Disclaimer: I am afraid of everything and everything is scary.
With that established, I could not be more excited to talk about my favorite fright of the year, Stephen King’s IT. The tale of a group of kids who fight back against the shapeshifting, evil entity that wreaks havoc in their hometown of Derry, Maine.
This psychological remake of the classic horror novel finally hit the big screen last weekend with high expectations from fans and naysayers alike. The ABC original miniseries that aired in the early nineties is claimed by many to be thing that inspired a fear of clowns in so many of us as kids, but I’ve only recently watched it and didn’t find it to be very… good. This remake is different.
This is a film about a group of kids coming together to realize that the monster under the bed is real. The sounds in the attic belong to a beast. The bump in the night is more than just a creaky floor.
In the fictional town of Derry, all of those fears make a physical appearance as IT, a shape shifter that takes the form of what you fear the most. During the majority of this movie, IT takes the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, played eerily by Bill Skarsgard, and he is pure, silly terror. His work as the villain of this piece cannot be overlooked. As Pennywise, Skarsgard inspired a quiet fear in me and based on the numerous muffled screams in the audience, he scared others too.
Despite the overwhelming theme of late 1980s horror, this movie is actually very funny. The majority of the child actors give their share of hilarity as the story progresses and the comedic moments actually flow nicely within the confines of the story. I never felt like the movie was reaching for a joke or trying to break tension with a awkward “funny” moment. The comedy fits together perfectly within the scary parts of the movie.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the incredible acting performances in this movie. Jaeden Leiberher delivers a stellar lead performance as the brave Bill Denbrough, a boy trying to find closure after the death of his little brother by IT’s hands. Stranger Things veteran Finn Wolfhard also shines as Richie Tozier, the loudmouth best friend who’s fear is… you guessed it: clowns. These two along with the rest of the hilarious Losers Club make you feel like you really know someone like them. With all the different personalities, it’s hard not to find at least one of the kids that you can see a bit of yourself in.
This movie scared me… not sure if I’ve said that quite enough, but I can’t wait to see it again. It’s a fresh take on a horror flick that fuses scary scenes with comedy in a fresh new way. It has jump scares, but it’s more than that. If you decide to go experience the fear for yourself this weekend, just remember one thing: We all float down here.
(I own no photos)