Stephen King's It: Early Reviews Are Frighteningly Good

The reviewer said: "A lot of the time in this version of It, Pennywise feels more like an effect than a person, and sometimes this is a problem, because a visual effect is too distanced from us to be as scary as Curry was using just his made-up clown face and his growling voice".

The IT screenplay - which is credited to Fukunaga and his writing partner Chase Palmer, as well as Gary Dauberman (Annabelle: Creation) - explores the same themes of childhood grief and trauma as King's original novel does, as well as the timely-as-ever idea that evil must be actively confronted through mutual cooperation and trust, lest it be allowed to flourish.

This Friday will see the release of IT, the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King's chilling novel.

We open on a rainy fall day in the sleepy (and nearly immediately kind of creepy) town of Derry, Maine.

By focusing on the children, their relationships with each other and their parents, and the way each of them deals with both the encroachment of death and adulthood, It dives into the kind of character development rarely seen in modern horror fare.

Now that we've gotten one scary element out of the way, check out the trailer below to see if you'll be willing to sit through this film in the spirit of Halloween. I always think that some of the adaptations that don't work that well are ones where they buy the concept, the basic concept, but then say well yes but we'll do this, that and the other thing to it. "And that, even more than the clown's nasty tricks, might be what lingers with you". The whole troupe of young actors is primed for Stranger Things breakout success, including a second round forStranger Things' Finn Wolfhard. With that said, It 2 seems a sure thing at this point.

Following the novel's example, Muschietti has constructed a film that's just as much "Stand by Me" as creature feature, and casting director Rich Delia goes above the call of duty assembling a group of youngsters who are every bit as amusing, irritating and empathetic as the script requires. There are a couple of scenes in "It" that aren't in the movie. Beverly is the lone girl in the Losers Club, as seven awkward, bullied teens view themselves.

Their group, self-named "the Losers Club", gradually grows to include Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), a shy new kid who spends his time in the library, and Mike (Chosen Jacobs), a home-schooled loner who also appears to be the only black kid in town.

And what a monster It is.

The film adaptation is eagerly awaited by fans of King's work and after the successful TV mini-series featuring Tim Curry playing Pennywise the menacing, dancing clown.

You want to be your own person, be responsible for your own career and not be judged by, 'Oh, do you think he is better looking or do you think he is worse than his brother?' Standouts are Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special, The Book of Henry) who turns in another great performance; Jack Dylan Grazer is just hilarious; and Sophia Lillis reminded me of a young Amy Adams - seriously. But thankfully, that does not take away from some of the scarier scenes at the film's climax. Cinematography from Chung Chung-hoon, Park Chan-wook's longtime DP, gives the film a richness and texture that's far beyond that of most Hollywood films, let alone horror films. I don't plan much in advance. Who would play these kids as adults?

Their bright personalities don't quite line up with the structure of the movie: Every kid gets a visit from Pennywise, in some form, but don't tell each other until after cleaning up a bathroom coated in blood. The movie looks like an early Amblin production, courtesy of DP Chung-Hoon Chung, while the sound design consistently entertains - refusing to be drawn into the cliche of quiet-quiet-bang scares.

  • Salvatore Jensen