Andy Muschietti directs Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård and Sophia Lillis in the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s horror epic about small town kids trying not to be the prey of a fear eating clown monster.
IT certainly is creepy. There’s a shit ton of unhinged imagery – my favourite being the clown nonchalantly tucking into a servered arm in the background while watching some of that bullying he loves. But… B-HUT… IT, criminally at times, isn’t all that scary. You rarely feel overwhelmed with dread. The Losers first group encounter with Pennywise is consequenceless and this hobbles the finale. If we are to believe the Derry controlling monster truly is an unstoppable evil force then you just can’t have encounters where half a dozen disorganised kids walk away unscathed. This is a problem inherent in the novel and the TV miniseries too but even more noticeable when you remove all the deaths in the parallel “30 years later…” half of the narrative. But lack of fear factor aside, IT is glossily enjoyable. Well cast, even the extras and one line roles are evocative faces. Skarsgård makes a fine deliriously drooling monster when not being CGI augmented, while token girl Sophia Lillis puts in a starmaking turn, an eye catching performance full of grit and charm.