Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare — an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise.
Tashneem & contribution from guest reviewer “The Book Source”–
It’s all fun and games until you’re lured into the sewer by an overly friendly clown with promises of candy, popcorn, balloons and a paper boat that floats…THEN all that awaits you is horror! A Bloody Georgie, anyone?!
We all somewhat know the story from the best-selling novel by horror genius, Stephen King, or the lil ol’ mini-series. Seven kids, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), Stan (Wyatt Oleff), Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Mike (Chosen Jacobs), Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), and Beverly (Sophia Lillis) bear the brunt of an unnerving bloodthirsty monster in the shape a clown called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), who chillingly torments them by using their deepest delicious fears against them.
This is undeniably the BEST horror film to hit the cinema this year; and even though it’s supposed to be contending with, my personal favourites, Split and Get Out, IT is in a spine-chilling field of its own. CREEPY to the core and FUGGING terrifying, 8 minutes into this movie and we’re already presented with disturbing moments in Derry, Maine, the apparent Hellmouth of King’s universe.
The plot omits those flash-back timelines and has a more linear story, compared to the mini-series and book. We have to give director Andy Muschietti major credit for the plot sequence that plays so well with the character development of each of the kids. As Pennywise terrorises the kids, Muschietti allows us to see through the eyes of all seven kids, their world as outsiders to brave protagonists that take on a challenge the adults of Derry refuse to confront.
Each and every one of these kids offers solid and strong performances! However, Wolfhard, Grazer and Lillis were by far my favourites with their compelling and convincing portrayals, adding charisma, peculiarity and humour at the perfect time. At this speed and with that much talent these three will be the most sought-after child-actors in the world.
But these three play second fiddle to Bill Skarsgard, who fiercely undertook this role and made it his own, giving life to a monster and offering IT its own idiosyncrasies. THAT voice, that eerie voice of child-like desperation mixed with sly hostility, that amusing giggle filled with murderous undertones and intent and that warm but distressing smile that instantly sends shivers down your spine. Even without the incredible CGI, Skarsgard conjures utter fear just by using expression and great acting! (I hope they don’t genre cast him, he seems like a versatile actor and I would hate to see him stuck in horror. But if they do decide to remake American Psycho, he is our man!)
Was it as good as the book?
I haven’t read the book but luckily to appease the King nerds, I took a huge King fan along with me, and The Book Source loved every moment of this film. I heard a small objection in the beginning but by the end of the film, it all made movie sense and The Book Source was blown away by how much it was like the book. And NO there is no orgy scene, for those wondering.
A curse? A monster? Whatever IT is, the skew-eyed, bloodcurdling and drooling clown, Pennywise is here to scare even the biggest horror fan. Even if you aren’t a horror fanatic, like me, I suggest you watch this film. Go watch IT as a fan of movies and don’t forget to appreciate the mesmerising cinematography!
SIDE NOTE: Watching this film made me wonder: What makes a truly great horror film? Is it the obvious and repetitive jump scares? Is it the dark? The suspense? Spooky music? I had absolutely no jump scares in Get Out or Split, yet IT made me jump out of my seat TWICE! I knew the jump scares were about to happen, yet it still evoked that fear I seek when watching the horror genre. It’s that specific thrill of fear that we’re seeking when we indulge in the genre, fear of the implications, fear of the unfamiliar and inevitably fear of what our imagination conjures up. I don’t have an answer to what makes a great horror film, but do think we need to dissect this in a video analysis very soon!
The Book Source was undecided and gave it 8 or 9/10
After much consideration, I give it a bloody brilliant 9/10
Huge thanks to The Book Source for contributing!
GO WATCH IT this weekend!!