The town of Derry is experiencing a mass amount of disappearances of children. With the adults seemingly not caring, a group of youth’s try and confront the entity known as It (Bill Skarsgård).
Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgård
MPAA Rating: for violence/horror, bloody images, and for language
Fun Fact: Six months before being released, Stephen King was shown the film. King told the producers that it exceeded his expectations.
My fiancé and I are big fans of the horror genre. When It was released, we both knew that we had to see the film in the theaters. After we walked out of the theater she told me she really enjoyed it. She has never read the book and I haven’t read the novel since high school which was over ten years ago. With her opinion in the books, how did it go with me?
It has a genuine creepy atmosphere surrounding the film. Director Andy Muschietti knows how to create tension and eeriness well. The whole film has a tense setting and you will not know what is about to happen next. Every scene builds up tension so well that the payoff is effective. A great thing about the film is that there are very little jump scares. With the slow and tense buildup, you don’t have to rely on the cheap way to scare the audience. The scene when the children are in the haunted house was my favorite of the film. For one I really enjoy haunted house films so it was fun to see something like that in the film. Like in all my reviews I don’t want to spoil anything but, all I can say is when it comes to the haunted house you are in for a ride. With these scenes Muschietti really captures what it’s like to be scared as a child. When we are growing up we always have something that we are afraid of. Muschietti gets that out of the child actor’s in this film.
While the film has strong horror elements, it has a great balance of light hearted moments. While It has its horror material, it’s also a coming of age story. It shows what it’s like to having to grow up fast and having to face your fears. We get to know the children well and what they go through. The only complaint on that is while the focus is heavily on some of the characters, some of them are kind of left in the background. I would of like to know more about Mike and Stan. Mike is just there and all we really know about Stan is about his faith. The other characters have different motives but, it seems those two were left out on that in certain parts of the film.
Speaking of the child actor’s, they were fantastic. Muschietti directs them well and like stated earlier, he gets the performances that he needs out of them. When you see these children on screen you want to see more of them because they’re acting like your average normal kid. My guess is that Muschietti told them to just act like you would but, only following a script. These kids give it their all in the performances and when they are terrified, they truly look terrified. These performances are brought out also by the performance of Bill Skarsgård. Skarsgård is creepy, terrifying, and sadistic all in one. His performance shows that he wants to hurt and possibly kill these children. He steals the show when he gets on screen and the scenes with Pennywise are a real treat. He doesn’t overact and takes the role seriously. Another performance that was well done was the performance of Nicholas Hamilton as Henry Bowers. He delivers a performance that is cruel that I truly believed him to be a horrible bully. You want to see the Loser’s Club get their revenge on him for all of the torture he has put them through.
Overall, It is a well-made adaptation of the source material. It has a great balance of horror, humor, and the coming of age story that we all know about. Stephen King adaptations can either be hit or miss and it’s great to see one of his most popular novels to get the justice it deserves. Andy Muschietti’s direction creates a great film driven by the performances of the children and Bill Skarsgård. Take a look at it if you are a Stephen King fan or want to enjoy a good horror flick.