"It" Movie Review: I Wasn’t Afraid of Clowns But I Am Now

From the very first scene, in which Pennywise, the orange haired, red-lipped, white clad villain in the movie, ruthlessly mauls young Georgie and drags him to his death in the sewers, “It” proves itself not to be a movie for the faint of heart. This opening scene is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the horror elements in the film. While Stephen King’s 1986 classic novel “IT” takes place over the course of 30 years, this remake chronicles only the main character’s childhood battle with the eponymous “It” (and almost guarantees a sequel).

 

Many of the most intense scenes from the film were personifications of each character’s deepest fears. From Ben’s run in with the egg-wielding demon, to Eddie fleeing from the Leper, each of the individual personified fears were seamlessly tied into the primary antagonist– a creepy murderous clown. The mini ‘episodes’ of fear served to unite the kids in their bid to avenge the death of Georgie, the protagonist Bill’s little brother. At the same time, the were discovering why kids were disappearing from their town every 27 years.

 

 

Though the horror scenes might be the main draw, and there are plenty of horror scenes, it is the main characters’ interactions with each other that truly resonate with viewers. The self-proclaimed “Losers Club” is made up of a group of seven 13 year olds– each with their own distinct personalities that perfectly blended with the horror elements of the film. I would say the film’s breakout duo is Richie (Finn Wolfhard, better known as Mike from Stranger Things) and Eddie, played by Jack Dylan Grazer, who made his film debut in this movie. Their constant bickering was rivaled only by the other by the group’s fun rapport with each other and constant joking.

 

Interestingly enough, a majority of the Losers Club’s banter and one-liners were ad-libbed by the child actors. One benefit of this is that the characters stay true to the typical pre-teen-dirty joke and crude sexual humor. Richie, in an effort to play-off his fear, cheerfully states, “that list is longer than my wang” among other jokes which assist in keeping the movie’s balance between fear and humor.

 

The horror elements were brought to life both from the cleverly-timed jump scares and Bill Skarsgard’s haunting portrayal of Pennywise, the dancing clown otherwise known as “It.” From his first scene enticing Georgie closer and closer to his sewage lair, Skarsgard breaks away from his former predecessor (the indomitable Tim Curry)’s portrayal of the clown and instead, produces a manic, frothing villain who delights in not only horror and death, but baiting the children who have come to hunt him down.

 

The penultimate scene arrives near the end of the movie, where the Losers Club, in a daring attempt to save one of their own, faces off against Pennywise and win. Their story seems complete, but the final scene suggests that “It”’s defeat may have only been temporary, prompting the kids to promise that should “It” ever return to their town, they will band back together and defeat him once and for all.

Happy Halloween!