Stephen King horror thriller It doesn't clown around

Stephen King horror thriller It doesn't clown around

All eyes are on Andres Muschietti's new adaptation of Stephen King's classic 1986 novel It.

27 years on and director Andy Muschietti has crafted his own twist to this twisted tale with a new Loser's Club and a new demonic clown. That's not exactly a surprise. While the book is notorious for its handling of budding sexuality - including an infamous climactic (no pun intended) scene in Its lair involving Beverly and the boys - the movie is much more sweet-natured and innocent: one scene in which the boys ogle Bev in a bathing suit in stupefied amazement is as gently amusing as it is bittersweet. The decision to split up King's massive source material into two separate parts was a smart call, since it allows Muschietti to deliver a solid horror filmgoing experience here - without having to sacrifice much of the substance of King's book in the process - along with the promise of a second installment in the IT film saga that should only enrich its predecessor (and vice versa). That film was produced by Guillermo Del Toro, and his influence on Muschietti's aesthetic is clear.

It's a style enamoured by the Gothic tradition, but that extends its meaning far beyond aesthetics and to its core belief that the supernatural is actually an echo of emotion, of long-gone passions that still stain the walls. Elizabeth Olsen's Federal Bureau of Investigation agent arrives to investigate and she quickly enlists local hunter Cory Lambert, played by Jeremy Renner, to help her negotiate inhospitable terrain and a slew of even more inhospitable locals. Each then mould themselves into some ghoulish visage. There's a lot of exposition to get through, but each of the seven losers gets their due, and the result is a truly well-rounded ensemble, as awkward and romantic as they are foul-mouthed and amusing. Although Skarsgard's clown is the film's boogeyman, it's the young cast, headed by the gifted Jaeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis who carry the film, providing numerous touching moments as they deal with loss, danger and the stirrings of adolescent love.

The 1990 miniseries was handicapped by virtue of being a television movie, and it wasn't able to accurately display the horrendous consequences of a monster who feeds on children.

Despite updating the time period to the Stranger Things-fan friendly "80s (it even features that series" Finn Wolfhard as one of the Losers) the new It doesn't wallow in nostalgia, and largely confines it to a handful of New Kids on the Block jokes.

Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise, however, is fear itself, that most penetrative of emotions.

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Both Skarsgård's Pennywise and the setting of IT (2017) are, naturally, more polished in their presentation and design compared to their counterparts in the "90s TV adaptation". Like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, Pennywise is generally used carefully and sparingly, and is all the more powerful for it. "It" feels very much like mine because it sticks close to the book.

The film has been given an early rating of 7.8/10 on Rotten Tomatoes with people saying the intensely unforgettable images created by King's novels are brought forward in the new film adaptation available to British audiences this Friday. But this is 2017, and thanks to a rash of real-life creepy clowns being spotted at night in towns across America just a year ago, we all know that even adults would go running to the police if they spotted one, especially if said clown had razor-sharp chompers and charged at them in close quarters.

Childhood innocence goes down the drain in the terror flick "It."

So I'm fascinated to see it. All scenes that Muschietti renders with as much intensity as It's attacks. Their isolation is palpable.

Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith remarks, "You can't overstate what Bill added to this character in terms of his physicality, his attitude and his expressions".

Seth: For us, what jumped out about Bill was that he was clearly going to commit to it in a total mind, body, and spirit manner.