5/5* Siobhan Divers | Shiv’s Show
Dir: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott.
With outstanding cinematography and CGI, excellent performances by all of the young actors and true moments of suspense, horror and gore, It truly succeeds as an old-school horror film.
The latest Stephen King novel to be adapted for the big screen, the filmic adaptation of King’s horror story is released twenty-seven years after the It mini-series was released in 1990 – a clever nod to the fact that Pennywise the dancing clown only resurfaces every twenty seven years… chilling.
It begins with the well-known and widely recognised scene showing Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott) playing with his paper sailboat on a rainy day. When it goes down the drain, Georgie encounters the seemingly friendly Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård) who entices Georgie to reach for his boat before biting his arm off and dragging him into the drain. One of Stephen King’s most gruesome and iconic images, this chilling scene is where It begins (see what I did there…no? okay).
Set in the summer of 1988, rather than 1960 when the book and mini-series were set, It joins a number of other nostalgic TV series’ and films set in the 80’s like Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Like Stephen King’s It novel and the mini-series however, the filmic adaptation of It follows the story of seven young misfits who live in Derry, Maine and are terrorized by shape-shifting demon Pennywise who frequently takes on the appearance of a bloodthirsty clown, and a group of older school bully’s.
Cleverly acting as both a horror film and a coming-of-age tale, It has what most horror stories fail to accomplish – a genuinely compelling narrative working alongside the moments of horror and gore. The endearing story captures the importance of friendship while exploring young love, and addresses bullying, abuse, racial assaults and unpopularity through it’s subplots all while building suspense and producing jump-scare moments.
The young actress and actors should also be commended for their excellent performances and delivery of great lines, which include a number of Richie Tozier’s (Finn Wolfhard) one-liners. The best one from the Stranger Things’ actor being: “Go blow your dad you mullet-wearing asshole.” Classic.
A film of your worst nightmares, It exceeds expectations with its casting, cinematography, sound effects and horror – a must-watch!
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