Photo Credit: Unsplash.com/lesia-kazantceva
By Marc Torres
In Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel IT, which centers around a clown named Pennywise who rises every 27 years in Derry, Maine to feast on kids. In 1990 it was made into a mini-series starring Tim Curry as the killer clown. Fast forward to 2017 and the novel has been readapted once again, but this time for the big screen.
There are many similarities and differences between both adaptations, but the new film does a great job in capturing Pennywise’s demonic presence, played by Bill Skarsgard. Unlike Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise, Skarsgard brings a darkness to the character that we don’t get in the 1990 adaptation. In the first fifteen minutes of the movie, moviegoers actually see half of an arm bitten off, blood pouring from the lost limb, and a child viciously dragged into the sewers to serve as a meal. It is this scene that sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
The TV version of It was very comedic and goofy, but there were small moments in the miniseries where you actually felt scared for yourself; scared that maybe a clown could fit through your shower drain, pop up, and kill you (we all know how many clowns can fit into one car). However, the movie version scares you in a different way.
It makes you think about your biggest fear, and what your biggest fear could potentially do to you if it were alive and real. It’s no secret that Pennywise is a shapeshifter, and while the TV version tries to tackle this in different ways, it ultimately fails. However, because it is 2017 and computer technology allows for better visual effects the shape shifting scene is more graphic and we get a movie that is actually scarier than its predecessor.
Is the movie itself actually scary? No. Although there are many jump scares in the first half, and some creepy scenes sprinkled here and there throughout the movie, the verdict is that it’s just not a scary movie, but it does the job of a scary movie.
The scary music is there, the creepy shots of Pennywise are there, and the kids in the movie cry from being terrorized by the clown, but the problem is that it is never actually scary, but the movie does this on purpose.
It isn’t supposed to be a scary movie. It’s a coming of age film, and one that focuses on a group of outcast kids growing up in the 80’s, though the miniseries took place in the 60’s, trying to solve a mystery in their town. They call themselves “The Losers Club.” The main focus is on these kids, and all of the young actors and actresses do a great job of making you care for their characters.
They are scared in the beginning of the movie, but quickly realize that fear is what gives Pennywise power. So, towards the end they face all of their fears head on together and kill him off, or at least that’s what they think.
It was overall a great movie because of how the story of the outcast was told, and it will definitely have a sequel, and that sequel will focus on the kids as adults. They will have to face Pennywise the demonic flesh-eating clown again. As to when that will happen, who knows, but I do know that people will be lined up and ready to enjoy the next film, as they did this one.
According to officials at New Line and Warner Bros. which distributed the film, It brought in more than $117 million for the weekend of Sept. 8-10, the highest earning for an opening weekend in September. This despite the fact that several major U.S. cities were still reeling from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.