Directed by Andres Muschetti
By Christopher Spencer
Directed by Andres Muschetti, It stars Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Chosen Jacobs as members of The Losers Club, who investigate a creature beneath their small Maine town. But it is something beyond anyone’s wildest nightmares: the fear-eating demon Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård).
As I have said before with my review for Annabelle: Creation, I am not a huge horror fan. I only appreciate horror films that take the time to be a well-crafted film and make me care about the main characters. It is both of those things in spades.
Director Andres Muschetti works so well with these main actors, delivering solid child performances akin to what you see with 80s Spielberg or Netflix’s Stranger Things. They are inquisitive, talkative, hilarious, energetic, passionate and broken children who find each other at their darkest, most desperate moments and how the director and these talented actors create this connection of people is actually quite touching. We are engaged in what these characters are experiencing, because that is the real point of Stephen King’s best work.
People are seeing It because it looks like a scary clown movie, and yes Pennywise is f**king terrifying and perfectly portrayed by Bill Skarsgård, but It is more than just the clown. It’s a story of facing your literal and metaphoric demons, and Muschetti allows this message to beat through the movie even while he throws out inventive, electric and intricate scares. He doesn’t succumb to cheap jump-scares, and relies so much on the textured and almost psychotic performance from Skarsgård to shake you to the core with only a few words.
Benjamin Wallfisch’s score is delicate and thundering, the cinematography from Chung-hoon Chung is the twisted brilliance that great horror movies excel with, and the costumes and practical make-up for Pennywise and the other demonic forms is unbelievable.
If I can fault It on anything it is that the script feels jumbled at times, with some characters not appearing until 30 minutes in, and not everyone getting their due dramatic purpose. At 135 minutes, It can feel slow when approaching the third act, and at one point I thought the movie was over when we had a whole act to go. It’s not a damaging flaw, but It is not a fast-paced movie.
It does prove that solid scares, a director who understands characters in horror movies, and a perfect cast for humans and demons makes for a pretty outstanding horror movie. I honestly cannot wait for the sequel, and I am so glad and disturbed that I finally know what “you’ll float too” really means.