Halloween may be next month, but that does not mean it’s too early for a good scare. Look no further, the latest horror film, IT, is now in theaters and causing quite the sensation.
Based on Stephen King’s acclaimed 1986 novel, ITÂ tells the story of a group of seven misfit children who are terrorized by a supernatural entity that can manifest itself as each of their worst fears. Throughout the film, “IT” primarily takes the form of a clown named Pennywise to prey on children. Together, the seven, known as “The Losers Club,” must stand united and face their fears up front and put an end to this evil before “it” can wreak more havoc on their town. Pretty scary, right?
I first saw the original 1990 TV miniseries version of It starring Tim Curry as Pennywise when I was a teenager and have been a big fan ever since, despite never reading the original novel prior. When it was first announced that King’s classic horror tale was finally coming to the big screen, I was pretty excited. The original miniseries is such a classic and definitely something that should be watched, especially around Halloween. In fact, I highly recommend checking out the original before watching this new film version, unless you have coulrophobia (the fear of clowns).
The original was made for TV in the early 90s, so there was no benefit of over the top special effects that could be achieved through CGI, and it couldn’t portray any of the more graphic and vulgar aspects of the novel. So naturally, one of the things about the film adaptation that was on my mind was how the story was going to be presented with the benefits of computer graphics and the chance to be edgier than its predecessor.
What else struck my curiosity more than anything was the antagonist himself, Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Tim Curry in the original version is phenomenal and he made that character truly terrifying. For me personally, I felt that whoever landed this role definitely had some pretty big shoes to fill. After watching the new film, I can honestly say that Bill SkarsgÃ¥rd did an excellent job in his portrayal of the titular killer clown. He’s no Tim Curry, but I think it’s a good thing because it makes his version more unique. One thing about SkarsgÃ¥rd in the role of Pennywise that absolutely shocked me was the fact that he’s so youngâ€”he’s only 27. Curry was about 44 years old when he played the character back in 1990, so seeing that young of an actor playing such a horrifying part is mind blowing.
The film itself as a whole is great. It was better than I expected. The atmosphere is creepy and foreboding, the music is ominous, and the actors are terrific, especially the kids portraying the film’s seven protagonists. They may be young, but they are talented at their craft. I also have to praise Andy Muschietti for his well-executed direction, and this is only his second big film.
While the film did not scare me, and I’m just going be honest, I love clowns, it kept me on the edge of my seat and gave good surprises. I found the film funny as well. The humor, while crude, was hilarious and spot-on. In fact, my brother and I both laughed our heads off in scenes that I don’t think were intended to be funny. But that’s just us.
So if you’re looking for a good old fashioned scare, I would highly recommend checking ITÂ out. However, just a word of precaution, if you have young kids, I urge you not to bring them along. The film is rated R for a reason. There may be no nudity, but there is a lot of very scary imagery that could give your kids nightmares, a lot of blood, and a TON of profanity. In fact, a lot of the vulgar language comes directly from the mouths of the child actors in the film, which was even a shock to me. Definitely not something you should be taking your children to go see.