by Isy Jordan

Director: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, and more...

A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

Having been a fan of Stephen King since my teenage years, I was very excited when in 1990, there was a TV mini-series made of my favorite title It. That didn't last long. While Tim Curry as Pennywise was sensational as the antagonist, the mini-series itself was often more comedic than scary. It fell flat for me.

Twenty-seven years later, and fans of the book you know that's either a pretty neat coincidence or a master plan, I learned of an It remake with a cast I'd mostly not heard of. I didn't want to get my hopes up but the more I saw of the trailers and promotions, yeah, the more excited I became. Fingers crossed, clutching that bucket of soda, I was there for the late night advanced showing, hoping for the best. Stephen King himself endorsed the film. But he would say that right?

The verdict? It was the It we fans had been waiting for.

I'm rarely so excited about a horror movie. Yet, from the opening sequence with Bill's ill-fated brother Georgie until the closing credits of one wild, rollercoaster of a film, I was riveted to the screen as was a very full theatre of eager fans. The only big change from the book was moving the setting forward from 1958, the original setting of the book, to the early 1980's and it took away nothing from my enjoyment. If nothing, it added to my experience as I was the same age as the young protagonists in the early 1980's and the pop culture of the time was all spot on.

The story was a study in loyalty to the book and if anything, the film makers created a Pennywise that was just as terrifying, if not more so, than the original character. I had my doubts when young Bill Skarsgård was cast for the role. He comes from a very talented family of Swedish actors but he's very young. He made for a brilliant, unforgettable Pennywise the clown and since instead of a television mini-series we are getting a film franchise, I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him in this role. He was mesmerizing and never blinked. His mannerisms, his voice, the special effects movements made for a film villain that had viewers cringing in their seats.

The young actors who played the "Losers Club" were nothing short of amazing. They turned in solid performances as a group of outcast kids in their high school who have found friends in each other and worked together to fight the great evil festering beneath the simple town of Derry. I'm very excited to see who will be cast to play the characters as older adults, returning to combat Pennywise as they vowed to.

The film runs for 135 minutes and is rated R for violence, gore, bloody images, and language. Not a film for kids, not a film for the faint of heart. While certain visual effects were used for the film, it's interesting to note that Bill Skarsgård worked closely with a contortionist and was actually able to move his eyes in different directions to lend a very disturbing effect to his character on screen.


Did you know?

From IMDB: 27 is a number that often becomes associated with this story. This film was released 27 years after the original 1990 television mini-series. In the book, it is mentioned that "It" returns to Derry approximately every 27 years. Jonathan Brandis, who played young Bill in the original film, died at 27 years old. This movie was released one month after Bill SkarsgÄrd (Pennywise) 27th birthday. The official US release date is 9/8/2017. 9+8+2+0+1+7 = 27.

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