MediaMade possible by

The Spinoff reviews New Zealand #43: Is ‘It’ really as scary as people say it is?

With It smashing box office records and filling pants everywhere, a bunch of Spinoff clowns went to the flicks to put the horror film to the test. This is their story.

Huge horror fan Madeleine Chapman was not scared at all even in the slightest

I don’t watch horror movies because I’m scared of them but honestly this one was fine. My lips were chapped and my hands were extremely sweaty before it even started but honestly it was a breeze. I kept my arms by my side for at least 30% of it and seriously, you could take your kids to see this film.

Mad Chapman: not scared

There was one bit where I got a fright and cried but that was only because I was laughing when it happened and we all know how closely linked laughing and crying are. I’m sure the same thing happened to almost every other viewer. Besides that one hiccup, I didn’t even notice it was a horror movie. I heard noises from behind my hands that sounded like they were scary but they only made me flinch a little.

If you ask me, horror filmmakers need to up their game.

Alex Casey was a little bit scared but only afterwards

Sitting next to Mad was probably the most terrifying part of It for me, simply because I had to keep checking to make sure her heart hadn’t stopped beating. She needed constant surveillance, she needed Chapstick, she needed a hair tie. Sometimes I thought she was watching bravely without her hands over her face, but then I’d turn and realise her eyes were welded shut. I laughed so hard I got a six pack, and I have Pennywise to thank for it.

I thought It was bloody good fun, and am very pleased to find I’m not the only one who feels strangely attracted to the exceptional Bill Skarsgard as the maniac clown. The real chills for me came after the movie when, on my short walk to the bus stop, I encountered both a rogue balloon and a spooky girl in a yellow raincoat. Then, I shit you not, a car pulled up at the lights with the number plate IT HELP. Forward all my mail deep into the nearest drain I guess.

Jose Barbosa recorded his thoughts and feelings in chronological order

HMS Georgie is CGI. Fuck this. Make a goddamn paper boat and film that for Christ’s sake.

Why is Pennywise acting like a psycho villain in a Lethal Weapon movie? Props to the clowns look though, better than the TV movie. There’s a lot here better than the TV movie to be fair.

Stop hitting me over the head with a cacophony of musical stabs and stings that scream “Be afraid! Be afraid now!” Just be scary.

Give me space turtle or GTFO.

Stop eating popcorn just for a moment.

Oh shit, I’m eating popcorn again.

Why was this popcorn $7?

Poor Finn Wolfhard. Forever doomed to carry on his shoulders the nostalgia wet dreams of Gen X. Cool name though and he’s pretty funny.

Genuinely disturbing turns from Beverly’s dad and Eddie’s mum. In fact, just about all the adults are scarier than the clown.

Mike Hanlon has nothing to do apart from carrying the bolt gun which someone else gets to use. Why is this character in the movie if he has nothing to do?

Phew, they didn’t include the underage orgy. I’m a purist but not to that extent.

TL:DR – Did not soil myself once.

Jihee Junn definitely still hates clowns

If you thrive on a good, hearty jump scare, you’re in for a treat, because It is basically two hours’ worth of gratuitously ratcheted up discomfort soundtracked to a very generous serving of Generic Horror Movie Music.

It’s scary in the sense that clowns are just inherently terrifying, and seeing it in IMAX made Pennywise (literally) feel larger than life. But despite the involuntary flinches of terror (the projector and library scenes – never forget), I always found myself laughing a hell of a lot as well, mostly from the ridiculous amount of jump scares packed into the entire thing combined with my repeated self-questioning as to why I was putting myself through such a bizarre form of torture on a Monday evening.

Overall, scary at the time, but not quite as traumatising as you’d think. Mostly I just thought about how disgusting the sewers were.

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.