and cared for. Then, one day, you realize that’s not true. If you open your eyes, you will see what we’re going through. ‘Cause when you’re alone as a kid, the monsters see you as weaker. You don’t even know they’re getting closer. Until it’s too late.”
– Stanley Uris

SYNOPSIS: A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of clown, begins hunting children. – via IMDB

So I never actually liked the original It movie, and Pennywise didn’t scare me as a kid. A few years back Ryan posted that It was being redone (and kept us updated), and I felt pretty indifferent towards it. I didn’t think we needed a rehash of the old movie. Then they started releasing posters once a director was ironed out and shooting got underway, as well as the casting for Pennywise, and it looked like it had potential. By the time the teasers dropped and then the trailers, I was convinced that I was definitely tripping out to the cinema to see this.

Well, I had a total blast. I thought the casting was absolutely brilliant. I swear. child actors are so much better nowadays than ever before. They actually get into the roles, they aren’t these awkward little kids who are acting, they come across as the actual characters. I was really impressed with all the kids, truly, and was so stoked to see Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things here, and I am convinced he could have a great career ahead of him – I enjoyed him so much here.

It was put together really well – the score worked with it and it looked really good. While there are a ton of jump scares, there are also slower, creepier moments woven into it, which really works. Muschietti also did a fantastic job of how the story was split – the entire kids section of Stephen King’s novel for this movie, and the secondary adult half for the sequel. Muschietti took the time to give us backstory and personality for all of these kids, because then you actually cared more for them and their battle against this creepy thing in Derry. There was some heart at times and some good development woven in between the blood and the thrills. I also truly appreciated how much of the book made it into the movie, truly.

The humour is subtly balanced into the horror, carefully working to bring some lightness into the dark. I wasn’t always a fan of the CGI though, it was a bit over the top and dodgy at the best of times, and it just didn’t get with the rest of the movie. Obviously this review cannot be written without speaking of the latest Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård. He was the moneymaker here at the end of the day, the draw that got everyone out to the cinema, and the whole movie depends on solid casting for this role, and I think that Skarsgård nailed it. He was creepy, scary, bizarre and plain down gets that wtf vibe down that you expect from Pennywise, and I was impressed. 

I definitely enjoyed this one and can recommend it for a watch. While there are cheap jump scares tossed in, there is also heart and absolutely excellent performances from the cast all round, who share great chemistry. It is shot quite well, and sketchy CGI aside, it works really well. I am truly looking forward to the second part!

Hemlock Grove: Season 1 (2013)

hemlock grove season 1 poster


What I liked:

  • The colour palette. Everything is all washed out and bland looking, but it works wonders for the show.
  • Shelley. It is the one and only character I actually like, she is such a sweetheart. I can’t wait to find out more about her history.
  • Roman’s relationship with Shelley. It is his one endearing aspect and I love it. He absolutely adores her and will look after her and defend her, no matter what.
  • The intro. I really like it, it is all creepy and spooky and stuff. Major pity that it doesn’t reflect the show whatsoever. It’s like Salem’s intro, really good but a substandard show. Except this is infinitely better than Salem, flaws and all.
  • How messed up Roman is with people, but how attached he was to Peter’s cat.
  • How broken Norman Godfrey was about Letha’s death.

hemlock grove shelley

What I didn’t like:

  • Peter’s nails. I know this seems like a minor thing but OMG they freaked me out… his nails were longer than mine! Really, men should not have long nails. It is so nasty and then some.
  • The character development is all over the show and really shoddy – annoying! It speaks of bad writing.
  • The story line is all jumbled and hops around the whole time, like they don’t know which direction to take the show and when.
  • The lack of likable characters or anyone you can identify with. It makes watching this a really hollow experience.
  • The dialogue is so extremely awkward at times.
  • Famke Janssen’s dead embarrassing accent. I am not too sure if she deliberately sounded like that or what. Bill Skarsgård’s accent dropping a little to Swedish didn’t really bug me too much, it wasn’t too noticeable… but then I am a fan of that accent in general, so maybe I was a little biased.
  • They make it seem like werewolves are just a part of the scenery, and nobody is batting an eyelash, which then gets contradicted later when they are making out such a huge deal of how it is actually not normal at all. Then why is it being portrayed as same old?
  • With a name like Eli Roth attached to this, it was extremely underwhelming. I was thinking gore and nasty and like… Hostel meets werewolves. I was sorely disappointed when that was not the case.
  • The logic is so flawed and so little is explained, and the gore is lacking at the best of times.
  • I wish there was some more continuity, consistency, and explanations! I really felt at times like I was missing something, which made me feel daft, but at the end of the day, if the show cannot write consistently, that is not my problem…
  • That entire rushed ending. It is like they crammed a whole bunch of events into like… five minutes or less, and it just doesn’t work. As if the show wasn’t offensive enough.

hemlock grove smoking again

GRADE 5So when I got to this I know that it had some relatively meh reviews. However, I thought it could have potential, I would have to watch it before slamming it. Things started off slowly, and then they just went downhill progressively. The story is all over the show and has no real sense of direction, the effects are pretty dodgy, which was even more of a disappointment, the characters were totally useless and ridiculous, the dialogue is silly, and nothing is ever actually happening. Or when is suddenly is, out of the blue, the show is making leaps and bounds with flawed logic and expecting you to keep up, which is a real annoyance, let me just tell you that. The only character worth a damn is Shelley, and I just really want them to explain some things about her. Also, my next question, everyone is so freely running around talking about werewolves like it is common, then later it is told that there is nothing normal and common about it, yet nobody says anything about the fact that Shelley glows? I don’t get it! Also, why in the world would a woman as rich and powerful as Olivia ever put her deformed kid in public school? Or her son, for that matter? I just don’t buy into it at all, which is even worse. Then there is Letha, who is also just… what is up with all the incestuous sexual innuendo in television shows?! Recently the shows I have been watching have all focused on that a bit and it is really disconcerting. Also, you all know that I enjoy the works of the various members of the Skarsgård family, right? I mean, Gustaf Skarsgård is my favourite thing about Vikings, Alexander Skarsgård was the best thing about True Blood (and not just for science), and papa Skarsgård is usually a solid actor in most things he’s in. So when I saw the young Bill, I was hopeful. Now, to be fair, the writers are absolutely godawful with this show, which really didn’t let him do anything. On the other, he doesn’t really have the same magnetism as his brothers, and he seemed a little awkward and uncomfortable at times. See, I am not sure if that is just the writing or him. I suppose that I will have to go watch something else with him in it. He isn’t terrible though. The amount of irritating characters in here was astronomical, paired with ludicrous events surrounding them and no closure made for a serious disappointment. I cannot get over how crappy it all was by the end of it. I mean come on people! The inconsistencies were the only consistent thing about this across the board. The soundtrack was also not something I was a fan of. I think one of the most disappointing things is that if I was shown only the intro for this, I would actually consider watching the show. This feels like Salem all over again. Pretty good and interesting intro, lacklustre content (though it must be said this is still better than that aforementioned abomination). I am going to stop putting stock into the intros hahaha. There were some scenes that were so bad and cheesy they were actually good, and a few places I had to laugh (here’s looking at the cat slaughter). Believe you me, your eyes are going to get a rolling workout if you do decide to watch this!

hemlock grove werewolf transformation drop your eyes