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MOVIE REVIEW

It also known as “It: Part 1 - The Losers' Club,” “IT,” “It: A Coisa,” “Az,” “Det,” “Es,” “Ono,” “Oraşul bântuIT,” “Se,” “Tai,” “Tisto,” “To,” “Ça,” “Το αυτό,” “Воно,” “Оно”

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults—NOT for kids
Genre:
Supernatural Horror Adaptation Remake
Length:
2 hr. 15 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
September 8, 2017 (wide—4,103 theaters)
Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Facing a demonic presence

A sadistic clown that preys on kids and eats them

Who is the REAL personification of EVIL in our world—the hater of children and all humanity? Answer

Is he affecting you? Answer

What is one of his most successful strategies in dealing with followers of Christ? Answer

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Power of friendship in the face of lack of love—and great danger

Bullies—and the sometimes long-term harm they can cause

How to deal with bullies

Dealing with stuttering

Deception of a child by a parent

Loss of trust

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

loss of “innocence”

All the children are TRAUMATIZED by something—by death of a sibling, escalating attacks by bullies, sexual abuse, lies told about them, a homeschooled child witnessess his parents being burned to death, being lied to by a parent, being forced to take fake medicine, discovery of bodies, religious indoctrination, seeing a mother with sharp teeth trying to eat his face off, repeated attacks by predatory clown, etc.

Mental and sexual abuse of children by parents

I think I was sexually abused, but I’m not sure. What is sexual abuse, and what can I do to stop the trauma I am facing now? Answer

One child says it is actually easier for him to walk into the evil clown’s house then it is to go into his own house and face his abusive parent

About child abuse—sexual

Personal stories of sexual abuse

Adulterer

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

children taking a blood oath to fight evil

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Delusions and hallucinations shared by the children—and reinforced by each other

FEAR and Anxiety—What does the Bible say? Answer

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures
Featuring: Bill Skarsgård … Pennywise the Dancing Clown
Jaeden Lieberher … William “Bill” Denbrough—boy, leader of Loser’s Club—stutters and his little brother died
Finn Wolfhard … Richard “Richie” Tozier—boy, outspokenly crude and profane
Jack Dylan Grazer … Edward “Eddie” Kaspbrak—boy, asthmatic and hypochondriac
Sophia Lillis … Beverly “Bev” Marsh, lone girl in the club
Wyatt Oleff … Stanley “Stan” Uris, Jewish germaphobe
Jeremy Ray Taylor … Benjamin “Ben” Hanscom, overweight new kid in school
Chosen Jacobs … Michael “Mike” Hanlon, African American orphan
Nicholas Hamilton … Henry Bowers—sociopath bully pack leader
Jackson Robert Scott … Georgie Denbrough—little brother of Bill Denbrough
See all »
Director: Andrés Muschietti—“Mama” (2013)
Producer: Richard Brener
Doug Davison
See all »
Distributor: New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

bloody, disgusting, grotesque, reprehensible violence against foul-mouthed kids who have no protection, except their own combined violence—since their parents are either uselessly incompetent or horribly abusive and incestuous

another deeply dark, beyond-disturbing film based on a Stephen King novel

Article Version: September 16, 2017

Meet the members of the Losers Club of “Derry” Maine (modeled on Bangor): Bill, Richie, Eddie, Bev, Stan, Ben and Mike. As their group name implies, they’re the social outcasts of the school. They don’t let that bother them, however. In fact, their strong friendship serves them well when they begin to investigate the numerous disappearances of children from the town—6 times the national average.

As they dig deeper and deeper into the investigation, strange happenings begin to occur to each member of the Losers Club (for example, Eddie is chased by a disfigured, undead leper at an abandoned house). The Losers realize, however, that all of the strange happenings have one thing in common… all of them end with a visit by an demonic being who calls himself Pennywise the Dancing Clown. With supernatural powers, he feeds off fear and eats kids. They soon discover the clown is the cause of all the missing children. It’s up to the Losers to find Pennywise, kill him, and rescue any missing kids that remain—without any help from adults. Easy right?

2017 has been, overall, a relatively strong year for horror films (of course, there are some exceptions, such as “The Bye, Bye Man,” and “The Rings”). Films such as “Get Out,” “It Comes at Night” and “Annabelle: Creation” have revitalized, in my opinion, what seemed to be a film genre that had become stale and predictable.

So you’re probably asking yourself at this moment, “Where does the movie ‘It’ stand?” Before I answer that question, I aknowledge that my review of this film is based on never having been exposed to the original television mini-series (starring Tim Curry) nor Stephen King’s novel.

“It” has received a lot of hype and praise, being hailed as one of the greatest horror movies of 2017. Personally, I don’t feel this film deserves praise. Yes, there are moments of terror (and, trust me, there were moments where I did jump out of my seat), but many of these are fueled through means of CGI, and these moments don’t occur often enough in the film (some of them were what I would call “gross-out” moments). I understand the director’s intention not to throw scares in for the sake of scaring, but, as I watched, I didn’t find myself having enough time for a scare buildup to occur.

What this film does have going for it, however, is powerful performances by all of its leads. The members of the Losers Club provide us with enough of an understanding and reminder of what many of us faced in our homes and in our schools, and that those worlds would often intertwine with each other. The overall pacing is relatively strong, and the plot is easy to follow.

Content of concern

Violence: This film’s violence is extreme and bloody. One of the bullies is seen bloodily murdering his sleeping father with a switchblade. Another father viciously attacks his young daughter, and she kills him, in self-defense. We learn that he has sexually abused her. A little boy’s arm is bitten off by the clown; the boy attempts to crawl away with his remaining arm and is viciously dragged into the sewers (we see blood in the water).

Having reach puberty, a young girl who has just bought her first box of tampons goes into her bathroom and ends up almost drowning in blood. In this creepy metaphor, she is suddenly grabbed by the arms and neck by a hair-like substance that pulls her toward the sink drain—which suddenly gushes out enormous quantities of blood, ultimately covering her and the entire bathroom. A sheep is shot and killed off screen. A bully is seen kicking and bloodily beating members of the Losers club. The bully uses his knife to begin carving his name into Ben’s stomach. One bully uses an aerosol can and a lighter to create a flamethrower to threaten the kids. Kids fight by throwing rocks into each other’s heads. The children are attacked multiple times by the brutal demonic clown. And the list goes on.

Suggestive Sexual Content/Sexual Dialog: There is much suggestive sexual content and dialog in this film. There are conversations about circumcision and young Beverly’s sexual history. One character is told to go “blow his dad.” Ben is nicknamed “t*ts” because of his obesity. Beverly’s father makes sexual advances toward her, and it is incredibly disturbing to watch. There are also some conversations about male and female anatomy. Young Beverly is in a bra and panties, and the boys are in their underwear when they go cliff jumping together into a lake; the boys later stare at her sunbathing. There is a joke made about virginity.

Pennywise

Profanity: J*sus (2), “Oh my J*sus” (1), h*ll (3), d*mn (1), OMG (2), God (1), Swear to G*d (1)

Vulgarity: f-words (40+), including “J*sus f*ck,” “Get the f*ck out of…” “Move your f*cking ass,” “Oh f*ck,” “Why don’t you shut the f*ck up?” “What the f*ck is that?” “F*ck you,” “A f*cking asthma attack,” “If you say it’s ____ one more f*cking time…” “Where the f*ck did she go?” “Where the f*ck are you?” “Do not f*cking touch me,” “Motherf*cker,” “I f*cking told you,” “A f*cking crack-head house.”

Crudity and vulgarity goes on… “sh*tty,” “P*ss and sh*t,” “Holy sh*t,” “Oh sh*t,” “Dip-sh*t,” “Bullsh*t,” “You little slut,” “Tickle your pickle,” “Better than spending time in your mother,” “Where are you off to, t*ts?” “I hear you, t*ts,” “…list longer than my wang,” “She’ll do you,” “Go blow your dad, you mullet-wearing a**hole,” “You and your f***ot friends,” “It doesn’t smell like c*ca to me,” “Creepy a** house,” and what sounded like “He’s bleeding hamburger helper,” and much more.

Most of these foul words spew from the mouths of children. (What kind of protection and guidance are the minds of these child actors receiving from their employers and parents?!)

Morals

One of the central themes of the film is the issue of fear. But the movie offers no God, angel or even parents to protect the children, or us. Stephen King gives you demons, but no salvation in Jesus. Somehow, when the Losers are confronted with “fight or flight” situations, they choose to fight—facing their fear—with violence. Where does their courage come from? One can only guess, for there is no indication that they have any faith or belief in God.

We, as Christians, put our faith in our Creator, and our courage and our strength come from Him. I can personally attest to this—without God—without COMPLETE faith and total reliance on Him—you will not be able to accomplish even half of what He has in store for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14

So remember, Christ is our Rock and our Redeemer. He will never forsake us nor abandon us, and with his strength we can accomplish more than we ever thought possible.

Closing Thoughts

It’s never a good sign when the audience doesn’t scream much during a horror film, and that is exactly what happened during what was an almost sold out showing this evening.

There is a LOT to be OFFENDED by in this film, and A LOT to be cautious about. There is absolutely no acceptable reason to take children to this film; definitely do not expose them to this. I definitely do not recommend this film for any adults or teens, let alone Christians.

And I don’t think I’ll look at clowns the same way ever again…

  • Violence: Extreme
  • Vulgarity/Profanity: Extreme
  • Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Editor’s Note: The book on which this film is based displays EVEN WORSE EVILS.

During the time that Stephen King was writing his “It” novel, he had children of his own that he apparently did not really want and pretty much hated. He took his anger out on his children, and says he had continuing “brutal impulses” toward them. (His own father was a womanizer who abandoned his family, and, according to Stephen, his father “always hated” him.) At the same time, Stephen was involved in massive personal addictions—snorting great amounts of cocaine, using other drugs, lots of alcohol and tobacco. His substance abuses began in college where he used LSD, speed and marijuana. He admits, “I’ve always been somewhat quasi-suicidal.”

Christian, this is definitely a man who needs prayer. Please join us in praying for a miraculous change of heart and mind that only Christ can bring to his life—humble repentance for his sins, acceptance of Jesus as his only hope of salvation after death, and his born-again regeneration through our merciful and gracious Lord Jesus.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—very scary, loved it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brittanie, age 28 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Ok, being a fan of Stephen King, I was looking forward to this. The original IT miniseries was by far my favorite, and hearing about a remake, I was excited. Well, after watching it, I was a bit disappointed by some of the content, mainly the language that was said by the kids. It was totally unacceptable allowing these kids to use that type of language. The character of Richie was a huge disappointment, as the character had the foulest mouth, being really raunchy and using the F-word a bit. The violence is expected, as the book was really violent, but if it wasn’t for the language, then I would recommend this, but sadly, I can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a good movie, but it should have been better just like the miniseries was with Tim Curry as the iconic Pennywise. My best suggestion for this, if you really want to watch this, please wait for an edited version so you wouldn’t be exposed to the foul vulgar language. If not, then stick with the Tim Curry classic. Please note, this Pennywise is much more creepier than Tim Curry’s and acts more like a monster. They were definitely going for a scary Pennywise, but when it comes to who done it better, I feel that Tim Curry did Pennywise better than Skarsgård’s, but both did a good job in their own way.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—John, age 23 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—As a Christian, I have not seen this movie, and I don’t ever intend to. As Christians we should stay away from anything that’s related to Stephen King novels; this man has clearly used his gift from God to focus on the evil supernatural, instead of doing what he’s supposed to do, which is to write about the Godly supernatural.

I’m half-shocked that another person gave this film a neutral opinion, and even stated that it is a good film, what??!!! But then I saw the age of the person, very young in their 20s, enough said. I’m only in my 30s, but I know (as a strong in faith Christian) to not watch horror movies at all, even as an unpaid film critic I will never watch this genre. When you watch these types of movies as a Christian you’re actually glorifying demons.

Anyway the reviewer did a good job with their review and put down some fantastic Scriptures. All Christians should just avoid this movie, it’s clearly demonic, if you’re not sure, then go on Wikipedia and IMDb and look at the plot keywords. I’ll tell you why this film is doing great at the box office, it’s because people are fascinated with the Supernatural, but it’s the wrong kind. All I can say now is that we need to pray that strong Christians in the Hollywood movie industry should step up their game and make some really good, really biblical Godly supernatural movies.

One final thing, if you have the desire to watch IT, ask yourself WHY, there’s no way that God would tell you to watch this when there’s millions of other movies from different genres to choose from.
—Nadine, age 34 (United Kingdom)

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