Lee's Reviews: "It" and "Mother!"

When children go missing, what's a mother to do?

Is it Halloween yet? A couple of scary cinematic selections remind us that the time is getting near. So, do these films frighten or fizzle?

Halloween will be here before you know it.  So Hollywood is getting the Fall season underway with a double-dose of fear!

And what's more frightening than Stephen King's clown who wreaks havoc on the little town of Derry, Maine every 27 years?  A group of outcast teens are taking note...and it looks like he operates through the sewer system.  One of them even lost his little brother to the prankster.  So, yeah, it's personal.

His name is Pennywise and he preys on the young.  He can transform himself into anyone's greatest fear.  But, since everyone is afraid of clowns, why ruin a good thing?

Anyone who's familiar with the book (or 1990 miniseries) knows that this team of misfits returns to finish what they started nearly thirty years before.  However, since feature films can only be so long, that conclusion will have to come in the form of a sequel.  Possible titles?  "It Returns?"  "It's Back?"  Personally, I like "More of It" - but I doubt they'll go with that.  Regardless, all characters (at the approximate age of forty) should return to theaters next spring.

For the most part, I enjoyed "It."  There were some scary moments and I've always been a fan of the book.  However, any time they remake anything by Stephen King, the script always feels dated...and this is no exception.  Writing a poem to a girl about "January embers" could work in the 1960s.  But, by moving this up to the late 80s, the term just feels "burnt out."

Still, I enjoyed revisiting a story from long ago and eagerly await the reunion.  And so does the Leemoji!  But, until then, we'll just have to look for something else.

So, maybe we should turn to "Mother!"  Director Darren Aronofsky has developed a well-earned reputation for psychotic storylines.  And, now, he may have just outdone himself!

Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a married couple with separate agendas.  Their differences appear minimal at first.  But, when uninvited guests start showing up, the space between them becomes much more evident.

He likes the new energy the people bring.  Perhaps it's just a coincidence that they are also big fans of his work.  Whatever the case, she wants them gone!

Everything is so strange and twisted in "Mother!" that it's impossible to make sense of anything (while it's happening).  It all comes together in the end - but that might be a little too late for mainstream audiences.  Either way, when literal narration becomes too much, just think metaphorically...and you'll be fine.

Nevertheless, all the confusion was enough to take its toll on the Leemoji (not to mention some of the gruesome imagery).  It might still work for you - but recommending it would not work for me.

So watch out for "Mother!"  Watch "It" for the macabre.  

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