It is hard to resist the siren’s call of a good blockbuster. Let alone the remake of a TV miniseries that was a rite of passage for a lot of children. If you were born in the 80’s it was almost a guarantee that at some point you would have to watch It, and even if you didn’t see It, all your friends no doubt filled you in on all the details. Sharing with you their new found fear of sewer dwelling spider-clowns. Which is why a lot of people questioned the wisdom of redoing a ‘classic’ (if you watch the original now, it isn’t that good, aside from Tim Curry), but let me tell you, director Andy Muschietti and crew made a film that more than lives up to how terrifying we remember the original It being.
At this point I am guessing we all know the basic plot to It. Kids in the town of Derry are going missing, and just about every other kid in the town is being tormented with visions of a creepy clown (Bill Skarsgård) and whatever else they fear most. After the disappearance of his brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott), Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) decides to get the bottom of what is going on with the help of his friends in ‘The Losers Club’.
Man, they made this movie so delightfully creepy and unnerving! And It is not a slow burn either. This movie is out to get you from the first fifteen minutes. Not many films flaunt their monster the way It does, but Skarsgård is so good as Pennywise it would have been a shame if they hadn’t. It is one frightful set piece after another. I don’t think I ever sat in my chair properly. The movie kept me propped up at strange angles. It was as if my body was trying to find a configuration that could better process what I was seeing.
The Losers Club was great. In a post Stranger Things world, all horror media involving kids in the 80’s is going to be compared to that show, and It compares very favorably. The kids are snarky, funny and loveable. It is easy to root for them. While I am not a fan of putting kids in danger, I will say a horror movies about kids always makes more sense. When adults make dumb horror movie choices, you roll your eyes. When kids make dumb horror movie choices, it is understandable.
I never thought there would be a Pennywise that creeped me out more than Tim Curry, but Bill Skarsgård managed to do it, and now I don’t like to stand in dark rooms by myself. It was scary even though I knew what was going to happen, and It will replace It as a horror classic. If you are somehow still employed as a clown, you should retire now, because It is here to scare a whole new generation, and that generation is going to hate clowns even more than my generation did. Which is saying something.