It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…”It” and it just might be lurking in your sewer. Let me guess. You thought America was done with clowns after the infamous killer clown fad in 2016. Well, you were wrong. Stephen King’s lucrative mind has returned to the silver screen with “It,” Warner Bros. new rendition of the 1986 supernatural horror novel.
Fans of Stephen King are familiar with this spine-tingling novella about an evil clown that plagues the town of Derry, Maine. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries. But unlike its previous life, the 2017 film combines the horrifying plot line with a touch of nostalgia and even hints of humor.
The film follows “The Losers Club” – a group of kids who each have their own prerogative, however severe it might be. From an abusive father to an overbearing hypochondriac mother, the group includes a core of stellar performances by young actors, including “Stranger Things” actor Finn Wolfhard. As they piece together the missing person cases in their town, they soon find themselves enveloped in a mystery that encompasses the worst of their fears – and yes horror aficionados, that includes none other than Pennywise, the sewer-dwelling clown.
The greatest successes in this film come in its cinematography. The aerial shots give the film context while the horror scenes are precise as to build the suspense until the final minute. But even past the cinematic elements, the artistic vision of the film is both well-placed and well-executed. The ’80’s are in as of late, from shows such as “Stranger Things” to TV movies such as “Black Mirror’s San Junipero.” What “It” does masterfully is it takes the story and places it in a vibrant setting.
The audience went from screaming bloody murder to laughing until their sides split in seconds. This is due to the expert directing done by Andy Muschietti, director of 2013 thriller “Mama.” The pacing is ideal for the circumstances and gives the audience moments to unwind with the occasional humor, while also balancing it with terror and plenty of it.
As for the acting ensemble, standout performances include Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, whose devious smile and blood-curdling laugh could. With that said, the greatest strength came in the entire ensemble’s chemistry, which tied up all loose ends within the film and lightened up even the darkest moments.
Horror movies seldom delve deep into the human psyche and incorporate plot complexities like in “It.” But Stephen King’s latest book-to-film adaptation does just that. It might not be “The Shining,” but “It” is what modern audiences want in the horror genre. If you happen to see a red balloon tied to the sewer grate, you’ll know just where it came from.
Reporter Noah Moore can be reached at (270)745-2655 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @noah_moore18.