Much more than horror for the sake it, Andy Muschietti’s take on Stephen King’s monster tome is a crowd-pleasing fright-fest.
This long overdue big-screen update is also a beautifully crafted love letter to coming-of-age dramas of the eighties - The Goonies, King’s Own, Stand by Me are clear influences, that just so happens to star a child eating clown. IT begins in 1988 and poor little Georgie Denbrough is dragged into a storm drain by the evil Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård, ably filling Tim Curry’s clown shoes).
As the summer vacation of ’89 rolls around, and as yet more youngsters disappear, Georgie’s older brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and his band of variously bullied ‘losers’ embark upon a quest through the woods and into the sewers, in search of It...
In typical King fashion, there’s so much more at play here than a creepy circus performer: from abusive parents (grownups are the enemy here) tackling adolescence, and being a social outcast. It’s a sweet-natured, and surprisingly funny drama. So if IT does manage to scare you, at least you’ll care. (research Jack Whiting) Not so contrived and a lot more fun than Mother! Skarsgård’s scary clown face is the New scary clown-face.