Oh, we all float down here.
It is an incredibly lengthy yet brilliant novel that was published by the master of all things horror, Stephen King, in 1986. Four years later it was turned into a mini-series of the same name that aired for ABC — one that featured a memorable performance from Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, but ultimately hasn’t held up well through the years.
Now, finally, we’re getting a new re-incarnation of It from Warner Brothers and director Andy Muschietti — and it’s a movie that fans of the book are going to love and also one of the most effective horror movies to come out in the past couple of years.
It takes place in the small town of Derry, Maine, and tells the story of a lovable group of friends known as the Losers Club.
Derry is being plagued by a series of child disappearances, which began with Bill Denbrough’s — the leader of the Losers Club — little brother Georgie going missing on one rainy afternoon. One year after Georgie’s supposed abduction, and the town isn’t any closer to solving the case.
However, during this time, each of the Losers has encountered what appears to be an evil, sadistic clown — one who introduces himself by the name of Pennywise. And they soon connect the dots and realize that Pennywise is the one taking the children.
No adult is ever going to believe that a monstrous circus clown is responsible for the crimes being committed in Derry, so the Losers decide they must be the ones to stop Pennywise. But Pennywise isn’t JUST a freaky looking clown (as if that wasn’t enough already) — he’s a terrible yet powerful force that feeds off of people’s fear, and one who can’t easily be defeated.
It is a wonderful blend of Stranger Things and Stand By Me then mixed with classic Stephen King horror elements that creates an effective film on several fronts. The coming-of-age element in the film — as each of the children has their own inner-demons to face along with Pennywise — works to great effect and makes the audience care about each and every one of them.
All of the children are cast perfectly, especially Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh and Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) as Richie ‘Trash-mouth’ Tozier, and fully embody the characters from the novel. This then creates a bond and dialogue between the children that all feels authentic and realistic to this time period, and is often times really funny as well.
Then there’s the horror element — which is, arguably, the main draw of the movie. Andy Muschietti directs the horror scenes to such an intense level, he’s now a director you’re going to want to keep your eyes on.
Bill Skarsgård takes the mantle from Curry in portraying Pennywise, and he knocks this role out of the park. He’s terrifying, oddly funny and downright crazy in this movie. It is never afraid to fully embrace the weirdness of Stephen King’s work, and that’s something Skarsgård and Muschietti completely pull off and deserve all the praise in the world for.
While many of us were skeptical about It during its production — they lost director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) early on due to creative differences and the first images that were released of Pennywise were laughably bad — the movie has fully redeemed itself. This is only the first half of the story, a sequel, which takes place 27 years into the future when the children have grown up and have to return to Derry, is expected to be announced in the near future and we’re dying to see it. But for now, It is an incredibly satisfying horror experience for both fans of the book and newcomers.
Watch the trailer for It here and let us know if you’re headed to the theaters this weekend to see It.
You'll float too: 'It' movie review9
Well adapted story that balances a light-hearted coming-of-age tone with a terrifying horror vibe to great effect. Features great performances and great directing all around.