Steven King’s infamous tale has come back to life and has returned to theaters
The clown that sparked generations of irrational fear has, after 27 years, found his way back onto the silver screen. Your favorite child-munching monster, Pennywise, has been reborn in the remake of “IT”. In this newest iteration, director Andy Muschietti aimed to update the terror that Stephen King had explored in his novel. In the era of “Stranger Things,” it is clear that audiences are loving the return to ‘80s culture and terror, and “IT” delivered.
Taking many viewers back to the familiar streets of Derry, watching a young Georgie chase after the S.S. Georgie in his yellow rain jacket. However, when he nears the fateful storm drain, it’s not the amusing face of Tim Curry staring at the audience, it is a much more terrifying and unnerving Bill Skarsgard. The theater then receives their first shock, as good ole Pennywise grows three rows of razor sharp teeth, and rips Georgie’s arm off. The ability of CGI to create intense scenes that were never shown in the miniseries was a large contribution to the scare factor.
From there we follow a group of kids through Derry, lovingly referred to as the Losers Club, as they try to figure out what happened to Georgie and the other kids that have gone missing. While the movie does a great job at ramping up the horror and gore, it also creates better characterization, as we get to see more scenes of each kid alone with their own fears. However, this great development would not have been possible without the strength of the child cast.
Bill Denbrough leads the group, portrayed by Jaeden Lieberher, as the stuttering older brother of Georgie. The overweight and bullied Ben Hanscom is portrayed by Jeremy Ray Taylor, in his first major role. Finn Wolfhard, who earned his fame on the set of “Stranger Things” plays the smarta** jokester Richie Tozier. Stanley Uris, the unbeliever in all things paranormal, is portrayed by Wyatt Oleff, whom you might recognize from his role as Young Quill in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Chosen Jacobs played the role of Mike Hanlon, the orphan who knows the grisly history of Derry, while Jack Grazer acted as the intense hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak. To round out the guys of the group is Sophia Lillis as Bev Marsh, the sole female of the movie.
As the cast follows leads and clues through Derry, they each deal with their individual demons, which It capitalizes on. While the film does rely on a few jump scares to keep up tension, they are not the sole source of fear. The CGI and effects do a great job at creating some haunting images that will stick in the heads of some viewers, but the true fear comes from the relatableness to the Losers. Many of them are afraid of things that most people would be afraid of. The beauty and terror of “IT” is that viewers will see their own fears come to life on the silver screen, with a killer clown waiting in the background at any moment.
For a horror movie, “IT” has blasted through records and critics, earning over $255 million as of Sept. 15, and an approval rating of 85 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. The movie broke earnings records that had been previously held by “Logan” (2017), “Paranormal Activity 3” (2011). “Sully” (2016) and even “Deadpool” (2017). While some critics have brought up that character development in Pennywise the Dancing Clown was missing, or that the story felt incomplete, it is important to remember that this is a two part movie, and we have only seen the beginning.