IT has finally hit the big screen but was it worth the wait? The answer is a definitive yes. After a troubled production cycle with numerous false starts, directors and leading clowns director Andy Muschietti (Mama) did what so many have failed to do. If you have seen the original mini series, you'll notice the film starts off very familiar. Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher) made a paper boat for his younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) to take outside and race down the street in the pouring rain. Again, familiar territory to anyone that has seen the original miniseries. Racing down the rain soaked streets, the S.S. Georgie is lost to the sewers. Then we meet the titular character living in the sewers of Derry. Pennywise The Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) peeks through the sewer gutter tauntig Georgie with his capsized paper boat. The exchange between Pennywise and Georgie while familiar takes a very dark turn at the climax and from there, it's very clear Muschietti has made this version of IT his very own and a very dark, hard R film it is.
It would be hard not to compare Tim Curry's portrayal of Pennywise to Bill Skarsgard's portrayal. Curry's Is one of the most iconic in modern cinema. Like Freddy, Jason or Leatherface his visage is almost universally recognizable. Skarsgard's portrayal is unrelenting and not as comedic or psychological as Curry. He IS the nightmares you have about clowns. After that bone snapping opening scene, familiar territory is thrown out of the window. Taking a cue from the fan favorite Stephen King book of the same name it brings to the table one of the freshest horror films in years.
A year after Georgie's disappearance Bill hasn't given up the search. Children are disappearing at an alarming rate in Derry. Missing posters litter the poles along the streets. Bill and his group of friends, all outsiders called "The Losers Club" while not being tormented by the town bully Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton) become tormented by a much worse monster, Pennywise.
It turns out Pennywise feeds on the fear of the children. Every 27 years, he returns from his slumber to feed and little Georgie was one of his first victims. Bill and crew band together to battle "IT".
IT was conceived as a two part film. The first telling the story of the kid's back stories and their battle with Pennywise while the second, to focus on their return to Derry to battle Pennywise one last time. A bold move for Warner Bros to invest in a multi chapter R rated horror film. But the box office and the fans show R rated films can be huge profitable hits for them and I predict IT will be one of those hits.
IT is unrelenting. and grabs you by the throat for 2 hours as Pennywise torments the screen. This is a must see horror film for fans of the genre and a perfect one to be graced with this Halloween season, we could not have a better one. See it and don't think of it as a remake..
4 out of 4 stars