If you read a lot of my reviews, I’m sure you all know my feelings towards sequels and reboots. I’m not completely against them, I am always for a reboot or remake of a film or series if it’s in need of refreshing. One example I have felt that was in need of one was coincidentally IT from 1990. The TV Mini-Series adapted from Stephen King’s novel was a popular hit and has always been a series to remember until this day, mainly due to Tim Curry’s brilliant performance as Pennywise. But overall it doesn’t really scare people anymore, whereas I feel redoing would bring back that scare factor.
Unlike the people behind the last Stephen King adaption of The Dark Tower, the producers and production companies have decided to invest a lot of money and time in recreating the horrors of IT. And of course, bringing back Pennywise the Clown and making him stronger than ever. If you’re unaware of the story, it’s set around the town of Derry and follows a group of kids that are terrorised by an unknown entity. Taking form of different beings and playing on their individual fears. Its main form is of the clown by the name of Pennywise. Its aim is to scare you to submission and take you into the sewers and kill you. Not a very nice clown is it? The new version of IT is a lot more grotesque and brutal than the TV mini-series and a lot more effective.
An interesting choice for Pennywise in Bill Skarsgard, in the acting world, a relatively unknown who hasn’t yet made his mark on the screen. If anyone has any doubts in his ability, then you need to see his performance as Pennywise in IT. Differentiating his performance as the killer clown that’s been so well known by Tim Curry, Skarsgard brings a whole new essence to the role and effectively brings it back to life. A horrifying and jaw dropping enactment that leaves you weak at the knees. Almost ready to bow to his superiority, it’s a performance you won’t be forgetting for a long time. All the kids in their roles do a tremendous job, especially for a film like this. Relentless in its fear they all pack a punch and work really well in an ensemble. The shining light of the group for me was Sophie Lills who portrays Beverly Marsh. The upcoming star shines as the troubled female of the group. Showing fantastic levels of emotion in multiple scenes shows the true potential of a brilliant actress. The scenes with her troublesome father are one to be noted.
The star behind the camera is director Andy Muschetti. Only having directed the smash hit Mama, he has taken the reigns of a huge task that is at hand. Bringing back IT to the big screen and in such a way is a huge achievement. Differing the style in a completely different way to the original, Muschetti recreates one of Stephen King’s books and injects a new lease of life into it. Throwing our backs against the wall, the only option we have in this film is to look forward. There is no turning back for the audience and we are forced to confront the madness and torture of IT. For me, that is cinema at its best. Horror works so well when you have nowhere to hide and Pennywise has you all to himself!
I applaud the choice to cut the film into two parts as its evident that the demand is there to have more than one film and there’s enough material to make two feature length movies. I’m dying to see more of Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise but equally more excited to see what big names will be attached to play the adults in the next chapter. I can’t put my finger on anything negative about the film, maybe as I’ve only watched the TV mini-series recently, I knew what was going to happen but that didn’t take anything away. It’s by far and away one of the best horror remakes out there and in my top two horror films of 2017. 4 out of 5 stars.