IT, the horror / drama that centres around seven children in Derry, Maine who are terrorised by a monster in the shape of a clown called Pennywise is a story I first encountered when I saw the 1990 IT TV movie for the first time just two years ago. Having found it not at all scary, I was hoping that the latest version would be more terrifying.
The good news is, this new IT kind of is more scary. Director Andy Muschietti’s film features makeup, prosthetics and special effects that are objectively speaking, better and more unsettling than in the first movie. As for the real question of whether I personally was actually scared, I have to say no, not really. The reason is because clowns are still just cute to me overall – no matter how many teeth they may have. They remain in my heart and mind as providers of joy at children’s parties.
I say all the above not to take anything away from Bill Skarsgård’s rather engaging performance, because he played Pennywise rather well. I especially like the first time he meets young Georgie – precisely the second he stops fake smiling. I knew then that I was likely to see something memorable. Yet, even with Skarsgård’s great work, at no point during IT did I jump out of my skin or hide behind my hands. I just took in and appreciated the things that Muschietti’s movie did well. For example, casting Skarsgård, featuring generally convincing prosthetics, some good visuals, special effects and the commentary on bullying.
The only disappointment where special effects is concerned is regarding the scene with the blood in the bathroom. I don’t believe that the red colour and the consistency of the blood was quite right… not that I’m a specialist, of course.
The following is not a complaint, but since the adult counterparts of the children are not featured in the new film (because that’s what sequels are for), I can’t really speak on any instances of overacting on their part, as was the case in the first movie.
Watch IT because you love the bestselling novel by Steven King, the one on which the IT films are based. Watch it for Skarsgård’s performance, the clown attire / makeup and to see if you’re terrified. If you’re already scared of clowns, then you will need your hands to hide behind. Otherwise, enjoy.
Happy Film Loving