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I love movies. I love all kinds of movies. I love action movies and science fiction films. I love a good romantic comedy, and a heavy period piece drama. I love almost every kind of movie that it's possible to make, except one. I just don't care for horror movies. There have been a few here and there which haven't been so bad, but for the most part, I tend to avoid anything that falls into the category of horror. I'm sure I'm not the only one who tends to avoid the genre almost automatically. There have been some that have been good enough, but I can't think of anything in the genre I have truly loved. Until now.
IT is absolutely phenomenal. Not only is IT good, IT is one of the best movies released this year, no exception. It's so good that everybody needs to see it, and that includes all the people who are considering skipping it simply because it qualifies as horror. Here are all the reasons non-horror fans should still go see IT.
It's Not About The Horror
Rightly or wrongly, the perspective of horror movies is that they exist to give the chills, audience jump scares and/or gory violence, and that the story is built around these moments. While clearly there are at least some horror movies guilty of this, IT is absolutely not one of them. The horror elements exist to enhance the rest of the movie, not draw focus away from them. IT is a film about its characters. This isn't a slasher film where the point is to see ever more creative, bloody murders. The scares come from being afraid something awful may happen to these kids, because you've actually come to care about them.
It's Got Some Seriously Funny Moments
Most horror movies go full bore into the terror once they get started and usually don't let up until the movie is over. IT, on the other hand, is a much better paced film for the non-horror fan. The movie has plenty of moments that will allow the non-horror fan to take a breath, and even laugh. There are some legitimately funny things that happen in IT that you'd never see in most horror films. You can literally forget at some points that these kids are being stalked by a homicidal clown, which helps give you the energy to press on.
The Gore Is Minimal
Gory violence at the hands of a supernatural monster is a fairly standard part of many classic horror movies. While IT certainly has the supernatural monster, Pennywise the dancing clown (Bill Skarsgard), the monster stops short of committing most of his gory violence on screen. The movie has plenty of blood but most of it isn't much worse then what you'd expect to see in your standard R-rated action movies. That's not to say that the movie completely avoids bloody violence, but if you can get past the film's opening, you're already most of the way through the bad stuff.
The Jump Scares Aren't Overdone
I would not classify myself as easily scared, but I have to admit that I am easily startled. Jump scares get me every time. Half the time, they get me in movies I've already seen. IT has its share of jump-scare moments, but if they drive you crazy, I can report that the movie telegraphs them pretty well. This means you have a moment to put your soda down so you don't accidentally spill it on the guy next to you at the theater. The film also doesn't overdo it. The jump-in-your-seat moments happen at times that make sense, and they aren't added in simply to have more jump scares.
The Cast Is Amazing
Great acting is not something that you normally associate with horror movies, again, because the acting isn't the point of horror movies. Usually, the cast is made up of inexpensive actors you've never seen before. However, what makes IT scary is that you become attached to these characters and therefore become terrified that something awful is going to happen to them. That works because the kids that make up the main cast of the movie are, without exception, excellent. They draw you into the story and you get invested in that, not the scares.
Pennywise Isn't Actually That Scary
I may not get universal agreement on this point, but I didn't actually find Bill Skarsgard's performance as Pennywise to be particularly terrifying. That's ok though, because it's not actually a weakness in the film. The point isn't that Pennywise needs to be terrifying to you, it's that you need to believe that Pennywise is scary to the kids, and that comes through clearly. IT is able to give you a scary monster without actually scaring the audience, which is perfect for people who don't like horror movies.