The brand new #ITMovie scared the heck out of me and I don’t throw that around loosely because just when you thought that “Annabelle: Creation” may have set the bar for this year, bam! “IT” comes along and smashes that bar into pieces.
Wow! This is one incredible horror film, everybody involved should get a congratulatory pat on the back, definitely a huge upgrade from the ’90s miniseries. This is best Stephen king adaptation yet.
Directed by Andy Muschietti, based on Stephen King’s timeless novel of the same name, IT is set around the mysterious disappearance of children in Derry Maine, when a group of young kids will have to come face their biggest fears and square off against an eternal evil clown named Pennywise who comes around every 27 years to repeat his reign of terror.
It’s no secret and it’s not really a spoiler that New Line and the filmmakers of this new version have planned to re-imagine this story into two installments, with the first focusing on the children and then chapter two will be about their grown up selves once again battling Pennywise.
So with this first chapter, I think the timing of its arrival couldn’t be more perfect especially with last year’s debut of the hugely popular series, “Stranger Things” that brings up ’80s childhood nostalgia while presenting mystery at the same time, “IT” offers you that same vein and I think that’s OK because we haven’t gotten to the point where it’s played out so for the time being you’re going to love that aspect about “IT.” There’s definitely a “Stand By Me” vibe to it as well, and the whole thing does feel episodic, at one point while screening it I didn’t want it to end, it felt like I was binge-watching, it was so cool. Kudos to all the young actors featured in this film, they really hold their own and each of their characters’ distinct personalities stand out. Their backstories and their process of slowly but surely coming together as some sort of a team is both honest and engaging.
Now, if you’ve ever read Stephen King’s book, “IT,” you’d recall that it is a super duper thick book. You can use it as a stool to stand on for when you need to change that lightbulb.
But the point is, I think the screenwriters of this new film did well in condensing the story to just the right amount of time that contains just the right mix of kids camaraderie and the horror fest that is Pennywise. And if you’ve watched the ’90s miniseries, you’d recall how much that version held back plus the low quality practical effects that they had at the time. Well, I’m happy to tell you that this new “IT” doesn’t hold back, this is Pennywise unleashed, it’s practically proud of being R-rated, which is great because it allows for the scary parts to be really really scary and not second-guessing or pandering.
And if you have never liked clowns before, you’re going to hate clowns even more because Bill Skarsgard’s performance as the new Pennywise will haunt your dreams for the next few weeks after you’ve watched this movie. What I appreciate about Skarsgard is that he doesn’t try too hard to emulate or imitate or channel Tim Curry, Skarsgard does his own take of creepy.
And because Pennywise is pretty much invincible to a certain extent, you’ll see him pop up in the most unlikeliest of places meaning when you least expect him, that’s when he’ll scare you to your core so brace yourselves for surprises around every corner. Another reason why the timing of this movie’s arrival could not be more perfect is because today’s visual effects compliment Pennywise’s limitless abilities and so director Andy Muschietti and his crew have the creative freedom to not only realize some of the scare points in the book but they managed to also go beyond that.
“IT” goes for massive, it goes for bold, it goes for bloody, not a single boring minute, it goes for the “Goonies” fan in all of us. You will laugh, you will scream, you will have nightmares, hands down one of the best horror movies ever made.