Terrifying Adaptation of “It” Doesn’t Disappoint

Terrifying+Adaptation+of+%22It%22+Doesn%27t+Disappoint

Stephen King is responsible for some of the scariest horror books known to mankind (“The Shining”, “Cujo”), many of which have been made into movies that keep audiences awake at night for weeks after seeing them.

The latest movie adaptation of a King novel, “It”, has the same effect, especially scary since the main character is many people’s worst nightmare — a killer clown.

The story is first set in 1960, in the town of Derry, Maine, where a dark presence appears once every 27 years and feeds on children. A group of children, self named as the Losers Club, decides to investigate after the loss of Georgie, the brother of one of the club’s members. When “It” appears again 27 years later, the same group fights the demon as adults.

The book was adapted for film once before, as a 1990 TV mini-series. So what’s the difference between this movie, the mini series, and the book? Of course, the 1,100-page book came first and tells every part of the story in full. Section I is where the Loser Club faces “It” as children, and Section II is where they face him as adults 27 years later. The new film focuses only on the first section, and covers it quite well. Even Stephen King was surprised that it was good!

I had hopes, but I was not prepared for how good it really was. It’s something that’s different, and at the same time, it’s something that audiences are gonna relate to,” King said in a recent interview. “They’re gonna like the characters. To me, it’s all about character. If you like the characters … if you care … the scares generally work.”

Thousands were auditioned to pick the cast of kids, which has been compared to the incredible cast of another Stephen King movie, “Stand By Me”.  It includes Finn Wolfhard (“Stranger Things”), Sophia Lillis (“37”), Jaeden Lieberher (“St. Vincent”), and Jeremy Ray Taylor (“Alvin and the Chipmunks”).

However, the character who has received the most acclaim is Bill Skarsgård, the Swedish actor who plays Pennywise The Dancing Clown. His performance was impeccable. He is super scary at 6 foot 4 inches with a creepy smile he is able to do via a trick with his bottom lip (no CGI required). Apparently, he stayed in character on the set and was so frightening he made some of the children extras shake and cry.

Pennywise’s special smile method in make up
BillnSkarsgård’s special smile method out of costume

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The movie adaptation absolutely blows the miniseries away. The mini-series was good for its time. However the movie offers a fresh, modern take on “It”. It isn’t just a boring reboot like some franchises are doing. For one, it’s scarier. Rated R rather than PG-13, it keeps the gruesome opening scene of the book intact and overall has a much higher level of horror than the miniseries, which had to appeal to a general audience. The movie also does some interesting tricks with makeup and special effects to make Pennywise go through all sorts of contortions on screen.

So go see “It”. Just don’t expect to sleep afterwards.

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