(Rated R) 3 1/2 balloons (out of 4)
I rarely read novels by Stephen King, but I certainly see film adaptations of his work. Such is the case with the new film “It”, which has become a smash hit since hitting theaters.
I rarely read novels by Stephen King, but I certainly see film adaptations of his work. Such is the case with the new film “It”, which has become a smash hit since hitting theaters. The film is based on the 1986 (!) novel of the same name, and was previously released as a TV mini-series in 1990. Fans will forever remember said mini-series thanks to the remarkable performance of Tim Curry as the eponymous being It, also known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. In the new big screen version, Pennywise is played by Bill Skarsgard, and his take gives Curry a run for his money. For those who have no clue, the film is set in 1988 and is the tale of seven kids in Derry, Maine, who are terrorized by the being known as It, who only appears in the town every twenty-seven years. The being has the ability to shape- shift and manipulate, all while being unnoticed by adults.
Upon his return to Derry, the town has a sudden rash of missing kids and teens. His first victim in the story, seven-year-old Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott), has a brother named Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) who will stop at nothing to find his missing and presumed dead little brother. Bill eventually convinces his fellow outcast friends to join him on his quest to find Georgie. During their search, each of Bill’s friends must confront their greatest fears thanks the torment directed toward them by Pennywise. As expected, none of the adults in the film believe anything the kids are telling them, as they can’t see Pennywise. When will characters in horror movies ever believe what they are told? While Bill and his friends are being taunted by Pennywise, they must also deal with the school bullies, who have their own issues.
The story line does a wonderful job in capturing each of the kids fears, and I love how once they rely on one another, they discover their true strengths lie in teamwork and friendship. The film has a thrilling and satisfying ending, which makes fans anxious for “It: Chapter Two.” All the performances in this film were marvelous, and Skarsgard is perfectly creepy as the terrifying Pennywise. The kid actors are all amazing in their respective roles, and have great screen chemistry. While friends of mine who have read the novel revealed to me much was left out of the movie, this comes as no surprise, as the 1990 film was a mini-series, so no wonder there will be a part two. The film has plenty of “jump” moments, but does not totally rely on the tactic to scare the audience. The mere apprehension of what Pennywise will do next is enough to leave you feeling tense and anxious. The film also has several cringe worthy moments, but that is to be expected with this genre of film. “It” is one of King’s best adaptions to film, and certainly left me with chills, and I will never look at clowns and red balloons the same way again, proving the success of this effort.