Pennywise the clown returns to terrorise a whole new generation, in this frightening remake of Stephen King’s classic novel and mini-series.
‘They all float down here.’
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If you are familiar with the mini-series that originally brought IT to the screen, no doubt these words will still chill you—such was Tim Curry’s exceptional performance. Stepping into these sizeable clown shoes is Bill Skarsgård; and he, along with a quality young cast, will once again tell the story of a string of missing children in the quiet town of Derry.
It’s 1988 when little Georgie goes missing. He was playing with a paper boat his older brother Bill had made him. He disappears without a trace, and he isn’t alone. In the weeks that follow, a growing number of children continue to disappear.
Bullied by the older boys at school, a group of friends who call themselves ‘the losers’ decide to investigate the disappearances. Bill is one of them, and he is especially determined to find out where his little brother could be.
The losers are haunted by some pretty terrifying hallucinations, leading them to believe that whatever is behind the missing children may not be human at all. Presented as an evil clown, discovering the evil’s true source will require understanding the town’s history, and a horrific series of events that seem to happen every 27 years.
What’s masterful about IT, is that while you are focussed on the horror of the creature that is taking children, the real horror of bullying, a father’s abuse of his daughter, and a parent who over-medicates her child, occur with the same intensity.
In many ways IT isn’t about a monster as such, but the monstrous ways children are treated when they are most vulnerable.
While Curry’s performance remains as the most frightful I’ve experienced, this re-make will no doubt chill many to the bone. The benefits of special effects allow for the horror to be captured in full force, but sometimes what you don’t see can be even more frightening than what you do. Like so many modern horror films, everything is shown, and I’m not sure the grotesqueness—as unpleasant as it is—ever disturbs the psyche as much as the implied.
One area where the film has surpassed its predecessor is in the casting of its younger stars. The quality performances by these up and comers make the frightfully unimaginable, believable.
Sufferers of coulrophobia may want to give this one a miss, but if you’re a fan of Stephen King, or simply want to see if Pennywise is as chilling now as he was nearly three decades ago, then it’s worth checking out.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Stars: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard
Runtime: 2 hours 15 mins
Release Date: Sept 7
Rating: MA 15+
Reviewer Rating: 3.5/5