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Recap / The Nostalgia Critic S 10 E 22

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Release Date: Oct 10, 2017

Film: It (2017)

Tagline: The cinematic smash that scared millions. Is it as good as people say...or...at least better than the original?

This review contains examples of:

  • Acting for Two: Doug does triple duty as the Critic as well as both the Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård versions of Pennywise. Malcolm plays both Mike and a member of the Bowers' Gang, and holds "himself" down before the Rock War.
    Malcolm: This feels self-defeating.
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  • Actually Pretty Funny: Curry!Pennywise does the "Wa-ha! Wa-ha! Wa-ha!" yelling in front of the Critic to show up Skarsgård!Pennywise. The Critic responds with, "It's not funny. OK, it's pretty funny."
  • Anything but That!: They wonder if they be faithful to the ending of the kid's story from the book. Their reaction to what happens in the book:
    Aiyanna!Bev: Oh, yeah, no, I'm not doing that!
  • Ax-Crazy: Positively notes that Henry Bowers' psychotic behavior is treated as such by the film rather than simple bullying, which makes it more believable and intimidating.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Discussed. The Critic notes that one of the things that made Curry!Pennywise so effective was that he was a legitimately good clown, which made it easier to lure kids into his evil traps, by entertaining them and making himself look harmless.
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  • The Bully: A staple of Stephen King's works. The Critic actually praises the movie for making the Bowers Gang legitimately intimidating, and notes that Henry's behavior is treated as genuinely psychotic rather than just simple bullying, while his two lackeys are so unnerved that they hold Jason!Ben down for Henry just to use him as a Human Shield.
  • Call-Back:
    • At the opening Public Service Announcement, Hyper Fangirl recounts that the Critic's first review of Stephen King films was that for It (1990) back in 2010, which despite the mixed reaction, nevertheless became a much-requested annual tradition. Later, when the Critic was asked by Curry!Pennywise for other good elements in his film, he claims having a hazy recollection due to having challenged himself to a Drinking Game.
    • The Critic initially refers to The Losers' Club as the Token Troop. He then decides to call them The Token Club.
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    • The scene where the Losers Club split up is revealed to be the handiwork of the Analysts, who reuse the "Heroes pussy out" cliche first seen in the Suicide Squad (2016) review.
  • Clip Show: Inverted—continuing the tradition of recreating films still in theaters with the Channel Awesome cast, this in particular stars Doug as the Bill Skarsgård version of Pennywise, Malcolm as Mike, Tamara as Eddie, Walter Banasiak as Bill, Aiyanna Wade as Bev, Jason Laws as Ben, Trevor Mueller as Stan, Heather Reusz as Richie, and Bryan Porter as Henry. In addition, Tamara also plays Georgie, Jim as Bev's dad, and Malcolm and Jim as two of the Bowers kids. Finally, within the Framing Device itself, Malcolm also plays as Maurice Moss, Doug as both the Critic and the Tim Curry version of Pennywise, and Rob as the voice of The Joker.
  • Cliché Storm: This being downplayed regarding tropes concerning The '80s is one of the Critic's praises for the movie. For example, when Aiyanna!Bev and Jason!Ben complain that the latter listens to the quintessentially 80's New Kids on the Block, the Critic retorts that it's still better than forcing them to play stock cliches about their period (e.g., weird visors, colorful wigs, and boxes of 80's films and Garbage Pail Kids cards pasted all over their bodies). He also liked how the portly Ben isn't always depicted as a Big Eater.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Critic claims Richie is the best kid in the film, because he is both the geekiest and coolest of the Losers Club.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Curry!Pennywise balks at the Analysts' "Heroes pussy out" scheme.
  • Foreshadowing: In the opening scene what cards are both versions of Pennywise holding? Aces and Jokers. An obvious nod to Ace Chemicals, where the Joker was "born". And guess who shows up in the end?
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A paper boat used to transition between a conversation between Walter!Bill and Tamara!Georgie and the latter entering a dark basement reads "S.S. Deadmeat" on the side.
  • Grandfather Clause: Despite the abuse of the Five-Man Band in various films, the Critic takes some exception to the Losers Club because they are among the earliest to fall into the aforementioned trope.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the pre-review Public Service Announcement, Hyper Fangirl asks the audience for calm and respectful exchange of opinions. When she gets pelted with boos, however, she whips out a BFG from her fiancee Devil Boner and mows down the audience.
    Hyper Fangirl: "Any o' you crybabies shit-pants got a problem with that?! You can talk it up with me!!!"
  • Memetic Mutation: In-Universe, the scene of Skarsgård!Pennywise's dance before Aiyanna!Bev is so unintentionally funny it was captioned "MEME ME!"
  • Monster Clown: Discussed at length, with neither version of Pennywise really living up in the Critic's eyes; Curry!Pennywise is goofy and enjoyable like a real clown, but his scares aren't always effective, while Skarsgård!Pennywise is much creepier and more monstrous, but isn't that convincing as a clown. Doug!Joker states that they should try to be both scary and funny, offering himself as a prime example.
  • Narm: The Critic berates the film for the inconsistent setup of its scary scenes, with some even becoming unintentionally funny. For example, the ridiculousness of Eddie's encounter with Pennywise's leper form is lampooned by replacing the latter with Chester A. Bum.
  • Name's the Same: When introducing Bill, the main character, the Critic puts in the Malcolm character, before quickly swapping him for the "actual" version (played by Walter) because the former doesn't speak at all.
  • New Media Are Evil: Curry!Pennywise explains that the success of films were measured by their ratings before Netflix came out.
  • Obviously Evil: One of Doug's problems with Skarsgård!Pennywise is that his design is too blatantly scary to work as an effective way to lure children in so he can kill them. In particular, he notes that, realistically, Georgie would've run off after taking one look at him.
  • Out of Focus: Trevor!Stan is frequently left out in several scenes. While the rest of the Losers Club think he was being discriminated against because he's Jewish, the latter doesn't mind at all, given the Loads and Loads of Characters in the film.
  • Public Service Announcement: Given that the review is initially screened at a movie theater, it begins with Hyper Fangirl asking the audience not to get too triggered.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: See "Obviously Evil", above
    Skarsgård!Pennywise: (pops up in the sewer) Hiya, Georgie!
    Tamara!Georgie: Nope! (runs away)
    Skarsgård!Pennywise: Hey, wait, where you going?!
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sincerity Mode:
    • The Critic thinks Stan's introductory scene is actually scary, and gives some applause to the film.
    • Admits the new film actually did successfully make balloons genuinely scary.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The Critic's final verdict on the film, though he also considers it a bit of a step up from the 1990 version, later listing it as one of his Top 11 Stephen King Movies.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: One of the flaws the Critic finds with the film is the over-the-top soundtrack, such as whimsical for light-hearted moments and intense for scary moments. He specifically puts Mike's introductory scene as an example of the latter, while demonstrating that it could be more effective if the music is remade to heighten suspense.
  • Squick: While trying to find some closure on their awkward Love Triangle, Aiyanna!Bev, Jason!Ben and Walter!Bill consult the book, only to be revolted at the infamous sewer orgy scene. They decide to end the film by blowing kisses to each other instead.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Pennywise dancing has one of "MEME ME!", which Critic and Curry!Pennywise join in on.
  • Take That!:
    • The Grave Humor in the intro has "The Simpsons after Season 6", "Joel Schumacher Cinematic Universe", "Good Transformers Movies" and "Nicolas Cage Saying "No"" among the gravestones.
    • The Critic claims Skarsgård!Pennywise's attempts to lure in victims wouldn't lure in awkward fanart to Tumblr.
    • When Skarsgård!Pennywise scares Billy with his dead brother, he says "Hahahaha! Look! I'm Jeff Dunham if he was ever funny! Hahahaha!"
    • Curry!Pennywise finds Skarsgård!Pennywise (as the Headless Boy) chasing after Eddie so awkward he compares him to a possessed Olaf.
    • When Skarsgård!Pennywise tries to scare the Losers Club one last time, one of the forms he takes is Tommy Wiseau.
    • At the end of the review, when Rob!Joker asks the Pennywises what the best versions of him all have in common, Skarsgård!Pennywise answers that they aren't like the infamous Jared Leto version from Suicide Squad (2016), with Rob!Joker agreeing, even as he grumbles at the thought.
  • Who's on First?: The closing credits features the Analysts offscreen discussing It in various, punny ways.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Curry!Pennywise blames the Critic for making him less intimidating and more funny.
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