IT rocks. IT scares. IT delivers. Stephen King’s horror masterpiece has been brought to the big screen for a whole new batch of chill-down-the-spine seekers to enjoy. King’s books are thick, he picks up each small detail, he spends a lot of time grooming his reader for the jolting terror that is to come, and he makes the craziest things believable. Movies don’t have the luxury of time, so director Andy Muscheietti and writers Chase Palmer and Cary Fukunaga had to make some tough choices about what to keep in and what to leave out.
What they produced was a terror-fest that doesn’t waste time getting started, so fans old enough to have read the book or seen the 1990 miniseries of the same name might find it a bit awkward. If you haven’t done either, you’re in for a treat.
Bill Denbrough, wonderfully played by Jaeden Lieberher, is sick. But it’s raining torrents, and his young brother Georgie (Jackson Scott) is itching to go out and jump in the puddles. They’ve made a boat out of paper and all it needs is some wax to make it waterproof. Georgie brings the fear when he goes down to the cellar to get the wax. Yes, child and dark cellar is hardly anything new in the horror genre, but Jackson does a good job of convincing the audience his fears are just childish imagination. Oh, poor child. If you only knew ...
He goes out to play with his boat, which is carried along the road in the storm water and inevitably into a drain, where IT is waiting. IT snatches Georgie and drags him into the sewers.
Bill's posse of “the usual losers” is also brilliantly cast. Richie, the kid who can’t stop talking, is played by Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things. Husky and brainy Ben is played by Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Ant-Man), Stanley, the Jewish kid about to have his bar mitzvah is played by Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Eddie, whose mother has turned him into a hypochondriac, is played by Jack Grazer. Each young actor boasts some serious acting chops, and they are joined by the tough social outcast Beverly, played by 15-year-old actress Sophia Lillis, and Chosen Jacobs who plays Mike.
Bill Skarsgård (of the Skarsgård empire) plays a convincing and utterly terrifying Pennywise, the clown, and if his acting isn’t creepy enough, that thing that he does with his eyes (you'll see) he can do for real. No CGI needed.
Best of all: IT is going to have a sequel.