Last seen 27 years ago as a two-part miniseries in 1990 , “It” has now returned as a feature film by the Argentine director Andy Muschietti.
With a fresh blend of a big-screen visual and modern effects, “It” became the highest-grossing opening weekend horror movie ever, earning a jaw-dropping $123.4 million in its first Friday-Sunday run.
Creepiness comes fast and hard from the very beginning of the movie: Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård) pops up in a dark sewer entrance to lure young Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott). The child’s death leads the clown to haunt Georgie’s brother Bill and his group of misfit middle school friends, also known as “the Losers” (played by Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, and Jack Dylan Grazer).
With fear being the original monster, the shapeshifting It appears as the embodiments of the children’s darkest fears: an eruption of blood from a bathroom sink, a live painting, a club-footed leper, and an image of a younger Georgie blaming his brother for not saving him. For most of the film, It manifests as a savage clown.
“It” is much different than what people are going to expect. The film is successful in being more than a horror film, finding its strength as a coming-of-age tale. The main success of the movie stems from the cast of the teen actors of the Loser’s club.
Pennywise’s creepy smile may make him the center of horror in the trailers, but it is the human factor in “It” that ends up leaving a permanent scar.
The young performers manage the tricky feat of carrying a film with no adult lead. Their fantastic delivery keeps the movie uplifting and glues audiences’ eyes to the screen. Although each individual of the Loser’s club has a different background, they share the same sense of humor and curiosity which serves to unite them. Moreover, their acting comes off so natural that the audience discovers a whole new side of a teenager’s character: a lot of swearing and dirty jokes, yet full of bravery.
For a group of clueless young teenagers, perhaps the ignorance of the parents and other adults around them shapes their deepest fear. If the citizens of the small town of Maine were to show more affection for the younger generations, the kids would not have been in so much danger, having to face the clown alone while experiencing bloody and horrifying scenes that no one should ever have to face.
In the end, “It” succeeds in its goal: attracting audiences by delivering more than just cheap scary scenes. “It” is also a movie full of heart and determination with a cast that is impossible to not like.