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April 1, 2022

A Binge too Far #22: It duo (2017 – 2019)

Eerie image from It (2017)


It (2017) poster



Apparently Stephen King’s Greek edition of The Shining is out of print, but I happened to find a stash of copies on a kiosk near a metro station, and I bought one of it for a mere 5 euros (European money). As I have told you several times through this column, I rarely enjoy fiction, and it is my least favorite genre when it comes to books, so there is no point in letting you know whether I liked my new find or not. Coincidentally, a few days later I watched the Stephen King film under review.


There’s not much that can be said about this film that hasn’t already – the internet is literally stuffed with reviews and opinions about it by everybody and their mothers – so I will keep it short. It is of course about a group of kids (most of them nerds) that are being severely and roughly bullied at school (we are talking of bullying of the toughest kind, and knifings are included), and as if that is not enough, they also have to stand up against a mysterious and monstrous figure that goes by the name of Pennywise, and although it can seemingly take any form it likes, it mostly appears as an evil clown.


This is a great film and it can easily be included amongst the top-5 of the decade. Its movie magic is such that not only it can appeal to hardcore horror fans but casual ones as well. Hell, from every perspective (be it cinematography, or sound design) it is so well-made that it can appeal to everyone. Or maybe not, because it is also scary as shit! Definitely, if you needed to see one horror film in 2017 this should have been it (pun totally intended). I watched it with my wife, and we concluded that it should land at least an Academy Award or two. As it is apparent there is a Stephen King renaissance going on, and the timing couldn’t be better. Following the endless reports of kids being bullied at school, King’s novels that are always sensitive about this particular subject couldn’t be more appropriate for this era. The film is so empowering for the underdog that it will have you jump off your seat and take the side of the bullied kids. And this is important filmmaking.


It Chapter Two (2019) poster

It Chapter Two


27 years after the event of the first film and the first half of Stephen King’s same-titled book, the Losers Club is now grown up and separated with each member living his/her own life. That is until a series of events brings them together and it soon becomes apparent that Pennywise (returning Bill Skarsgard) is back and is after them.


The murderous clown as a spirit/ghost or overall supernatural entity that preys on your fear is simply put one of the best ideas in the annals of horror, and Andy Muschietti provides us with another winner adaptation that is already a classic and essentially a commentary on bullying and fighting back. By employing modern horror movie tropes (yes, jump scares and grotesque imagery) as well as more traditional cinematic tools (such as what I would call visual poetry), this is one of the best horror movies of the decade and it should be missed by nobody. Monster kids get extra motivation, because other than the main monster – the clown – you also get several other creepy manifestations of evil that include a spider-legged head and small-winged creatures.


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