‘It’ tells the story of a group of bullied kids (Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Rsy Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs and Wyatt Oleff) as they band together when a monster, in the shape of a clown (Bill Skarsgard), preys on the children of Derry, Maine.
When approaching ‘It’, one would be cautious to keep in mind the up and down track record of Stephen King adaptations. In fact, in 2017, we have been treated to two* so far: the so-so second version of The Mist and the better than expected Mr Mercedes. So, how does this one fit in among the ranks?
[*Editor’s Note: there have actually been three. The Dark Tower was also released in August and was met with mixed reviews.]
One of the best. With a film of this nature, it’s important for the direction to be of a high standard, and fortunately for director, Andres Muscgietti, he has found a near-perfect cast of teens that take the reigns and make the roles their own. Too long have the children and teens of Hollywood been given the cold shoulder, and at the end the film, you’ll find yourself reminiscing your school days. It’s evident that (Director) is in control and knows what he wants to do, passing it on to the actors, allowing them break out and become life-like.
The script, written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman, is emotional and compelling, if not flawed. For the off go, we are shown the grim tone surrounding the film, and ‘It’ doesn’t wait long to embrace the terror with a heart-wrenching opening scene. From there, the pace flows with each scene building into the next. One criticism though, is the delivery of some lines. Of course, it doesn’t help if the line delivered is terrible and corny, but aside from that, the actors make up for it throughout the rest of the movie. Another issue that the film has, is the CGI used for the movement of Pennywise. It comes across very cartoonish, which is very noticeable, especially toward the end.
And speaking of Pennywise, how does Bill Skarsgard fare? Very well. It’s worth noting that it’s better not to compare him with Tim Curry’s as Bill takes a more violent and sadistic approach. From the moment we meet him, we get a sense of dread. While in a way Tim Curry’s version is more playful, Bill takes a different approach, from the shape of his eyes to the noises he makes, distancing himself and becoming his own Pennywise.
The best quality the film has, is that it doesn’t feel like a horror movie. While watching the likes of the Conjuring and Annabelle, you know that you’re watching a horror movie, but here, you never really get that feeling. Instead, you feel it’s much more than that, which allows the film to give a stronger impact. Topping off with a powerful ending, including one of the best lines in recent years (delivered by an impressive Finn Wolfhard), ‘It’ is a winner, and among the best of adaptations of Stephen King’s works.
The Horror Club.