Friday Flicks: It

Stephen King is no stranger to Hollywood adaptations of his works. Over the course of his career, many of his novels and short stories have been turned into big screen films. This year alone has seen the adaptation of The Mist and Mr. Mercedes on TV and film versions of The Dark Tower and Gerry's Game. With today's release of a new take on Stephen King's iconic story It, one thing has become certain. It sure is a great time to be a Stephen King fan.

Perhaps no other Stephen King novel has managed to remain a part of the cultural zeitgeist like It. The terrifying tale of a killer clown who shifts into versions of your own personal fears has stood the test of time. While Tim Curry put forth an acclaimed performance as Pennywise the clown in the 1990 miniseries adaptation of the novel, the rest of that version failed to capture the true spirit of King's creation. With the release of this new adaptation of It, director Andy Muschietti attempts to finally do justice to King's landmark book.

The film focuses on the childhood portions of the novel, opting to leave the present day adult section for a forthcoming sequel. On a rainy day, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) makes a paper boat for his brother Georgie to sail down the streets. Sick in bed, Bill sends his brother outside. When Georgie's boat drifts into a storm drain, he is surprised to see the shadowed figure of Pennywise the Dancing Clown lurking beneath the drain. The clown lures the boy closer until Georgie is unable to escape, and an ancient ritual that resurfaces every 27 years begins again.

A year later, Billy and his family are still reeling from the disappearance of Georgie. Georgie isn't the only child who has gone missing. In fact, a full on epidemic seems to be coming down on the normally quiet town of Derry, Maine. Children are disappearing left and right. As school lets out for the summer, Billy and his friends, a group of nerds and outcasts who call themselves The Loser's Club, set out to find any sign of the missing kids. As their investigation mounts, each child begins to be haunted by Pennywise. He tailors his appearance to fit the particular fear of each kid. Faced with the realities of the thing that is haunting them, they must stand up to their fears for the sake of their own lives and the well-being of the entire town.

It brilliantly captures the nostalgia of the past while reinvigorating Stephen King's story for modern audiences. With a running time of over two hours and an R rating, Muschietti's film has the freedom to present the aspects that made the novel so engrossing. There is ample time for each character to develop, and the horror aspects are realized in all their gory detail. Bill Skarsgard breathes new life into Pennywise the Clown, crafting a character that sends chills down your spine every time he's on the screen. Dawned in an Elizabethan costume and aided by some subtle computer effects, Pennywise becomes the thing of nightmares and the driving suspense for the entire film.

Stephen King's novels are known for their shocking horror, but the horror is always used in the aide of developing his characters. As such, it is the development of the children in the movie that truly makes It worth the price of admission. Each child gives a performance with a depth of emotion that is mature and nuanced. Whether they are dealing with grief, a bully, or abuse at home, each character has a particular obstacle that they need to overcome. You can't help but root for this group of misfits as they battle their personal demons and join together to conquer a being of pure evil. It completely lives up to the hype and surpassed my highest expectations. I can't wait for the filmmakers to have their hands at the second part to this story.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 8, 2017 and is filed under ,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

6 Responses to “Friday Flicks: It”

  1. Didn't realize a new movie was coming out! I saw it when I was a teen and it was SCARY.

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    1. I you thought the original was scary, wait until you see this one!

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  2. Squee. I didn't go see Dark Tower because of disappointing early reviews but I am excited to see this and glad there will be two movies.

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    1. I actually enjoyed Dark Tower for what it was, but this one is waaaaaay better.

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  3. Everyone has been watching and talking about this one so much! I know how much you enjoy King's novels, so glad the movie was all you hoped it to be!

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