One of the most-awaited movies of this year is finally out. When Stephen King’s name is attached to a movie, you have high expectations. While some movies have turned out to be masterpieces such as The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, or The Mist, there are few forgettable ones as well, such as The Lawnmower Man, Maximum Overdrive, and so on.
Then comes along IT – a coming of age movie that disguises itself as a horror flick. IT is about seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, who are about to face their worst nightmare. An ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children.
Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise. Can they fight something who knows all their biggest fears?
Don’t get me wrong. The plot is excellent, the cast did a very commendable job and the overall execution was fantastic. However, the element of horror isn’t really there – what might have worked in say, 1986, when the book was actually released, might not work today.
But then, the entire script screams Stephen King. It is the story-telling that makes the movie going and gets you glued to your seats. King’s novel did receive one lengthy adaptation as a TV miniseries in 1990 with Tim Curry in the iconic role of Pennywise the clown.
Bill Skarsgård, as Pennywise the clown, is also convincing. The way Muschietti has converted the novel into a movie, shows lots of dedication and hard work. There are scenes pulled straight from the novel, and there are also scenes that the screenwriters have invented that, while not in the novel, which actually feel just like King himself had written them.
Throughout the movie, there is a sense of dread. The scares are legitimate, fun, and not of the “jump-scare” variety. Thanks to a strong cast and very good story-telling, IT excels as one of the best movies of the year. Definitely a must watch!