Once again, Stephen Kings classic evil-clown novel It came to life on the big screen this past weekend, and it certainly floats among the iconic authors other movie adaptations. As a huge fan of the 1990 TV mini-series, I knew before watching the new version that it would be quite different.
For example, this version, directed by Andrs Muschietti, only tells half of the story the childhood portion of the classic novel. Despite cutting out much of the original, the movie lasts over two hours. Because of that, IT did feel overly long, and the jump scares had little effect on me after a while. In fact, it felt like less of a horror film and more of a coming-of-age story. But thats not necessarily a bad thing.
The two films do have similarities, like the easily-recognizable beginning scene of little Georgie chasing his paper boat down the street in the rain only to lose it to a sewer, and then well, we all know what happens next.
The child characters, who dubbed themselves The Losers Club throughout the film, were extremely loveable and all had little quirks that made them stand out. I especially felt overwhelming sympathy for both Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis) and Billy Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), the children with the most tragedy in their lives. However, the character of poor Mike Hanlon, the outcast, was neglected quite a bit compared to his large presence in the novel.
On the bright side, if youre a Stranger Things fan, youll likely enjoy seeing the adorable Finn Wolfhard, known as Mike Wheeler in the cult-favorite Netflix original series, play character Richie Tozier. Richie is the most vulgar of the friend group, who provides some much-needed comic relief, which at times felt a little forced, to contrast the terrifying scenes of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Speaking of Pennywise, the evil clown brought a whole different level of fear to this film. The character was simply terrifying a thing of nightmares. The new Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgrd, was straight-up sinister with his ability to manipulate his voice, face and body. Im glad they are finally making great use of the film tech that 2017 provides in order to feed on the fear of the kids. I could understand how the old Pennywise might be able to reel kids in with a somewhat normal-looking clown appearance, but the new Pennywise is so ugly and repulsive I wouldnt touch him with a 100-foot pole.
Overall, the cinematic experience of the movie was aesthetically pleasing with intriguing emotional scenes to horrifying ones that keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot itself is a wild ride that wont leave you too terrified to walk to your car after it ends. The ending of the movie proclaims that this is only chapter one, so I am interested to see how the next chapter unravels.
Go out this weekend with some friends, and give this movie a shot it is pretty entertaining, if nothing else. Even Stephen King himself approves it. Just steer clear of any red balloons, or youll float, too.