This section is a little contentious because it may come across that I dislike the film or even hate it, which is usually not the case. Here I just highlight a film that I think has been rated a little too highly than it deserves, even if it is a film that I may like myself.
This year's most overrated film, in my opinion, is Andy Muschietti's “It”. Let me state right up, this is one of those cases where I like the film, but think it is more highly rated than it deserves. “It” is a good film and it does a lot of things right, but I do not think that it can be classified as a “great” film. In fact, I personally do not think that it was even the best film adapted from a Stephen King story in 2017.
So lets talk about the stuff “It” does get right. It does an amazing job of setting up time and place. The town of Derry just feels so tangible and real, it feels lived in. It never comes across as a movie place, it actually feels like the town that these kids live in, and have done all their lives, so they know every piece of it. Every secret hiding place and cul-de-sac within Derry they are aware of. The period design of the 1980's is also totally spot on. I myself was a child in the 1980's, so watching “It” is a nostalgic experience because they get the era totally spot on. It was all about jumping on your bikes and just riding with your friends, and see where the day would take you.
The film has also been brilliantly cast, as again, you totally believe that these kids are actually friends and have been for a while. They are all age appropriate, and the actors have an insane amount of chemistry between them. My favourite is Finn Wolfhard as Richie, who is essentially a foul mouthed version of the character he plays in “Stranger Things”, but he does it so well. The other stand-out performer within The Losers Club is Sophia Lillis's “Beverly”; she is beautiful but she is filled with a kindness or heart that makes it very easy to fall in love with. On the evil side, Bill Skarsgard is super as Pennywise, the evil clown that lives in the drains of Derry. The look of Pennywise has also been handled well too, in that he looks necessarily evil but charming enough that a kid would trust him to get close to him.
Visually the film looks stunning, with bright bold colours during daylight scenes, and good use of shadows and darkness for the more creepier scenes. This should come as no surprise as the cinematographer of “It” is Chung Chung-Hoon, who is the regular cinematographer of Park Chan-Wook's films, which are always visually dynamic.
Now I know what you are thinking, this is meant to be the “most overrated” film of 2017 and all this guy has done is praise the film, so much so that it looks like it will be on his top ten list. That is a valid point, but here it comes. Even though it does so much right; it looks great, is performed well, all of that.............the film is JUST NOT SCARY AT ALL!!! That was the biggest problem with “It”, as good as all of its parts were, at the end of the day this is a horror film and it just does not have the scare factor. I will admit that the opening scene with Georgie's death was done extremely well and was shocking and even scary, but from this moment on, I lacked any chills from the film. I do not know why that is, but from a fear point of view, I don't think the film works very well. It even has some great horror images like the bathroom and Beverly covered in blood, but it still wasn't scary.
Once again, I felt there was an over reliance on the use of CGI which often works against horror, and I also thought that a lot of the “creepy horror” moments were over edited with fast cuts to create a false intensity, almost like they didn't trust that what they had shot was scary enough so they tried to add more in post.
To finish up, let me again state, I think that “It” is a good film, but at the end of the day it is a horror film and if it isn't scary, I don't think it can be considered a “great” film, and thus feel it is overrated with the praise it has been getting. That said, I am still greatly looking forward to Part 2 to come out in the near future.