Fearter rating: 9/10
Like the infamous red balloon, this movie is well rounded, fun, and carries the threat that it can make you jump at any time!
Review (no spoilers)
I'd heard a lot of hype before I went to see this film at the cinema - from it being blood curdingly terrifying, to it being the Goonies in Haddonfield. So I was little apprehensive that it was going to be a disappointment (as a lot of films where the main cast are kids in are). Thankfully, this film sat right in the middle of the hype. Yes it was scary AND the group of kids who carry the film are great without it turning into a kids' film.
And the child actors really do carry this film, they are fantastic. With great performances throughout, they make this film the success that it is. Although some characters are more in the spotlight than others, Eddie springs to mind, they all bring something to the group. Pennywise is also performed brilliantly and brings tension and menace whenever he's on the screen. Is it a better performance than Tim Curry's in 1990? In my mind, the 2017 Pennywise is a better performance - however this is helped by the character being much darker and scenes which are much more disturbing than the 1990 TV mini series (waving from the bushes for example).
I could talk about the Pennywise scenes all day. They are brilliant. They range from realistic and brutal - to more supernatural and nightmarish. All brought together with the sense of predator vs prey. With Pennywise toying with his victims like a cat trapping a mouse between its paws.
The story moves at a good pace, which keeps it entertaining, and the plot makes sense (thankfully it misses some of the more, how should I put this... existential elements that are in the book). The side stories, Henry's and Beverley's in particular, are superbly written and performed. They add a lot of depth and emotion to the film - and Henry's character adds a level of viciousness that I was not expecting.
For me, there are one or two places where the CGI broke my absorption into the film and perhaps could have been done differently, but this was only momentarily. Also, again only occasionally, the "banter" between the friends gets a bit annoying. And this movie (as always) could have been a bit scarier.
All in all though this is a fantastic film and is definitely worth watching. I've seen it at the cinema and on TV and it's great in both settings. I'm looking forward to part two! BEEP BEEP!