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Suspense floats through ‘It’

By Erich Pilcher
On September 22, 2017

Masters, in any domain are hard to come by. These individuals apply a trade or skills and execute them with uncanny ability. This is very true in the world of entertainment and one of many masters has reclaimed his throne. 

That master is Stephen King and hail to the horror film King. 

 IT is directed by Andy Muschetti and his based off the 1986 novel written by King. IT was also adapted into a 1990 made for television mini series. That adaptation has been accused of missing key elements (network TV had standards and practices back then) from the novel. Although good it missed the mark on terror.   

This adaptation does not make that mistake. 

The ensemble cast is headed by Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a being that terrorizes the town of Derry Maine every 27 years. That is until a group of misfits called the Losers Club decides to take on the super being in a battle of evil vs youthful fear and innocence.   

The first aspect of this film that stands out is the casting of children. Each child adds life to their character. This allows the viewer to fear their fear and other emotions they convey throughout the film.  

The two actors that stand out are Jaden Lieberher as Bill Denbrough, the leader of the Losers Club who’s brother Georgie is the first victim of Pennywise in the film. Then there is Sophia Lilis as Beverly Marsh an abused child who is tormented in school for her alleged promiscuous behavior and rebellious ways.  

These two young performers add an element to the club. You end up caring about them. You want them to succeed because you feel all there emotions throughout the film. Their performance also carries the other members of their group. During my viewing people were openly cheering for the Losers Club. I cannot help but feel this because of the performance of these two.  

However, the star of this film is Skaarsgard as Pennywise. In the miniseries he was played by Tim Curry. Although a great performance, people felt he was as much of court jester as an evil being. With Skarsgard, there is no room for interpretation. He is beautifully, awe inspiring and frightfully evil. Gone is the witty one liners that Curry conveyed. This version of Pennywise is held true to the novel. Skarsgard delivers an amazing performance that is one of the best of the year.  

The greatest aspect of this film is it holds true to the original work. King films have often been criticized for being watered down (Carrie, Cujo) to completely opposite of the source material (Stanley Kubricks The Shinning). IT does miss some elements of the book, but that is to be expected. That does not take away from the film. Honestly, this is the best King adaptation done since The Green Mile.  

Overall, this is the film to rescue Hollywood from the disappointing summer. It is original, frightening and has no flaws. I found myself looking away from the screen many times and being scared. That is a feeling I have longed to have in the theaters and IT delivers that. This film is a must see. 

So heed Pennywise advice and come on down, you will float with excitement and fear for two hours.

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