Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, and Finn Wolfhard
Run time: 2hrs 15mins.
At night while lying in your bed, do you ever hear a creaking noise or bump? Do you ever wonder what “It” is? Maybe, to ease your mind, you chalk it up to the house settling. But there are times that you have thought, that maybe, just maybe it is not the house settling. The possibility enters into your mind that someone or something could be walking around. But you realize that you are the only one in the house. You are too afraid to get out your bed to see what IT is. You hope that you do not hear IT again and you pray that IT is not getting closer. So, what could IT be? IT can be defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. So, when I went to view the movie, It based on Stephen King’s 1986 best-selling novel, I admit that I was a bit apprehensive. I really did not know what to expect. Would it be a failed attempt to meet the hype of the anticipation as so many horror movies have done in the past? Or would it be a “thought-provoking” adaptation of the novel that made readers scared to go to sleep at night? The verdict — scary, maybe not, but definitely eerie and worth the 31 years of waiting.
It is based on a group of seven friends who notice that the local kids in their town are mysteriously missing. After one of the friend’s brother goes missing, he discovers that in the Town of Derry, the unordinary disappearance of children is quite ordinary. The group’s unique backgrounds unite them as the self-proclaim “losers”. And maybe they are the answer to the discovery of what is really going on in their particularly odd town.
While viewing this movie, I did not expect it to have a feeling of togetherness or a triumph over fear to accomplish a common goal. I began to question whether I was watching the 2017 version of Stand by Me.
But the way director Andy Muschietti, who also directed the horror film Mama in 2013, tells the story through the eyes of seven “foul mouth”, mischievous adolescents is masterful. You find yourself laughing one minute and the next, tightly gripping the armrest of your seat as you get a very uneasy feeling of what is about to come. Muschietti has the viewer putting the backgrounds of the kids’ past together like a puzzle; deciphering what from their past or present haunts them that makes the bond they have together so strong.
Billy Skarsgard performance as Pennywise, the demented clown is exceptional. The sewer scene at the beginning of the movie sets the tone of his character. Pennywise exploits the fears and phobias of its victims disguising itself as a clown while hunting its prey. He appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey, young children. One moment, Skarsgard can be a sentimental clown, the one every kid loves the circus, caring and fun loving. The director captures this by shedding light on his eyes that seem so innocent and seemingly friendly. Then the next moment, he is drooling talking to the kids like that of a wild animal salivating from its mouth anticipating his next meal. His performance alone is worth the two hours and fifteen minutes.
So, grab some popcorn and soda along with your favorite movie sweet. If you cannot bare this adventure alone, take a friend or a group of your closest friends. When you finish watching the movie and walk out trying to take in what you have just witnessed, maybe you will come to a similar realization. I realized that it was not what I thought it was going to be. But it was much more than I had hoped for. For those who have watched the miniseries back in the 1990’s, although pretty good for network television,
I am glad to say that this adaptation of Stephen King’s novel definitely has the “It” factor (pun intended).