Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,
The last chapter of our review series for Stephen King’s IT is upon us. We reviewed the novel, the miniseries, and now we present to you the review for the highly anticipated 2017 remake of King’s classic tale.
Does it live up to the hype? Is it better than the miniseries? Float on to find out.
From the opening scene of IT, there is a certain sense of tension and mystery that captivates the audience almost immediately. This tension continues throughout the duration of the film and presents plenty of white-knuckled scenes, intensity that only answers our high expectations with a maniacal grin. The decisions made for the plot of this film are not as detrimental to the story as the choices of the miniseries, and instead create an enjoyable, consistently exhilarating experience. The characters are all fantastically acted by clearly inspired casting choices, most notably Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise and Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier.
The friendship of the Losers is put to the center, each character receiving their own space and time for development, while also wasting no time in developing their fears. Though the pace is incredibly fast and there is little to no breathing room throughout the 2+ hours of runtime, audiences are treated with very memorable performances of these beloved characters. Bill Skarsgård’s turn as Pennywise is haunting and, most importantly, truer to the original character than any interpretation we have seen yet.
Computer animation and special effects are handled seamlessly behind a dreadful score and crisp cinematography. The makeup on Pennywise and his many forms is beautifully done and there isn’t a single moment where the viewers will find themselves in disbelief of the realism portrayed on screen. Far from the cheesy, Goosebumps-esque miniseries, IT is a terrifying thrill ride from start to finish and never once lets up with its relentless pace and genuinely earned scares.
As far as the source material, there are a lot of creative liberties taken, some good and some questionable. A fan of the novel must remember that it would be nearly impossible to honor the source material in a way that would complement the novel; the unbelievably deep original story is a journey that could never be perfected onscreen. Though these creative liberties are sometimes ones that would make a reader of the book scratch their head, as a film, they do nothing but justice for the audience in keeping the promises made of this film being a horrific adventure into the very fears that define these children.
In conclusion, IT is a must-see for fans of horror, and even for fans of the novel if they can look past the film not being exactly like the book. IT has brought Pennywise into a new generation and Bill Skarsgård’s unbelievable turn as the titular monster will haunt the dreams of many children to come. The film is definitely one of the best King adaptations yet, capturing the heart of King’s horror in ways that have not been conceived before. Sprinkled with homages to both the miniseries and the novel, IT is clearly a film that was made with love for the source material and with passion for the art that is fear.
IT floats very well and if you see it, you’ll likely float too.
OUR RATING: 4/5 STARS