Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It is great fun, with a retro feel and a real homage to the warm 80s coming-of-age movies like Stand by Me as well as nodding furiously to A Nightmare on Elm Street. Pennywise (a brilliant, BRILLIANT Bill Skarsgård) is more menacing than Freddy Krueger as he can pop up – as anything – at any time and kill you; you don’t need to be asleep.
The young Losers’ Club of Derry, a bunch of unpopular kids who come together to fight It/Pennywise who is preying on the young people of the town, are a likeable bunch and keep your interest throughout. Standout performances include Sophia Lillis as Beverly and Finn Wolfhard as Richie and you’ll see his likeness to Corey Feldman’s character Teddy in Stand By Me.
It’s hard to say if It is, well, scary. It sure is if you suffer from coulrophobia. There’s some nasty bits in it, especially the fate of poor Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) and Beverly has a hell of a sink blockage akin to Johnny Depp’s death scene in Elm Street. Pennywise is full of surprises and has a nasty set of gnashers but the movie comes across with a Goonies/Stand By Me feel that’s more about the protagonists, their comradery and humour rather than the boogeyman after them. Pennywise is kind of redundant in that sense.
As the highest grossing horror movie of all time, it’s accessible to a wide audience but for a horror pro you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Still, enjoy it for what it is; you’ll have a good time and it’s terrific popcorn and jumps fodder. Lay back and float.
GORE RATING: 2/5
Watch it for: Skarsgård should have been Oscar nominated!
Watch out for: Get some sink unblocker, girrrrlllll