Horror Marathon: IT (2017)

If you missed yesterday’s review of the 1990 miniseries IT, you can read it HERE.

IT is easily one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. The images and the atmosphere and seeing the Bill Skarsgard transformation was all really captivating. It may be the horror genre of films I’ve chosen lately but I’ve been struggling to be truly frightened by a film and seeing as I have a deep-rooted fear of clowns, this seemed like one that would do the trick.

IT (2017)

IT 2017

Director: Andy Muschietti

Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Nicolas Hamilton, Owen Teague, Stephen Bogaert

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

IT is everything that you can imagine it to be. It does atmosphere and the horror really well. IT himself portrayed by Bill Skarsgard and his eye tricks are downright creepy. This movie is the IT that I had expected from the 1990 miniseries. However, with that said, I have to say that IT also suffered from a great PR team. Maybe not so great and also why I usually try to stay away from horror movie trailers because a lot of the effective scares were shown off in the trailers making all the scares rather expected with a few exceptions. Still, the experience of watching IT was a tense thriller with horror elements. And that hits my soft spot because I love movies that gives me a lot of thrill and has me anxious and tense.

IT 2017

For this remake, I can’t do this write-up without first talking about Pennywise. The 2017 Pennywise finds a balance between the friendly clown and striking all those horror elements perfectly. Bill Skarsgard has had some supporting roles here and there, even for myself, as I looked through his filmography, those roles didn’t quite leave any impressions because it wasn’t significant enough. The only one I know him from is as one of the main characters in Netflix Original Hemlock Grove and that show is plenty odd. I have a love hate relationship with it on various elements and thats why I haven’t finished the final season yet. However, my impressions of Bill Skarsgard stems from there. I think he is a fine looking guy so its hard to imagine him as Pennywise and actually pulling off this role so remarkably that we can forget the man is behind all this makeup and that is the most impressive. Ten out of ten for Pennywise!

IT

When the film finished, we had a huge discussion about this and 1990 miniseries. It was a long one so maybe I’ll finally do the adaptation, remake and source material idea that I never followed through with (yet). One of the main talks was about how the kids were played. Both has a commendable cast and very convincing portrayals of their respective roles. In short, my husband enjoyed the 1990 version of the kids and I thought these kids did a great job. In fact, The Losers had a lot more individuality in this one. You can really tell them apart as they accentuated how these characters are supposed to be. Perhaps having just seen Stranger Things helped and didn’t for Finn Wolfhard as it got confusing with the bike scene however he did a great job at being Richie Tozier especially with his speedtalking and the accentuating his fears. The Eddie character stood out especially with all his concerns and fears which had some comic relief in various parts. In general, there was a decent balance of action, thrills and a little humor. However, whenever Pennywise showed up in whatever form was always creepy and tense. The star of the Losers is Sophia Lillis playing Beverly Marsh. She was so convincing and fantastic. It was a lot of fun to watch her.

IT 2017

IT 2017 has some parts that stayed more true to the source material (and I’ve read the majority of what happens here) and does the parts the miniseries couldn’t. At the same time, they did make some changes that still made it effective. Changing up what the original or source material had never bothers me as long as it adds to it and still makes sense. In here, it does make sense. IT is made up by a lot of moments however, there is still a strong feeling of the bond they have created in The Losers. There are some nice effects and the atmosphere works really well. Pennywise is creepy and fantastic. Its a mostly tense movie. If you have avoided the trailers up till now, continue to do so, so that this movie becomes much more effective with each of the build up to the tense moments feeling fresh. Other than that, sit back and be thrilled by IT. It may have gotten a little overhyped by its PR and the trailers revealed too much but the film itself hit all the right notes for me. There were some parts that slowed down a little but it picked right up in the next scene so it never quite feels like it lingers.

Overall, IT packs the perfect horror thriller experience. Yet again, Stephen King has created some great characters and in this, we get a much more deeper look at the hints of how Pennywise came to be. We get to see his lair, which is captivatingly much different in a good way. The Losers are great because they feel like they are their own individuals and bring a certain something of their own skills to the table. My favorite is Sophia Lillis who plays Beverly. Now, I’m just sitting around wondering who will be cast for Part 2 and their adult roles. Its one I’m looking forward to a lot!

Have you seen the remake of IT?

TV Binge: Hemlock Grove (Season 2)

Valentine’s Marathon will resume a little later today.  Its been a little hectic this week. I’m still a little energy low but somehow, I’ve managed to find time to get in Season 2 of Hemlock Grove between all the romantic comedies.  If I’m not sick enough, I just had to try and gross myself out a little more, right? 😉

Before we take a look at Season 2 of Hemlock Grove, lets recap a little of how I felt about Season 1.  I found it a little weird and the pacing was a little funky but thats okay because when Season 1 ended, it all made sense and at episode 5, the turning point of the Season 1 came and it was just completely awesome till the finale which made me want to watch Season 2 right away.  Obviously, when Season 2 did arrive, I didn’t get right onto it because I wasn’t quite in the mood for it yet.  Sometimes I need to gear up for a whole lot of gruesome things.  I hold true that Hemlock Grove has THE BEST werewolf transformation (that I’ve seen so far). I expected Hemlock Grove Season 1 to be better at the beginning but still, it got me to desire Season 2 a lot by the end.  Plus, I also believe that most series take at least a season or two to build up a storyline especially one that is pretty complex.  Hemlock Grove is definitely mysterious and twisty.

If you haven’t seen Season 1, I’d say that there will be some spoiler-ish details, so you might want to watch it before reading on, pretty much in the short synopsis.

Now for…HEMLOCK GROVE (SEASON 2)

hemlock grove

Season 2 starts off in a way better pacing than the first one.  After the setup of Season 1, the story is really to kick into gear as last season, we mostly explored the world of vargulf.  This time around, everyone is scattered around town trying to pick up and recover from everything.  Peter ends up back in Hemlock Grove reluctantly when his mom is arrested and he and Destiny have to try and find a way to get her freed.  At the same time, Roman now runs the entire Godfrey Enterprises and is secretly keeping Letha’s baby safe.  Thats before a car-wrecked Miranda comes into town and enters the lives of both Peter and Roman.  Its also then they realize that they are both having dreams predicting deaths of children by creepy masked men with a hidden agenda.

hemlock grove

Not only is it paced better but its so much more gory.  I swear, I will not eat when I watch this ever again.  Or like hours before.  There’s a few scenes that turned my stomach a little.  It has a lot to do with the fact that we’re not looking at not just vargulf but the umpir world where Roman now has to figure it all out. On top of that, Miranda brings in a little love to the boys so there some action here.  Note that end of Episode 8, kind of blew my mind a little 😉

hemlock grove

Its taken a while but I’ve been a little iffy about Bill Skarsgard’s character of Roman Godfrey but in Season 2, he just took my heart.  The growth of his character is incredibly well because now with him totally against his mother, who is dealing with her own crap being her selfish self (or maybe not?), he’s left to explore this whole “umpir” thing himself.  He doesn’t want to trust Dr. Pryce.  And honestly, I don’t think he should because Dr. Pryce is creepy and scary and goodness knows what is actually going through his head.  I keep thinking that he has some really screwed up agenda in there under all that genius technology and playing god that he does.  Pryce is still an intriguing character as always but back to Roman, point is, he’s lost.  Now that he’s unleashed his umpir side, he needs to figure out how to satiate and control his hunger and he does try so hard.  On top of that, Peter left town when things went completely crazy and he’s all by himself.

hemlock grove

Peter’s not any better off, of course.  Somehow, I liked Peter’s character a lot back in Season 1 but in this one, he has a tangent where he makes one choice that somewhat ruins his life a little in almost a literal way.  He regrets not having taken action with last season’s visions so now he wants to try and save the kids that he sees in his dreams.  Plus, he has some grovelling to do to get through to Roman seeing as he doesn’t really have anyone left.

hemlock grove

Every character is getting their own interesting development and mixed in with this dark story about not ever really figuring out till the end what the hidden agenda of these creepy men are, there’s twists and twists just showing how evil this all is.  There’s a lot of weird stuff happening but this time, I’m all ready to take it all in unlike in Season 1 so it wasn’t surprising as much as I found it so genius as I worked my brain to wonder where it all was going.

hemlock grove

Intriguing. Intense. Character development and a little love and emotions with everyone.  Hemlock Grove just stepped up its game in Season 2 in literally a more gory but genius way! I totally loved every bit of it.  I’m happy that there’s a Season 3 and I can’t wait to watch it.  This time, I’m not going to wait.  I’m also a little sad that its the next one is also the final one though.

Have you seen Hemlock Grove? Did you like Season 1 or 2 more?