Stephen King’s cross-generational supernatural horror epic has finally come to the silver screen and it’s a cracker. Predictable CGI has too much of a hold over the visual effects, but a fantastic cast, primarily children, offers a delicious fright that’ll stay with you long after.
Reducing the enormous novel to a couple of hours’ screen time results in somewhat of an episodic feel. Within these episodes, we often see IT’s CGI monster-of-choice first, be it scary-lady, drooling-deformed-leper or cackling-floating-heads-in-a-sewer, and a quick, fruitless chase with one of the kids follows after. Essentially, some scary bits lack tension or mystery.
IT usually manifests as Pennywise The Dancing Clown, which is good for us, since Bill Skarsgård’s take is terrifyingly convincing: both humanoid and appealing, yet utterly alien. The ‘loser squad’ kids carry the film, each bringing their own unique energy and completely believable whether hanging out discussing girls, or facing their darkest fears.
There is much to fear beyond the CGI. Children with their souls sucked out, the nightmare of past guilt, and parental abuse, all provide a truly terrifying undercurrent. And true to the novel, far from being a slash fest, the film shows real heart, and that ultimately love can tackle any evil. It’s big, blockbuster entertainment that deserves the big screen, so get out and see it while you can.