Movie Plot – IT: In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids join forces to destroy a shape-shifting monster that disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small town in Maine.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Writers: Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman, Stephen King
Cast: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Martell, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff
Stephen King’s first-thick horror novel, IT, was first filmed in 1990. Those who decide to revisit this two-part mini-series (which was made for television) years after the fact quickly come to the conclusion that the acting and special effects are hopelessly outdated. Thanks to Tim Curry’s memorable performance, the whole thing has not previously fallen into oblivion.
For a long time, the series was able to survive by capitalizing on the nostalgic feelings of its viewers, but secretly, It was long overdue for a fresh remake. However, I’m amazed that many people I know weren’t actually aware of the old mini-series. On the other hand, I’ve actually never seen it myself, but I did know about its existence.
The Losers Club
Remarkable is the choice to stick to the original series’s story structure, not that of Stephen King’s book. Thus, with this first It movie, the creators focus only on the childhood years of the characters. They leave out the part about their adulthood altogether. Consequently, this works to their advantage because it turns out to be a good decision. It is easier for the viewers to follow.
The seven young main characters who call themselves the “Losers Club” are all struggling with their own problems. Director Andy Muschietti takes a pleasant amount of time to give each of them a solid grounding, one by one. This is where this horror film excelled for me. The camaraderie between the kids was really quite well done. As a result, this made for a very entertaining horror film.
After the introductory round, each “loser’s” confrontation with his or her greatest fear inevitably follows. Pennywise takes advantage of this and turns into your worst nightmare. Because the nature of the fears vary quite a bit, from fear of contamination to sexual abuse, a kind of mosaic of all different mini horror movies is created. This variety of horrors is not only very entertaining to watch, it also keeps the pace of the story.
The seven cowards eventually find a common enemy in the form of Pennywise, a demonic force who has taken the form of a clown. The hell-raiser lives off the phobias of children and therefore sows death and destruction in the small town of Derry, located in the U.S. state of Maine.
A solid cast
Largely IT, is a coming-of-age story. There is a lot of space given over to the day-to-day concerns of the high school student’s life. Think friendships, calf love, bullying, loneliness, you name it. Most importantly, the adolescents learn to overcome their fears and not run away from each other. It provides this horror film with a certain depth, which is unfortunately absent from many of its genre counterparts.
The acting skills of the young cast members are good across the board. Aided by a screenplay that takes the experiences of these adolescents seriously, the actors manage to present their shrewd dialogues in a natural way. But it’s the antagonist Pennywise that sticks in mind the most, afterward. Bill Skarsgård plays the horror clown with sardonic delight. In doing so, he interprets the character in a completely different way than Tim Curry did for the mini-series. Skarsgård’s Pennywise is unpredictable and much grimmer. Plus, he looks sickly with that devilish grimace on his face and drools dripping from his lower lip. Now that’s what I call perfect casting.
IT is a refreshing take on the horror genre and one of the best film adaptations of Stephen King’s books. It is entertaining from start to finish.
The biggest problem I have with the movie (and this coming from someone that has read it twice) would be the scares and conclusions of those moments were all the same. Kid comes in, gets scared and runs away.