27 years later, “It” still brings the fright
By Angel Pedroza
For weeks now, trailers for the film version of Stephen King’s horror classic “It” have been preparing us to lose our minds. The evil clown Pennywise, played by spectacularly scary Bill Skarsgard (Alexander’s brother), is the stuff of nightmares. The full-length movie, however can’t match the trailers for the terror that was experienced. It runs a punishing two hours and 15 minutes, but It works enough of the time to deliver a severe case of nightmares.
Directed by Andy Muschietti, from a script by Chase Palmer, Gary Dauberman and Cary Fukunaga, the film is based on King’s 1986 novel, which featured Tim Curry as Pennywise. “It” is a R-rated movie, with gore and f-bombs to spare. And when Pennywise bites off a kid’s arm, it’s such a huge gulp, you’ll scream bloody murder.
This brings us to the plot. (Beware of spoilers from this point on!)
Children are disappearing in the town of Derry, Maine, courtesy of Pennywise, who shows up in Derry every 27 years and scares kids to death by transforming himself into their worst fears. Our heroes are still seven high school kids who call themselves “The Loser’s Club.” They’re misfits who find their strength in sticking together. Jaeden Lieberher plays Bill, the leader of the club. It’s his little brother that Pennywise sucks into a sewer in the middle of a spontaneous rain storm. Finn Wolfhard plays Richie, the comic relief, Jack Dylan Grazer is Eddie, the germaphobe, Wyatt Oleff is Stanley, Jeremy Ray Taylor is Ben, the chubby one, and Chosen Jacobs is Mike. The stereotypes are completed by the spirited Sophia Lillis as Beverly, the token female.
Yes, the boys, especially Bill and Ben, compete for her attention. The parents are mostly absent, however when they do appear, they’re pretty monstrous themselves. All seven losers must also cope with bullying at the hands of the Bowers gang, led by a brutish bully named Henry Nicholas Hamilton. But Pennywise is all their fears rolled up into one creepy, dancing clown with yellow teeth, a high-pitched squeak of a voice and a thing for the way fear induces kids to sweat. It makes them taste better… he literally says that.
So that’s “It” in a nutshell. If you want to see the losers grow up in years and tackle Pennywise in his next appearance, sorry. You’ll have to wait for art. Watching kids form a bond to rain down on a psycho clown really does play into people’s heart strings. But, IT will creep you out big time.