What’s Poppin’: Movies That’ll Shake You Up

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PHOTO/FLICKR COMMONS NINA NINA

The movie “It” is based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel of the same name.

Michael Ambrosino, Entertainment Editor

There’s a whole lot of craziness happening at the movies. From bank robbers and child-eating clowns to creepy social media stalkers, the cinema is popping and exploding with quality entertainment of many different kinds.

The standout films currently playing are the ones intended to shake you up a bit: “It,” the terrifying coming-of-age tale, “Ingrid Goes West,” the deranged dark comedy, and “Good Time,” the electrifying white-knuckle thriller. These exciting new releases are exceptionally well-made, hopeful to either horrify you, provoke some nervous laughter, make you grip your seat in utter suspense or perhaps even make you shed a few tears. They most definitely excel.

Based on Stephen King’s classic horror novel and directed by Andy Muschietti, “It” is a superb coming-of-age story, just as it’s an effective horror film.

It manages to frighten you and hold you in a tight grip, but it also offers up a sincere, beautifully authentic story about children, their friendship and their alliance against the evil that torments them. It’s these kids and their camaraderie that make up the heart of “It,” and the young actors who portray King’s characters do phenomenal work bringing sincerity and realism to it.

The film’s antagonist, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, is played wonderfully by Bill Skarsgard, who brings relentless intensity to the screen as he consistently confronts the young characters with their worst fears. This version of Pennywise will make you laugh, shiver and scream all at the same time, which is a testament to both Skarsgard’s talent as an actor and Muschietti’s talent as a filmmaker.
His directing is polished and precise, and his set pieces are memorable and chock full of sheer terror.

“It” is a great piece of work and one of the very best horror films of the year so far.

“Ingrid Goes West,” directed by Matt Spicer, sees Aubrey Plaza turn in her best performance yet as the obsessive, unhinged yet oddly humorous Ingrid, who literally heads west to hunt down and befriend the Instagram-famous Taylor Sloan.

This is a very, fun dark comedy that displays well-realized characters and dialogue, and comments on the current social media-obsessed age we live in. Indeed the film gets pretty dark and psychotic, especially in the later moments.

However, Plaza, Olsen and the rest of the class – including O’Shea Jackson Jr. – keep it vibrant, consistently likable and very, very funny.

The Safdie Brothers’ “Good Time” is a taut, exhilarating, pulse-raising thriller with an electrifying performance by Robert Pattinson, who puts on a pretty terrific Queens accent in the role of
Connie Nikas.

The gritty visual aesthetic sucks you into the world the Safdie Brothers create, and the high-energy directing and high-stakes plot keep the urgency high and the intensity bubbling until the very end. This is most definitely one of the year’s best thrillers.

Not only are these very good films, these are great theatrical experiences that should be seen on the big screen while the chance is still available.