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Is ‘It’ Scary Good?

Jack Corcoran, Staff

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One of Stephen King’s longest books and biggest hits, It tells the story of a group of seven kids, Mike, Ben, Beverly, Bill, Richie, Stan, and Eddie, who band together one summer to kill a creature who killed Bill’s younger brother Georgie, about six months prior. With a viral marketing campaign, It predictably smashed box office records, making a horror movie record $200 million in two weeks. However, does the movie live up to the hype?

The movie opens with the most iconic part of both the book and the original TV miniseries. It, taking the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, lures Georgie close to a sewer, It’s main hunting grouds, so he can ultimately kill him. This is by far the creepiest scene in the movie, almost word for word from the novel. This version also ramps up the gore, with the viewer actually seeing Georgie’s arm bitten off.

The movie’s scares fail to build off of this scene, as the director Andres Muschetti chooses to fill up the screen time with mostly jump scares like Pennywise leaping out of dark corners and bushes instead of actually building suspense. The film also gives viewers a heavy dose of special effects, with CGI Pennywise folding out of a refrigerator and popping out of a slideshow into the real world.

The actor Bill Skarsgard performs admirably in the role of Pennywise; however he is limited in action and fails to live up to Tim Curry’s iconic performance as the evil clown in the 1990 miniseries, where Pennywise was a much more featured role.

This very of the story, however, is excellent. All of the acting, including Skarsgard, is top-notch and the young actors who play the Losers Club impress. Sophia Lillis convincing

portrays the traumatized and conflicted character Beverly. Finn Wolfhard (of Stranger Things) plays a brilliant Richie, constantly providing comic relief when the kids aren’t being chased by a murderous clown. It is a shame that the characters of Ben and Mike, played by Jeremy Ray Taylor and Chosen Jacobs respectively, don’t get much character development and screen time as the rest, but the youthful actors still flourish despite these limited roles.

So, the main question is “Is It any good?” That could be a pretty complicated question. While it pulls back on the dread and overall creepiness of the book and the miniseries, It is still unquestionably scary, as the jump scares do fulfill their purpose. The actors are REALLY good, with there definitely being a couple of future stars in the cast, surprising given the more mature nature of the movie. Pennywise’s new look, while creepier than Tim Curry’s, doesn’t really help him lure a kid into the sewer. There is also a lot of humor and heart to be found in the movie, and not just from Richie. The movie also is very well directed, without any meaningless cuts or purposeful shaky cam. This is a phenomenal adaptation, worthy of being among the best of King adaptations. Rating: 9/10

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Is ‘It’ Scary Good?