Movie Review: IT
Okay, full disclosure: I am a HUGE Stephen King fan and IT is my favorite book of all time. So this won’t be the most unbiased review I’ve ever written. If you’re a horror nut, a Stephen King nut, or an IT nut, this is your movie. If you are terrified of clowns, don’t even consider going!
I am remake-neutral as far as the current trend of redoing all the 80s and 90s classics goes. Sometimes I’m stoked for an even better version of a once loved film, other times I can’t figure out why the hell anyone was willing to produce such a waste of time and money. This first installment of the planned duology remaking the Stephen King miniseries is one I am yelling “bravo” at the top of my lungs for.
The most obvious reason for my absolute love of the new film is Bill Skarsgard (Alexander’s brother if you are out of the loop). In his first huge role he is absolutely phenomenal. If you thought Tim Curry was a creep in the earlier version, you ain’t seen nothin yet. Skarsgard leaves you wondering at times if he actually IS Pennywise the clown and not just a Hollywood actor in makeup and costume. He is BRILLIANT. If I were one of his friends or family, I don’t think I could ever look at him the same after seeing the film. And speaking of Pennywise the Clown, he has a far more prominent role in this version. There are little startles and jumps around every corner and the dancing clown has a lot to do with most of them.
The almost entirely pubescent cast deserves mentioning as well as they are all absolutely mesmerizing. My beloved Bill Denbrough is played by Jaeden Lieberher from St. Vincent (great Bill Murray comedy if you haven’t seen it). Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things plays Richie and Sophia Lillis who I had never seen or heard of before is absolutely captivating as Beverly.
Add screenplay development by writers from True Detective, Annabelle, and the Director of Mama (a horror film I haven’t actually seen, by the way) and it’s just a really well done film. As a huge fan of the book I am still a little disappointed in a version that does not bounce back and forth between the adult and child versions of the characters and I believe the second installment will take place all in the later years (just a guess) but it probably is easier to follow and more cohesive because of being done this way. I haven’t been able to find any info on when the second half will come out but I am already excited!
In short, expect great child actors, sound effects, directing and visual effects. A little more suspense than before and clowns... lots of clowns. Boo!