It is going to be a huge hit.
On the surface, this is true because it delivers on the promise of those killer trailers that have been lighting the internet on fire for months now. You will see plenty of our dancing pal, Pennywise. You will not be disappointed. But deeper than that, the film touches on fundamental themes that most will relate. It will make you laugh and you will be afraid. It’s what It does. Brings the fear.
But it isn’t the clown that makes It a solid film worthy of anyone’s attention. It’s those kids. The Loser’s Club, a group of picked-on children that fight back against the ancient evil living beneath the dreary town of Derry, Maine. They bring the real fireworks here as director Andy Muschietti captures the bond between them. While It is full of dread and horror that parallels the best of any Stephen King adaptation, the film is also a time capsule much like Stand By Me. While the monster slides from the dark to take its prey, you care for the kids. That what makes this film transcend.
Bill Skarsgård devours the role of Pennywise. There is plenty to compare vocally with Tim Curry’s classic performance from the 1990 TV Movie based on the same novel. The essence of the performances is comparable. But Skarsgård pushes the crazy components, the chaos of the evil living in Pennywise.
Of the kids, the stand out performances come from Sophia Lillis as Beverly and Finn Wolfhard as Richie. Lillis is the backbone of the film and leads the cast. Making her the focus does dim some of the other kids around her and they all don’t get the full treatment. Not all of the kids are fleshed out but there are seven of them so this problem is almost unavoidable. Wolfhard is also part of the Stranger Things cast and is making a name for himself starring in coming of age horror set in the 80s. It’s a small niche, but he has it whopped.
This is the first in a set of two films and thank the horror demigods the filmmakers where smart enough to cleanly section the original off into the different parts. All is set up for the final show down 27 years after this one. The main problem is I WANT THE MOVIE NOW!!!!!!!