18 September 2017

King Of Clowns

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It tells the story of a creature that is tormenting the children of a town called Derry by taking the form of their biggest fears. Imagine a 1970's BBC presenter but that lives in the sewers and has slightly less embarrassing hair and you're basically there. A few years ago I got a little too stoned, downed a boiling-hot mug of hot chocolate, tried to tug myself off, felt ill because of the drink, accidentally fell asleep, and then woke up six hours later with chocolate caked around my mouth and my cock still in my hand. If I'd seen this shapeshifting monster as a child then I'm pretty sure that it'd have known my biggest fear and simply transformed into how I am now. Based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King, this film will forever join John Carpenter's The Thing on a list of titles that will sound like you're providing zero information to non-film fans that have just asked “What did you watch last night?” Or at least it would if it didn't seem like this film was already more popular than sliced bread, the Minions, and the concept of sending 'dick-pics'. When the first trailer for It went online it broke all records for the amount of views that it had, and, if how full the screening that I was in is anything to go by, the film will likely do very well at the box office. Although if the screening I was in is anything to go by then I'd like to ask the marketers to in future stop making their films seem so appealing to stupid fucking cock-munchers that can't sit the fuck still or shut the fuck up for a couple of hours.

So the film begins during a rain-storm in which a young boy chases a paper boat that he's made as it sails through the puddles and ultimately down the grid. Unfortunately for him the villain of the film, Pennywise the dancing clown, is down there and waiting for him. Initially this is quite a terrifying prospect and image until you realise that it's probably the best place for him and his kind. Clowns are annoying and unfunny and so the idea that they live in the sewers and get shat on every day is actually something that I find quite justifying. For the same reason I'd have the English comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown down there too if only so that every once in a while I could send him a 'chubby brown' of my own. Things don't go too well for the young child and, without giving anything away, I was actually pretty surprised at how brutal things got. Essentially this is this movie's equivalent to the opening of Jaws in which we're introduced to the monster's danger by seeing it brutalise a character whose disappearance will then kick-start the main story. In the way that Jaws gave sharks a bad reputation, it seems that real life clowns have also started moaning that this movie will scare people and ruin their ability to get hired. Although in this world of actual entertainment on demand, I can only assume that it's mostly perverts hiring them anyway and so fuck it- I'm sure they'll be fine.

From here we're introduced to the real main characters of the movie; a gang of friends that refer to themselves as 'The Losers'. From that nickname alone you can tell we're meant to find them relatable because I'm pretty sure that's what the talking flesh-sack of bollocks Donald Trump calls everybody that isn't him. Imagine every Goonies-esque, post-E.T: The Extra Terrestrial bicycle-riding gang of mystery solving kids ever and The Losers are pretty much in that vein. In fact, there are times in which the movie almost feels like an American remake of an unpublished Enid Blyton book that could have been called Five Go Off To Die In The Sewers. In this respect, It is just as much a coming of age adventure story in which the elements of horror serve only as representations of the loss of the children's innocence and the onset of adulthood. In their case, the moment of transition comes as they battle a monster that wants to kill them, whereas for me it was probably the time that me and my mate found a rancid Readers Wives-like porno magazine in the bushes. The original novel deals with the children as adults in which we see the consequence of these horrors coming back to haunt them. However this film wisely chooses to exclusively deal with the childhood-set part of the story and promises to deal with the consequences in a future sequel. However I can say with some certainty that seeing some tarts disgustingly flappy guff in that magazine is something that still haunts me to this day and I'm sure must have set my development back by fucking years.

And speaking of the original novel I suppose it's worth mentioning that I haven't read it, although I'm aware that the time period has been updated so that this film now takes place in the 1980's rather than the 1950's. The 80's seems to be receiving a bit of a resurgence right now thanks to the children of that decade having now grown up and decided to make the kind of films that they loved when they were younger. It kind of makes sense for this movie too I suppose, seems as it plays out like a cross between The Goonies and A Nightmare On Elm Street which are two of that decade's best. Although I do wonder if this will cause problems for the sequel which will now presumably take place in a world of smart phones and the internet in which any risk taken will leave the audience screaming, “just phone for help you dopey twat”. Alas the other main thing I'm aware that this film has had to deal with is that weird fucking sex scene from the book that you may have heard about. If not then the kids basically need to unite to defeat the clown but they're falling apart as a group. So to re-unite them the only girl in their team decides that the best thing to do is to quite literally fuck all of her little boy friends in the sewers in a giant child-porn-gang bang. Unsurprisingly this scene was left out, and strangely, the plot didn't crumble as a result. Whenever me and my friends hang out we just watch movies and play Boggle, but what the fuck do I know.

I'd be lying if I told you that I found this film scary, however there were a lot of pricks in the audience and I can confirm that the one sat in front of me shat his pants a good few times. Luckily though, between the coming of age stuff and the kids-on-an-adventure stuff, the film has a lot more going for it than simply just the horror. I also have to admit that I haven't seen the original early-nineties mini-series version of It either and so I can't really compare performances between Tim Curry's Pennywise and Bill SkarsgÄrd's, except to say that the latter is brilliant. He's a perfect blend of practical performance and subtle CG enhancements that keep him feeling like a real threat but with believably supernatural abilities. At one point we see the clown all bent and twisted into a position that seems real and yet is usually only possible for people that have had a couple of ribs removed and discovered that they no longer need to leave their house for fun. However the performances are pretty brilliant all 'round to be fair, and make this one of the better Stephen King adaptations out there. Certainly better than this years' Dark Tower and possibly the best since The Mist. I really liked Dreamcatcher too in which Thomas Jane and Damian Lewis spend their weekend away trying not to quite literally shit out some slugs in the snow. Then I realised that it wasn't actually meant to be a comedy, turned it off, and decided it might be time for some hot chocolate and a cheeky tug. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.