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IT Is Terrifyingly Good

photo courtesy of: cinemablend.com

photo courtesy of: cinemablend.com

Sebastian Hunt

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★★★★

Stephen King adaptations are fairly hit and miss. For every Misery or Stand by Me, you get a Silver Bullet, or more recently, The Dark Tower. So when they decided to adapt IT, arguably Stephen King’s best novel, and have the guy behind 2013´s Mama (average at best) direct it, it was a worrying prospect. I was still immensely excited, but I was concerned it would tread the same waters as the aforementioned The Dark Tower.

Thank goodness that worry turned out to be unfounded. IT is the best Stephen King adaptation since Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, the best horror film of the year, and easily the best big studio horror film of the decade.

Directed and written by Andy Muschietti, IT jumps right into the horror with a truly terrifying opening scene that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Muschietti´s stellar direction is apparent throughout the film, which is particularly impressive, considering probably a quarter of this picture is shot in the dark or at least in a dimly lit environment. Bill Skårsgard plays the villainous Pennywise the Clown in a star-making turn. Skårsgard echoes the same disturbing, inhuman performance that Jack Nicholson gave in The Shining.

However, while Skårsgard´s clown is integral to the narrative, it is the kids who are in the forefront here. The main seven (who are referred to as The Losers’ Club), are all excellent in their roles. Like any ensemble cast, there are standouts, and here it´s Jeremy Ray Taylor´s Ben Hanscom and Sophia Lillis´s Beverly Marsh. The rest of the child actors all do fine jobs; however, some of them, particularly Nicholas Hamilton, are underutilized.

In conclusion, this is a fast-paced, pee-your-pants film that I´d definitely recommend seeing in theaters (with a friend) and buying on Blu-Ray.

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IT Is Terrifyingly Good