IT (2017)

It is a 2017 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. Produced by New Line Cinema, KatzSmith Productions, Lin Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to be the first installment in a planned duology. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman. Jaeden Lieberherand Bill Skarsgård star as Bill Denbrough and Pennywise the Dancing Clown, respectively, with Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.

The film, ofcourse, is about a terrifying supernatural creature, who is ancient and cross-dimensional. This evil creature feeds on children’s fears and awakens every 27 years from hibernation to feed. It has a variety of powers that include the ability to shapeshift, manipulate, and go unnoticed by adults. In the novel, It is an eternal entity that is almost as old as time itself. It is the natural enemy of Maturin (The Turtle), both of whom exist in the Macroverse. After arriving on Earth, It would sleep for approximately 27 to 30 years at a time, then awaken to wreak chaos and feed (primarily on children’s fear). It is able to take many more forms than the film depicts, including werewolves, bats, leeches, and sharks. It could embody any of a child’s worst fears. It explains it prefers to kill and devour children, not by nature, but rather because children’s fears are easier to interpret in a physical form and thus children are easier to fill with terror. It says this is akin to “marinating the meat.”

The movie, changes the time setting as 1989 Derry, Maine instead of the late 60s and starts off with George Denborough meeting IT when his paper boat goes down a storm drain in the rain. Georgie’s arm is chewed off after It pretends to be a pleasant clown and the boy is then pulled into the sewer. Georgie’s older brother Bill keeps looking for him even a year later and with his friends Richie, Eddie, Stan and new boy Ben looks for clues as they try to avoid being harassed by a gang of bullies led by Henry Bowers. Also joining the “Loser’s Club”, as the original 4 boys names themselves is Beverly Marsh, who has an abusive father and home-schooled African-American boy Michael. Each has their own incidents with the bullies as well as with It, who brings to life their greatest fears and plays on their minds. Yet the 7 friends search for what happened to the boys and girls who have gone missing in their hometown.

A few weeks later, while meeting up at Bill’s garage, the group deduces that Pennywise is using the sewers to move around unseen. After narrowly escaping an attack by Pennywise in Bill’s garage, the Losers Club go to the house on Neibolt Street where Bill deduces “It” to be hiding. The group is separated by IT who tries to pick them out one by one but after chasing three of the boys, It is temporarily stunned by Beverly who spears Pennywise through the head with a fence post, forcing him to retreat through the well in the basement of the house. Eddie who was hurt, is guarded by his over-protective mother and the group is splintered but after Beverly fends off her father who tries to rape her, Pennywise abducts her in order to lure the rest of them to him. It also recruits a slowly going insane Henry to kill his father and attack the group.

The boys get their gear and descend down the well in the Neibolt house but Mike is caught by Henry. The younger boy manages to get the upper hand though and knocks the bully down the well to his death, before joining his friends at the bottom. ennywise traps Stan and starts to eat him, but the others chase him off. They then find Pennywise’s lair, consisting of a mountain of circus props and children’s toys, where they find a catatonic Beverly with the bodies of the other missing children kept in a form of suspended animation. Ben kisses Beverly, which restores her to normal. Pennywise tries to trick Bill by posing as Georgie, but the deception fails. As a last resort, Pennywise offers to spare the other Losers if they sacrifice Bill. Instead, the losers attack “It” as group. Realizing that he no longer has any power over them, Pennywise escapes down the pit. The floating children float back into the ground as the Losers discover Georgie’s yellow slicker, the others comforting Bill when he emotionally breaks down from accepting Georgie’s death.

A month later Beverly informs the group of a vision she had of them fighting Pennywise 27 years later. The Losers form a blood oath that they will each return to Derry should Pennywise resurface. After departing one by one, Bill kisses Beverly. As the end credits roll, a title card appears reading “It: Chapter One” and Pennywise’s manic laughter is heard in the background; this dictates that the story of “It” will continue in the sequel, “It: Chapter Two”.

Well acted and well directed, the movie brings back so many memories of my favourite novel of all time and the excellent mini-series that came in 1990. The kids add so much to this film with excellent chemistry between them while Bill Skarsgård goes bonkers in his role as the evil clown. 8.5 outta 10!

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