As far as Stephen King adaptations go from page to screen, “IT” feels like a great homage to what he brings to each of those novels — well developed characters inside a horror situation. This film is only half of the complete story and by focusing on just the kid’s portion of the story, the film is able to take its time to develop its 7 main characters to feel real enough for the pay off for the second part. The child actors they got to portray the kids of Bill, Stan, Richie, Eddie, Ben, Beverly and Mike really became “The Losers Club” on screen over the course of the film. Though Mike isn’t with the gang as much as I would have liked he didn’t feel as forgotten as he could have been. They all did feel endearing as children that also felt like real people with the language they used between each other.
The villains of the film are a true stand out. The adults were all grotesque and evil in their own form. From the pharmacist, to Eddie’s mother, and Beverly’s father. Just as disgusting as Pennywise himself. Henry Bowers, the bully to The Losers, is completely sinister. From the actions he takes to his turn throughout the film to being pure evil is a real credit to the actor’s portrayal. I have to credit the well crafted writing that was put together with the sinister parts to also have the humor in it as well. The film is very well balanced between the two so you’re always invested in either side of the story.
Derry is not like any town I’ve been in before. People die or disappear, six times the national average. And that’s just grown ups. Kids are worse. Way, way worse.
When it comes to Pennywise it is hard to top the performance that Tim Curry brought to the 1990 miniseries. There are undoubtedly will be comparisons between the two actors. Bill Skarsgård is able to find his own creative voice of being Pennywise without destroying what was before. The look of Pennywise is of an older European clown versus’ Tim Curry’s more crazed sex offender look of a typical party clown. As far as his jumpscares and effects. I thought they were well done without being cheats or for the sake of having a jump scare. I never found the film scary, just creepy and disturbing with some of the sequences. The gore was never to a torture porn level or disgusting. It was tastefully done.
As far as negatives, I didn’t have that many. I did think that a couple of the characters needed to fleshed out a bit more, mainly Mike and Stan. There was some repetition in the scares to showcase each of the children individually to get all of their points of view. Even though there was creativity that didn’t make it feel the same. I would say there are a couple of times on the second viewing the film did lag but it was very brief in time. These are more nitpicks than harsh criticisms. Overall this is solid horror film that is inside a coming of age tale, which I think will be remembered amongst the new string of Warner Bros’ films in the return to Horror film staples. I definitely recommend everyone to see this at some point.