‘IT’ delivers the terror in new adaptation

Jonathan Espinoza, Co-Editor

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Plain and simple, I liked ‘IT’. In a year filled some fantastic movies in the horror genre, (The Devil’s Candy and A Dark Song are two gems worth checking out) Andy Muschietti’s big-screen adaptation of “IT” sets itself apart. On the surface, Muschietti presents us with a legitimate horror movie almost from the very first frame. We see Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) joyfully splash in the rain as he chases a paper boat made for him by his older brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher). The boat, dubbed the S.S. Georgie, falls prey to the sewer and in an attempt to retrieve the boat, young Georgie comes face-to- face with Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard), and true to the movie’s R rating, Georgie is soon screaming in agony having had his arm removed from his body by dozens of sharp and angry looking teeth.

And just like that, we are along for the ride. We follow Bill as he attempts to find Georgie, who is considered missing, along with dozens of others. Joining Bill are best friends Richie, played by the hilarious Finn Wolfhard, Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Stan (Wyatt Oleff). It is easy to give these four young men praise for the acting ability, and even more so when the Losers Club is finally rounded out with the remaining three members: Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and Mike (Chosen Jacobs).

On screen, the seven young actors are a pleasure to watch; they are the golden thread that holds the movie together. Each has a story to tell and Muschietti does a great job of giving each their due as he effectively makes you want to be a part of their club every step of the way. From spitting loogies off a cliff, to foul-mouthed banter, Muschietti and Co. bring to the screen a sense of humanity and childhood whose mark is often missed in the genre.

To counter the humanity of the Losers, enter Pennywise. “IT” is the anti-human presence and, in the form of Pennywise, “IT” is feverishly terrifying. Skarsgard brings to the screen a solid performance that not only brings the shocks and scares, but a maniacal intensity that is unnerving, to say the least. Every time Skarsgard is on screen, he leaves you with an uneasy feeling, both wanting more and wanting less. Tim Curry will always be a fan favorite when it comes to his portrayal of the 1990 incarnation of Pennywise, but Skarsgard’s performance will sway even the most hardcore Curry fan.

All in all, “IT” was a terrifyingly fun movie. Anchored by the acting of the young cast, “IT” shines in the realm of solid character development of the core cast. While Muschietti seems to rely on the jump-scares a bit too much, he has woven together a solid movie that will stand the test of time.

Rating: 7/10

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