Why Andy Muschietti’s IT is the best mainstream film of 2017

BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller "IT CHAPTER TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer.
BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller "IT CHAPTER TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer. /

Andy Muschietti’s IT is one of the best mainstream movies of 2017. Not just because of its box office but so much more! Do you agree?

Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 29, 2017.

Andy Muschietti’s IT is no doubt one of the most successful films of the year, not only in the horror genre but also cinema as well. Before you say, “What about Get Out?” — for me, that one was just an average horror film with amazing acting. Get Out didn’t leave a huge impact on me, but I can totally understand why people love it.

However, the IT movie killed it, both at the box office and in my own theatrical experience. IT became one of the highest grossing horror stories ever, so I’m not the only one who loves the film. Its commercial success is only one of the reasons why I think IT is the best mainstream film of 2017.

Let’s start with the beginning, shall we? Everyone was anxious about who would be playing the infamous Pennywise. Who could live up to those big clown shoes formerly filled by the infamous Tim Curry? Once it was finalized that Bill Skarsgård would portray the newest rendition of Stephen King’s shape-changing clown, the horror community was divided on whether or not he could pull it off. At the time, it was all people were talking about. The debate continued for months. However, once the first pictures were released, people started to really picture Skarsgård in the role and began to freak out with anticipation.

Another successful aspect of the film was the amazing marketing campaign. You couldn’t go online without seeing an IT advertisement – or Pennywise himself – splashed from one end of the internet to the other. Fans could participate in the IT Experience: Neibolt Street Hollywood, a haunted house attraction in LA, set up in an exact replica of Pennywise’s creepy home. There was also IT: Float – A Cinematic VR Experience that got people even more pumped for the film. They got a small a taste of what Pennywise the Dancing Clown was all about.

Along with this, people all over the world participated in their own way in the countdown to IT’s theatrical release. It was so fun to see different horror fans get so wrapped up in the excitement for a new film, whether it was through costume, artwork, statues of Georgie, or tying red balloons to sewer grates. Don’t forget when news broke out about the mysterious red balloon floating in a window at Stephen King’s Bangor Home. Even some movie theaters went all out with red balloons, neat flyers, and many fans arriving in costumes for the premiere on September 8th.

The casting is another reason why this film is one of the best mainstream films of the year. Bill recreated Pennywise from the ground up, but he wasn’t the only one who made a lasting impression. All of the actors involved — especially the kids — were outstanding. Despite many of them being relatively new to the industry, they all gave heartfelt performances that made them stand out among the other child actors in many of the 2017 releases. They managed to make you feel like you were one of them, that you belonged, that you were a LOSER. I’m still in awe of how brilliantly talented these kids are and it’s just the beginning for them.

“They’re gazebos! They’re bullsh**!”

With the characters comes awesome dialogue and memorable one-liners. Every successful film has one-liners that stick with us forever and the script for IT was full of them. Most were delivered by the one and only Finn Wolfhard as the foulmouthed Richie Tozier, but each character has their moments. For those of you reading this, I know you have a favorite line. Which one is it?

Last but not least, the best part about this film was how it made the audience feel. It didn’t matter if you were a long life horror fan or just an average movie watcher, IT left an impact. For many of us, it was a nostalgic ride back to the good ol’ days. Like I’ve said before, it’s stories like the one told in Stephen King’s IT that made us fall in love with cinema in the first place. It was great to see different generations experience this together.

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This is not just a story about a sadistic clown. It’s about facing your fears and doing what’s right and not what’s easy. It’s a story about friends standing by each other through even the most horrible of circumstances. A story that most can relate to. That’s why, to me, IT is the best mainstream film of 2017.