‘IT’ (Review) – Nostalgia be thy name…

Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Written by: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman (screenplay), Stephen King (based on the novel by)
Stars: Bill Skarsgård (“Allegiant,” TV’s “Hemlock Grove”), Jaeden Lieberher (“Midnight Special”), Jeremy Ray Taylor (“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”), Sophia Lillis (“37”), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s “Stranger Things”), Wyatt Oleff (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming “Cops and Robbers”), Jack Dylan Grazer (“Tales of Halloween”), Nicholas Hamilton (“Captain Fantastic”) and Jackson Robert Scott, making his film debut.
Rating: R — Runtime: 2h 15min
Our Rating: ★★★★

As many of you know I am one of those people who believe clowning should be a hate crime, just kidding, but I do not like clowns. I was the kid who thought my grandparents were punishing me when they took me to the circus. Seriously, the smell of the animals, the weird sideshows and the grotesquely caked on made up clowns – not my jam! But, at the same time I felt bad when Ringling Bros. went out of business, go figure. So, out of all the Stephen King books I’ve read “IT” was never on my list. But, as stated before I watched the made for TV movie because of Jonathan Brandis (RIP) and because all the other kids at school watched – peer pressure. Meanwhile, I’m nursing a growing coulrophobia because Pennywise, Bozo, Ronald and John Wayne Gacy.

Gets off soapbox and moves on to movie talk. I approached this movie with literal knots in my stomach about having to watch a clown for a couple of hours. To make sure my feelings were sincere and based the film, I took a step back to try to analyze my thoughts. I genuinely enjoyed this film. However, it is hard to decide if IT’s scary or am I just disturbed by my fear of clowns. It’s a combination.

First off there is a body count and there’s blood, however if these kills were adults I honestly probably would have laughed. But, because these are kid killings you cannot help but be disturbed. Aside from being troubled by children being killed by a homicidal clown, IT also manages to make those of us who were alive in 1988 and 1989 a bit nostalgic. For the record youngins’ New Kids on the Block was the shit.

Director Andy Muschietti, also manages to pull off a bit of Spielberg-ness. The movie had a very Stand By Me, Goonies vibe. Not only are these kids coming of age in a small time, they are having a summer adventure. Of course that adventure is literally trying to survive without being killed. The young actors are excellent. They all make their individual characters likable and you root and pull for each one of them to not get snatched up by Pennywise. There is also quite a bit of humor in the film. The kid from “Stranger Things”, Finn Wolfhard, shines in this film. He reminds me of Corey Feldman back in the day before Corey started to get on my nerves.

So what about new Pennywise? Tim Curry remains champion psychotic clown but Bill Skarsgård does a good job with the creep factor too. Plus, because IT’s a full on theater release Skarsgård actually kills kids on screen. He also gives Pennywise a different ick with his voice that manages to be a little soothing yet all flavors of ‘Oh hell no’ at the same time.

Overall new IT’s is beautifully shot, well acted and entertaining. Is this film perfect? No, but the film does a nice job of trying to cram a lot of story into a 2-hour film. Hopefully, the next film can fill in on the backstory of Pennywise and the town of Derry because I need to have some questions answered.

HorrorFatale.com says See It!