For such a popular novel as Stephen King’s “IT”, any director charged with creating a uniquely innovative, terrifying and creative adaptation of the 1,000+ page book has their work cut out for them. Nevertheless, Andrés Muschietti sophomore effort succeeds magnificently.
The classic tale of adolescents coming of age and friendships being made in unlikely places with quite a bit of horror thrown in. The film follows seven children who confront a dangerous, shape-shifting entity from outer space that terrorizes Derry, Maine.
Despite what it may seem, Muschietti’s “IT” is no Stranger Things rehash. The movie tones down the teenage bonding of its source novel in favor of jumpscares, nail-biting sequences of terror, and inexplicably this formula works, where it failed in so many other reboots of classic horror novels. The well-crafted film complete with childhood humor, terrifying haunted houses, and suspenseful moments was a hit and grossed 120 million dollars on opening weekend.
The film is set in the 1950’s and the 1980’s, beginning with the brutal murder of Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) in a storm drain. After Georgie’s mysterious death, his brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), and his group of misfit friends go looking for clues leading to the disappearances of the many kids in Derry and Georgie’s tragic demise.
Over the course of the movie, “IT” appears to all the children on separate occasions and begins to take the shape of each kid’s individual biggest fear. Eventually, all of the kids communicate with each other and admit that they are experiencing the same situation. Ben, connects the sightings of the clown to the bad history of the town, and soon the group sets out to defeat the monster known as “IT.”
The second adaptation of Kings 1,100 page novel was a thrilling and spine-chilling film. Andy Muschietti focused the entire movie on the childhood portion of King’s novel. In addition, it contained a collection of blood-curdling and petrifying images that will stay glued into the watcher’s mind.
“IT” was a terrifying movie and the film sent chills down my spine. Additionally, all of the actors in the film put on spectacular performances providing the audience with a film worth the wait. All of the teenagers that acted in the film did spectacularly in portraying the characters from the novel. For example, Jaeden Lieberher did fantastic in recreating the stutter that Bill had in the novel. The way that Jaeden spoke with the stutter made it sound like he was actually born with a stutter.
However, Bill Skarsgard put on the most memorable performance of all, trying to portray the evil, demonic, and scary Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Skarsgard’s voice and body movements added a whole other part to his performance making Pennywise even scarier than he already is.
Overall, the film was excellently directed, choreographed, and filmed. The long overdue adaptation that thousands of people were waiting for struck fear into the hearts of all that watched. With the fantastic film and the strong cliffhanger, director Muschietti has much ground left to cover in “IT Chapter 2.”