The 2017 adaptation of the 1986 novel It, written by horror author legend Stephen King, was highly anticipated by fans and critics everywhere. Prior to the release of the feature-length film, fans of both the novel and the 1990’s television special were ready to see the characters known as “The Losers’ Club” to once again take on the monster of Derry, Maine. However, people had such a nostalgic love for the 1990’s televised version, that some said that the new movie might not live up to the hype. Readers of King were hopeful that Hollywood might give one of their favorite books a proper film.
“It” is a story of a group of kids who live in the town of Derry, Maine. Derry is visited every twenty-seven years by a monster (disguised as a clown), who feeds on children. The main character, Billy, has his younger brother captured by “It.” Billy is determined to avenge the death of/ or find his brother. Other children are also visited by the monster. They form the Losers’ Club and join Billy on his quest to defeat the monster (who appears to them as Pennywise, the Dancing Clown).
As someone who has never enjoyed watching a horror movie, I found myself strangely excited to view this film. I had seen the 1990s televised version, and read the book, so I was excited to see a story ( I loved ) re-envisioned but terrified to see Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Then, the adaptation was fantastic! Actor Bill Skarsgard’s version of Pennywise was unbelievably good, and to me outshines the performance of his predecessor Tim Curry. The visuals were stunning, and the child actors did a wonderful job portraying The Losers’ Club. With that being said, I found only one flaw in the film, and that was in the beginning of the movie. In the introduction, each member of the Losers’ Club is visited by “It.” The scenes were great, but there was almost nothing separating each scene, and if became a bit repetitive. There were changes from the source material, but most of the changes (I felt) were necessary. The 2017 movie is set in the 1980’s instead of the 1960’s, as it was in the novel. Beverly unites the club by needing rescue instead of the original controversial way. Can the children defeat “It” by just facing their fears together? Or are they doomed by the conniving Pennywise?
Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. The setting was stunning and the dialogue was well written. There was a balance of just enough of a thriller with character development to keep viewers engaged with the storyline. Among the dark visuals and plot, the message was a bright one: “You’re stronger together.” There was a lot of cursing, but the language felt genuine. I highly recommend that you watch “It.”