This week at the cinema

Times of Malta takes a look at the latest big screen releases

Seven young outcasts face their worst nightmare in It.

Seven young outcasts face their worst nightmare in It.

IT (2017)
Genre: Horror
Director: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Chase Palmer, Bill Skarsgärd, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard
Duration: 135 minutes
Class: 15
KRS Releasing Ltd

Stephen King’s terrifying clown is back in a new adaptation of the author’s 1986 horror novel.

If the 1990 miniseries was scary, this version, directed by Argentine director Andy Muschietti – best known for another horror film, Mama – promises to be much more so. It is also intended to be the first instalment of a duology.

The plot follows seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, who face an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise (Bill Skarsgärd).

The New Line and Warner Bros  film received generally positive reviews and shattered box office records during its opening weekend in the US. It made $117.2 million from 4,103 locations. The horror hit, which was made on an estimated budget of $35 million, is also expected to pull in $62 million from 46 markets overseas, giving It a $179 million global debut.

John Nugent of Empire wrote: “More successful as a coming-of-age film than a horror, It still ranks among the better Stephen King adaptations – no small praise indeed.”

Jeffrey M. Anderson of Common Sense Media said: “This terrifying clown movie builds It’s fright from fear It-self.”

Michael O’Sullivan of The Washington Post was equally impressed. He commented: “Call it a symphony of orchestral meta-horror, an elaborate waking nightmare in which you, as the dreamer, are constantly reminded of what the film is trying to do, and yet are powerless to stop it.”

While the critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads: “Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart.”

IMDB: 8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Empire: 4 stars

Scott Eastwood (left) and Freddie Thorp try to pull of a daring heist in Overdrive.Scott Eastwood (left) and Freddie Thorp try to pull of a daring heist in Overdrive.

Overdrive (2017)
Genre: Action thriller
Director: Antonio Negret
Starring: Ana de Armas, Scott Eastwood, Gaia Weiss, Freddie Thorp, Clemens Schick
Duration: 93 minutes
Class: PG
KRS Releasing Ltd

In the action thriller, a notorious crime boss forces two legendary car thieves (Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp) to steal a vehicle to win back their freedom. Joined by two beautiful women, the team has one week to pull off the daring heist or risk losing everything, including their lives.

Overdrive, directed by Colombian director Antonio Negret, was panned by critics.

Chris Newbould of The National lambasted the film’s “anaemic script, wooden performances, corny jokes and impenetrable script”.

Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter called it “a formulaic adolescent male button pusher... witless and brainless but  not entirely joyless”. While MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher wrote: “More plot holes than plot, this overly convoluted, deeply stupid Fast and Furious wannabe is crammed with clichés and memorably only when laughable.”

IMDB: 5.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 0%
Empire: N/A

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