by Lauren Lewis
Thirty-one years have passed since the first publication of Stephen King’s bestseller IT and finally, the newest adaption of the book has arrived. IT is a chilling new adaptation of the book, with all the blood-curdling scares and psychological consternation that we have come to expect and relish from Stephen King.
On its opening weekend, the film made a whopping twenty-three million dollars. Director, Andrés Muschietti, held in high regard for his previous work in spooky feature film ‘Mama’; and, who is known for delivering visual tactics and a steady stream of well-timed jump scares, does not disappoint in his newest production. Pennywise, “the dancing clown”, returns every twenty-seven years to terrorise the inhabitants of a small town called Derry. The story follows the protagonist, Bill, as he faces the untimely loss of his younger brother Georgie, one of IT’s many casualties. He desperately seeks vengeance against the monster along with his comrades, mockingly dubbed, ‘The Loser’s Club’, by the local bullies.
The club is formed of a pubescent gang of boys and one girl, who are otherwise, ostracised by their peers. Mike, who is singled out for being the only coloured kid in town, Ben, an overweight bookworm, Eddie, a hapless hypochondriac, Beverley, a tomboy lacking in female friends, Stan, a self-doubting skeptic, and Ritchie, a boorish wiseacre. Notably, Ritchie is played convincingly by up and coming star Finn Wolfhard, recognizable from 2016’s hit ‘Stranger Things’. With a 1980s backdrop, IT will remind you of King’s cult film ‘Stand by Me’, but, with a sinister edge.
Bill Skarsgard gives a notably frightening performance as Pennywise, the killer clown – not entirely disparate from Heath Ledger’s Joker, with that unhinged, manic quality. It is sure to evoke coulrophobia within viewers everywhere, and I’m not clowning around.