It Review

Christopher Galiano, Staff Writer


Any film that stars homicidal clowns is always terrifying.  It is filled with disturbing  and often horrifying scenes and leaves fans wanting more. The quintessential elements of horror that are often present in Stephen King thrillers leave his fans begging for a sequel.  However, there are still numerous unanswered questions in the plot that the movie does not address, such as what “It” is and where did “It” come from? While It does have some inherent storyline problems, the movie is an incredible psychological thriller, which appeals to not just fans of the horror genre, but all types of cinegoers  in general.

The Stephen King story is brought to life by the talented cast of mostly child actors. These kids find a great realism in their performance and keep the movie from seeming campy and humorous. Director Andrés Muschietti creates a “Scooby Doo” based gang including Jaeden Lieberher as the main character, Bill, Sophia Lillis as the main female protagonist, Beverly, and Jack Dylan Grazer as the asthmatic, shielded child, Eddie. These kids are faced with the terrifying task of solving the mystery of what It is doing and how to stop It. Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things actor, adds the perfect balance to the cast by providing much needed doses of comic relief throughout the entire movie. Finally, Bill Skarsgard portrays It superbly, personifying his character very similarly to the DC Comics character of the Joker. Bill does not clown up the role, but shows brilliant bursts of insanity mixed with hostility that make the performance believable.

The plot is filled with interesting twists, character development, and anticipation. Each of the protagonists has their own reason for wanting to find and kill It, which adds to depth to the personalities of each character. Andrés Muschietti was able to delve into characters’ motivation and personalities with the same depth as a he would if it had been made into a television series, but he somehow does it in two hours and fifteen minutes. Andres created believable characters filled with emotion which evokes sympathy with the viewers. One way he accomplished this task is by keeping the plot in one time frame (1988-89), allowing the characters to develop and be more immersed in the plot.  The original Stephen King story, as well as the first screened movie of the novel, have storylines that jump back and forth through time, which can be confusing when translated to the screen. Muschietti’s version keeps the plot clear and easy to follow, giving the viewers to bond with the characters and follow them throughout the horrifying story.

The ‘Losers Club’ on the hunt for Pennywise

The plot of It can lag in parts and seem a bit far fetched in others. Muschietti, however, invents a storyline that is terrifying to the viewers, while brilliantly weaving in humor.   It, like all Stephen King thrillers, startles the audience at unpredictable moments, leaving them electrified and feeling vulnerable.  It has been compared to Jaws, not only because of its unexpected moments of terror, but also because this movie will cause a widespread phobia of clowns like Jaws did for sharks. Filled with blood, gore, and adult language, It deserves its R rating. As with many movies that are created from books, many viewers voiced a preference for the Stephen King novel.  As Time Magazine author, Stephanie Zacharek wrote, “And that’s the chief problem with adapting any Stephen King novel: Nothing ever looks as scary on-screen as it does in our minds, when we’re sitting alone with a book. With It, seeing isn’t the same as believing.”  

A sequel has been confirmed for It which will be focused on showcasing the Chosen Jacobs’ character, Mike Hanlon, who twenty-seven years later will be forced to reassemble the gang  to stop It once again. The sequel is set to release September 6, 2019. The big question that remains, is will Stephen King write the sequel as well?

Final Verdict – 7.5/10