This excellent horror movie just reached #2 on Netflix

The library of amazing Netflix movies is constantly changing, but a new addition to the vault has just skyrocketed the ratings in no time. But that movie isn’t Netflix Original: it’s a modern classic horror flick that landed on Netflix last Friday.

Oh, and this movie is both adored by critics (86% and Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in a new tab)) and audience (84% on RT). And I must admit that it was not a film that convinced me when it came out.

So what is the movie? It’s the 2017 remake of Stephen King’s It. Updated with a feel that made me think of Stranger Things (before Stranger Things got really scary), it just jumped into the Top 10 Netflix Movies in the US Today ranking, after arriving on Netflix last Sunday. (June 19).

Right now, we see it at #2 on the chart, right between Netflix Originals Spiderhead and Hustle. A great reminder that Netflix’s bread is buttered by both its own films and those it fires.

What it is about?

Clowns can be fun, but not in horror movies, where they’re horribly scary. Such is the case of four seven children in Derry, Maine, who encounter the demon known as Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). The demon preys on these children – who form a group known as The Losers Club – because their minds are susceptible to emotional manipulation which he uses as a weapon.

But it all started when Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), the 12-year-old leader of the Losers Club, loses his six-year-old brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) to Pennywise. Although Bill doesn’t know how it happened yet.

Check out the trailer for yourself:

Bill and his friends Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Stanley (Wyatt Oleff), Mike (Chosen Jacobs) and Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) all have their own emotional traumas, which Pennywise will manipulate along the way.

The Losers’ Club also has to deal with everyday teenage drama, as Pennywise is just one of Derry’s two evils. There’s also the Bowers Gang, the group of bullies led by Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton) who upset Bill and his friends.

Why Critics Love It

The aforementioned Rotten Tomatoes score of 86% for It came from very good reviews. Karen Han for Slashfilm (opens in a new tab) praised the performances of the child actors who make the Losers Club so adorable, writing “The film depends – and succeeds – entirely on the strength of their performances, and for two hours that pass too quickly, it’s not too much of a s’ stretch to feel like you’re on summer vacation with them.”

Kids being terrorized by a demonic clown might seem like overkill, but with kids like this, it’s awesome.

Scott Tobias at NPR (opens in a new tab) agrees, writing that director Andy Muschietti “gets terrific performances from his young cast, who look as much like the stars of tomorrow as River Phoenix and pals did in Rob’s curdled nostalgia play Stand By Me.” Reiner, based on the short story by King The Body.”

Christy Lemire, for (opens in a new tab)praised the villain, writing “But what Bill Skarsgard does with the role works well precisely because he doesn’t seem to be working so hard to scare us. He’s not vampirizing it. He’s shy – he plays with these children – making his sudden outbursts of mad clown hostility all the more shocking.”

Peter Travers at Rolling Stone (opens in a new tab) wrote “watching kids form a bond to rain hell on a psycho clown really plays on our shared instincts to congregate at the multiplex and watch things go wrong in the night”

Should we watch it tonight?

As someone who saw it (and loved it), I recommend it for a first watch for any horror fan, and a rewatch (as I probably will myself). Kids being terrorized by a demonic clown might seem like overkill, but with kids like this, it’s awesome.

The only reason not to, arguably, is the film’s epic length, as Travers also noted “The feature, however, can’t match the trailers for sustained terror – it’s two hours long. and 15 punishing minutes (and that’s only half the novel).”

About Shelley Hales

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