Chalk it up to rock bottom expectations, but “It” blew me away when it arrived in theaters mainly because it exceeded my expectations and proved to be a stellar film all around. Andres Muschetti already killed it with his adaptation of his short “Mama,” but he brings his same sensibility in another coming of age tale where pure evil meets innocence. “It” is a masterstroke of a reboot, a movie that pays tribute to the original novel and re-invents every aspect from the ground up for a new audience without dumbing down the material.
Written and directed by Damien Leone, Terrifier takes the scary clown idea and ups the violence from recent films such as IT and makes the kills bloodier and more brutal. The film has some definitely good ideas and the clown’s design is interesting and creepy for sure, but for those without coulrophobia, the clown is only as scary as the performance for him. This is something that will be touched on in a little bit. The story here is the classic slasher on Halloween night story; a killer maims and hurts a group of people on Halloween night. The difference is in the execution which is well done here but still feels a bit like more of the same at times. The title, Terrifier, gives an expectation for the viewer that this will be terrifying and unless you are really scared of clowns, the film is only a little scary and not quite terrifying.
Andrés Muschietti’s “It” has proven in a year of really bad Stephen King adaptations, that it is very possible to put one of King’s most popular novels on screen and remind us once again why King is King. Muschietti, like Tommy Lee Wallace before him, has the daunting task of compressing an eleven hundred page novel in to what will end up being a five hour epic. Yet, “It” manages to come out mostly unscathed as a film that is both a spooky horror film and a stellar coming of age drama. Much like “Mama,” Muschietti’s work on “It” ends in a film that can be appreciated as a human drama and a pure horror movie packed with heart, scares, insight in to growing up in an unforgiving, cruel world.
“Killjoy 3” is a simultaneous rip off of “Waxworks” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” as Full Moon works desperately to create a new horror icon. Killjoy is a character who, let’s face it, could probably get his ass kicked by Chucky’s son Glenn, if things got hairy enough. Nothing about “Killjoy” makes too much sense, but you have to admire how the movie tries its damndest to transform mimes in to terrifying villains. Set very specifically in one location, we meet four college students as they’re preparing to have a get together one night involving drinks and horror movies in the house of one of their professors. Student Sandy decides to hold a gathering while he’s away, oblivious to the fact that he just made a broken pact with Killjoy.
Full Moon sinks deeper in to pseudo-Troma territory by delivering another installment of “Killjoy’s Psycho Circus.” If you’re prepared for a movie that has literally no plot but spends ninety minutes advertising its product tie-ins, then you might enjoy what’s on display here. During Killjoy’s demented TV show, there’s an ad featuring the characters from “Evil Bong,” and the movie literally stops to promote the “Adam and Eve” website. They even bring on a model to talk to Killjoy to promote their products. I’ve heard of product placement before, but I’ve never seen a movie so lazy that it literally stops in its tracks to promote a product for a company.