Movie remakes and adaptations, while common enough, are often at the center of fan concern. There seems to be more mistakes than successes when it comes to these, but It seems to be one that everyone will agree is much better than it’s predecessor and does justice to the Stephen King novel. The movie has some creepy imagery, solid effects, and great set design making it a solid horror film. However, the best element is the bond between the young cast and their performances.
It is a big screen experience you won’t want to miss
The Losers, a group of friends led by Billy (Jaeden Lieberher), begin investigating the disappearance of Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) and many other kids in the town of Derry. They discover a monster, calling himself Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) the dancing clown, is hunting children.
While the book features both the adult version of the Losers and the kids cutting back and forth, director Andy Muschietti and writers Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman opted to focus just on the kids for this film. The Losers cast includes Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff. Wolfhard plays Richie, the motormouth, and plays a very different character than he does on Stranger Things, but gives and outstanding performance. His character really gets to exploit the R-rating dropping f-bombs and dick jokes left and right. Lillis, as Beverly Marsh, is really the breakout performance though. She gets some of the best scenes and her charm shines through the screen. In many ways, she elicits the feeling of a young Amy Adams, not just because she’s told by a creepy guy that she looks like Lois Lane. The friendship between the group and the bonds that are formed really make this movie stand out as a great rites of passage film set in a horrifying world.
What an R-rating can do for a horror film…
The other part of the film that utilizes the R-rating is the horror elements. There are moments that fans of the Tim Curry led TV miniseries will remember and than likely gasp as they see how gruesome the scene could have been and now is. Avoiding spoilers here, but there is a scene in the trailer, like each of the various trailers released for promotion of this film, that ends very differently in the film than expected. It was so shocking of a change that the most packed house I’ve seen at my local multiplex since Rogue One all gasped in unison when it occurred.
This adaptation of It is a great follow up after the disappointing adaptation of the Dark Tower just one month ago. There is no doubt that this is a film that will be revisited over and over and possibly go down as a favorite horror film or favorite teenage coming of age story. The humanity and compassion the kids demonstrate in this film raise hopes of the future of film as these young actors mature and start taking the places of the current stars. It earns the Must See rating and we can smell your fear…and it tastes great!