It (2017) – Movie Review

It (2017) – R
Release Date: Fri 08 Sep 2017

Pennywise the Dancing Clown is back in this theatrical adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “It.” Though a cheesy (but much-beloved) TV mini-series took on the story back in 1990, there is very little that the 2017 adaptation doesn’t improve upon.

For those unfamiliar with the story, in the town of Derry, Maine, a lot more children than average go missing. A group of seven “loser” kids band together to find out what’s happening and stop it.

This film focuses on the first half of the story from both the book and the miniseries. In the 2017 film, the events depicted take place in 1988-89. (The book and miniseries took place in the 1950’s.) Color me biased, but I think that the first half of It is the better half. Something about children taking on an unspeakable terror only they can see works well to frighten all of us former children.

Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise is much more twisted and sinister than Tim Curry’s. Neither approach is better, but the 2017 version blends better into the story instead of being the hilarious powerhouse performance that was Curry’s Pennywise. Curry was the best part of the 1990 version. Director Andy Muschietti is the best part of the 2017 film.

It manages to re-tell a story many of us know well with aplomb; Masterfully executed sequences, grand cinematography, and just enough remixing and editing to keep even the experts on their toes. Fans of the novel and/or the miniseries will love seeing the story told so well on the large scale. (IMAX was an incredible upgrade from the 1990 VHS!) I’m cautiously optimistic that if (when) they take on the second half of the story that they can make some magic happen there as well.

Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:

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