I have seen It twice in theaters. I saw the film once about a week after the film initially came out, and once about two weeks ago. Even after seeing the film twice, I am still want to see It a third time. Granted, making time to see any film for a third time in theaters is harder than I care to admit, but I have to say it would be worth my time and money.
The film opens on dear little Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott) and his brother Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher). The two share a brotherly bond that audiences just know will stand the test of time. Soon audiences who have not read the book or watched the mini-series from 1990 learn that is not the case from the moment that Georgie meets Pennywise the dancing clown (Bill Skarsgård).
At first, audiences think only a naive child would believe that a circus has been washed away, much like his boat, and is awaiting him. Yet, there is a part of me that does not believe that Georgie is all that naive. He knows just enough to know that he does not need to stay, yet ultimately falls into a tap that most children would at his age. He wants to believe the good in people. After all, why would something dwelling in the sewer want to hurt him? Adults have this answer, but unfortunately for Georgie does not and there are no ninja turtles lurking in these sewers to save him.
Not long after the disappearance of Georgie, other children go missing. Posters go up in the town and Bill is determined to enlist his friends Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard), Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer), and Stanley Uris (Wyatt Oleff) to help him find his little brother. And while audiences can sense they do not think Georgie is still alive, they go on this journey with Bill anyway. That is what good friendships are made of.
As we are introduced to each of the kids, we are also introduced to a group of bullies that do not just pick on what new audiences will assume will be our core group of kids. In fact, we learn that others have just as many issues with Henry Bower (Nicholas Hamilton) and his gang as Bill and his friends. Those kids include Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis), Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor), and Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs).
There are only so many times these “losers” can be pushed around before they finally band together in order to protect each another. However, they soon realize that Henry Bower might be the least of their worries. The Losers Club, the name the group of kids gives themselves, discovers that their small town of Derry, Maine is not as normal as it might appear to outsiders.
In fact, they learn of Pennywise from each other that Pennywise the clown are all their biggest fears combined into one. With no one else attempting to stop this shapeshifter from luring more children to his liar, Bill and his friends either have to take a stand or let these horrors continue to take place to other children in town, and potentially themselves.
As a result of the plot, and the phenomenal acting via each child actor within the feature, audiences are in for a true treat when viewing It. Not only is the film well-acted, the film is well-directed. Honestly, there is not anything I have truly negative to say about this feature! A good friend of mine said the film was everything a Stephen King fan could want and more and I cannot say I disagree. Though I will admit that is why hearing there are so many people complaining about how funny they have made the film and it is more of a coming of age story baffles me.
Granted, I have not read the book for this particular adaptation, but just from what I have had the chance to read of Stephen King, he tends to add a lot of humor into his work. So to complain about that means you have not read a lot of his material. There is always a good blend of humor with the truly horrific.
With that said I loved the kids in the film. The banter and chemistry between them is nothing short of amazing. They truly make you believe that they have been friends their whole lives. And when introducing new members to their so-called club, they immediately feel like family too in a way. I think in many ways all of our coming of age stories include this makeshift family we create in our preteen years that is meant to transcend time. The Losers Club is no different. I also truly believe that each and every child actor within the film has long careers in front of them.
Furthermore, I loved Pennywise. Bill Skarsgård did an incredible job stepping into the shoes of Tim Curry. And I say that because no matter how campy the original miniseries is in hindsight now we have to respect what Curry did for that role back then as much as we respect what Skarsgård has done for the role now. From the moment in the sewer to the various other snippets we are exposed to Pennywise viewers are creeped out. We want him to go away. Plus, I have always believed that small doses are needed of horror villains to make them even more powerful in the end.
Therefore the scares riddled throughout the film are not merely jump scares, but images that stick with audiences long after they leave the theater. The images crafted are meant to haunt us as much as they do the children in the feature. They are meant to become so ingrained in their psyches that Pennywise is always a part of them even in the future when they are all grown up.
The way It played out the first chapter was absolutely fantastic and has me looking forward to seeing what will be done with chapter two. I’m on pins and needles to see who is cast as the adult versions of these characters. And after reading that Finn Wolfhard wants to have Bill Hader play him someone needs to make that happen for us all.
Overall, It is the best horror film I’ve seen since The Conjuring. I’ve never personally read the book, but my desire is there far more now than before. It also made me watch the 1990 mini-series once more as well. By being able to accomplish both and making me want to remember the glory of the originals says a lot about this adaptation. If you’re a true horror film I say it’s worth going to theaters to see this. Plus, the reactions others have and the things yelled out made the experience so much better.