Andy Muschietti: From Indie Horror to Breaking Box Offices with IT
Andy Muschietti’s new movie ‘It,’ a mind-boggling yet scary new imitation of a novel by Stephen King. It had a wonderful and spectacularly interesting opening weekend, winning over critics and fans at the box office. But the slow-paced journey to the big screen was more of a story than the production. The director of the ‘Slice,’ Vincenzo Natali, picked a version of the novel at one scene but the concept art was too creepy.
The direction of this movie, which was initially spearheaded by Warner Bros. in 2009, was eventually directed by Cary Fukunaga, who was part of the directing crew of the season one of True Detective. In this version, Will Poulter the British actor would have played the role of a clown (Pennywise), the popular terrifying incarnation of this movie’s old shape-shifting enemy. According to a script, which was leaked, some of these sexual acts or themes would have taken center stage.
Andy Muschietti, in 2013, directed his debut film, ‘the supernatural horror ’Mama.’ This film, which he co-wrote with Barbara, (his sister), and Neil Cross, was based mainly on Muschietti’s short film of about three minutes–Mamá. This short play was of great interest to Guillermo del Toro, who said that short play was the scariest play he had “ever seen.” This short play convinced him to sponsor the feature-length movie, which starred Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Jessica Chastain, Isabelle, and Megan Charpentier. It was released on the 18th day of January by Universal Pictures. The movie grossed over $146 million with a budget of about $15 million.
Later-on in September that same year, Universal hired Andy Muschietti for a reboot of a popular movie “The Mummy” franchise, but, in May 2014 he left the project due to the creative disparities with Jon Spaihts. After the departure of Fukunaga in July 2015, Andy was taken by the new line cinema to work on “It” – a movie adapted from a novel by Stephen King.
Close to the end of the novel by Stephen King, “It” –from the mid-80s, Bill Denbrough, who was among the heroes with the responsibility of destroying the shape-shifting monster, embarks on a long journey that goes beyond the boundary of the universal space. Along with his friends Eddie, Beverly, Richie, Ben, Stan, and Mike (together as “losers club”), he went down to the Maine, and Derry, finding a way to the primordial lair. At this point, it cannot be destroyed independently with physical force. It can only be won over by going through the rigorous ritual of chüd– a contest of imaginative and spiritual stamina.
Spare bound in a mental combat, ‘It’ and Bill escapes through the physical realm entirely. With the use of some physical powers, ‘It’ makes several attempts to drag the mind of Bill to an alternate illumination of death dimension, not with stars but something known as ‘deadlights”. Bill had an encounter with a super turtle who claims to have created the whole universe on the way. At long last, Bill forces it back to the realm of the physical where it eventually dies.
About twenty-seven years before this event, when the team of ” losers club” were up to eleven, they almost succeeded in killing ‘It.’ However, they were dispersed evenly inside the sewers just behind Derry, and finding a way out required a psychic power which can be generated by having sex in groups. Now that ‘It’ has been killed by big Ben for good, the ground supernaturally opens for them showing them the exit way. All this is meant to portray that the villain “It” is a stranger that many people will remember.
The new movie edition which is directed and written by Andy Muschietti is, by comparison, more sane and wholesome. In this film, Bill Skarsgård introduces a pair of funky eyes with a wild physicality into the part of “the evil clown called,”(Pennywise), which is the favorite disguise of the movie ‘It.’
In the first scene of the film, he is a captivating figure as he convinces a teenage boy to reach out down the storm drain. The teen actors are very lively. The loudmouth of the group ‘Finn Wolfhard is referred to as Richie Tozier. Sophia Lillis is the fearless and swaggering member while Beverly Marsh is always on her tomboy designers outfit, oversized belts, and olive-drab overalls. This is one of the best parts of this movie. The movie is full of hallucinatory moments like when the young hero started acting as if he was high on drugs. This captures most of the fund-house vibes of the book.
The only thing missing here is a sense of some dramatic scale. In “Stephen King’s ‘It,’ the whole universe is out of place. The monster is born as a result of unimaginable evil. The entire edition of ‘It’ is like an ordinary placed film where a group of teenagers gangs up to beat an unknown clown ravaging their town. The movie “Stranger Things,” from last year, took some of its dramatic scenes from ‘It’ and even got close to the main atmosphere of the enormity. The bleak and wintry confusing scenes suggest that the universe might be in real danger. The movie ‘It’ by Andy Muschietti isn’t that scary.
Practically speaking, the book ‘It’ by Stephen King is not too scary. The little ones are being hunted by some cheesy monsters featured in fright-night: The Mummy, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s production, and at a point, this unblinking, big eyes. There’s something unusual about this particular monster horror scenes from the 1950s, and the kids can only defeat them by recognizing the absurdity of these creatures rather than being swept-off by fear and suspense which is being projected into every scene. They participate actively taking over their fantasies just like Neo did in the movie titled “The Matrix.”
When Eddie gets terrified by this crawling eye he will pretend as if the aspirator for asthma medication with him is full of battery acid; shouting “battery acid, you fucknuts”! He shouts as he squirts its content on the giant eye which makes ‘It’ retreat. Later on, this creature inspired Bill to become one of the most successful novelists in the horror world. The movie ‘It’ is a bit metafictional movie. It doesn’t not entirely a frightening or horror filled book.
The novel was a hit, not because of the monsters involved, but as a result of the fascinating story, it tells. It tells a bigger story about the whole concept of evil: how it all started.
As kids turn into adults, they constantly learn more about the beginning of Derry and Maine. They discover that ‘it’ used to be active in one chapter of the ‘Maine legion of the White decency.’ This is like another version of the old Ku Klux Klan that murdered over a hundred black American citizens by setting a nightclub ablaze. They begin to hear about strange killings like when a gay man was brutally murdered down the canal lane and the execution of some fugitives by these bloodthirsty men around town. Mike, a black guy, is tormented by bullies of racism, while Beverly is terrified by the sexual advances of her father.
All these events would have existed anyway. Nevertheless, they are exacerbated by every activity going on. The creature ‘It’ continues to eat up children. It feeds by invoking lawlessness, violence, hatred, racism, sexual predation, and misogyny in the city while it disguises like a clown. The losers club eventually defeats ‘It’ by manifesting a feeling of disgust rather than being afraid. In the last confrontation, ‘It’ tries to take their minds to a state of mindlessness making them accept whatever comes their way. However, they were persistent in dragging ‘It’ inside the hot metaphoric sunlight.
This movie, by Andy Muschietti, is mainly about monsters. So, it doesn’t spare anything in making Derry a real place in this dark and hidden American history. This movie lacked the ethical and political sense of the novel, except in the part where Mr. Marsh is treating Beverly creepily and abusively –acted by Stephen Bogaert. Close to the end of the film, Pennywise disguised himself and asked Beverly if she was still his little girl. She screams with holy rage and rams something like a piece of metal down his throat. This scene expressed the novel’s indigent and cathartic ire. Even at that, something feels out of place. The original novel ends psychedelically. This is simply because ‘It’ couldn’t be defeated with rage by Bravery.
The welcoming of evil is like a trap that we must free ourselves only through dreams. The power of imagination is beyond this world. The movie and the novel expand our ability to imagine and anticipate actions.
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