Stephen King’s novel IT either instantly made you a fan of his or completely made you afraid of clowns as a child. When the two-part IT miniseries aired back in 1990, it either upset fans of the novel or made kids watching it think it was a comedy. With this adaption of IT, you knew from out of the gate that this would set a different tone & what shake up the familiar setting most fans were attached to in the novel & miniseries.
Following the disappearance of seven-year-old Georgie Denbrough in Derry, Maine, his older brother and his group of friends discover that the culprit is a shape-shifting entity who may be linked to the recent cases of missing children in the town. The group of friends plan a quest to battle the entity, along with facing their own personal demons in the process.
Unlike the novel & miniseries, the film takes place throughout 1988-1989, which didn’t bother me much. In fact, the only thing that bugged me about putting it in the 1980’s was that you sometimes forgot about it. Besides focusing on Ben being a fan of an 80’s boy band, an 80’s music montage scene & Lethal Weapon 2 & Nightmare on Elm Street being promoted on the outside of the movie theater, you would think this was a modern-day take on the novel. I also feel as though there were so many missed opportunities to be satisfy longtime fans of the novel. Certain things attributes that one character had that made their character more enjoyable & fleshed out we’re given to another character & seemed quite off, especially if you’ve read the novel or saw the miniseries.
The film also lacked character development. When it came to Henry, Belch, Patrick, Stan or Victor, we hardly knew anything about them. By the time we got to the last 20 mins of the film, Henry was solo & Belch & Victor disappeared from the story. They made The Losers’ Club struggle with Henry very passive & only focused on it towards the end, which was then brushed instantly aside via a scuffle between Mike & him. Background on characters from the Losers’ Club was glossed over, but if anyone in the crew took the spotlight, it was Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie) & Finn Wolfhard (Richie).
Wolfhard will have you crying from laughing so hard, with his humorous comebacks, while Grazer’s quirkiness will bring a smile to your face. As for Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Nicholas Hamilton, & Jackson Robert Scott, they did a good job, as far as acting goes. Again, due to the rushing of the story, I didn’t really connect with anyone in The Losers’ Club outside of Eddie & Richie, which is a surprise since Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) is the center chracter of the story.
Bill Skarsgård was fantastic as Pennywise! His take on Pennywise was more ominous than comedic & it worked extremely well. Now there were times where he injected comedy into Pennywise, but it was ultimately blended in well with his terrifying presence. His take on Pennywise will definitely be well-accepted by longtime fans & newcomers.
Very much like every horror film hitting the big screen these days, the film did rely heavily on jump scares. I also felt that the warped, camera-shaking moments that went on every time Pennywise jumped out of a box or chased a character were annoying & did seem out of place. AndrésMuschietti’s vision for this adaption of Stephen King’s IT wasn’t perfect but did land on solid ground when it comes to painting an accurate picture of the novel.
- Bill Skarsgård is fantastic as Pennywise
- Jack Dylan Grazer & Finn Wolfhard stole the movie with their back & forth humor
- A solid balance of horror & humor
- Rushed story
- Lack of character development
- Unnecessary changes to Mike's character