By TIANA CANTU
Stephen King’s terrifying novel, IT, made its feature film debut to critical and box office success. The highly anticipated movie stars up-and-coming actor, Bill Skarsgard, as the iconic Pennywise. Skarsgard’s opposite is played by Jaeden Lieberher, best known for his role in St. Vincent, who plays Bill Denborough. The cast also includes Stranger Things fan favorite, Finn Wolfhard, who plays Richie Tozier, Bill’s best friend.
IT follows a group of kids named “The Losers’ Club,” who are trying to get to the bottom of why so many kids are disappearing. The film begins with Bill Denborough’s younger brother, Georgie, running after his paper sailboat that floats down into the sewer, only to be met by Pennywise. Georgie is soon after declared missing, which seems to be a reoccurring coincidence in the town of Derry. After new kid, Ben, is introduced he quickly joins the “Losers’ Club,” and notices that children in this town seem to go missing every 20 years. Each kid then begins to see Pennywise individually, as the shape-shifting clown emulates each child’s worst fear.
The film’s shining asset was the comedy included within. I personally feel like scary movies should entail a certain level of comedy as it is unrealistic to expect an audience to be scared the entire time. The Losers’ Club definitely made the movie. Richie and Eddie’s banter back and forth left the audience, including myself, wishing they could be a part of this squad despite the fact that they were about to take on a flesh-eating clown.
Pennywise overall was certainly scary; however, I feel like in order to maintain fear in a horror movie, the screen time of the “scary part” should be limited. The fear of the unknown should definitely always be taken into consideration when producing a horror film, and I think by the end, Pennywise just was not frightening anymore. Not to mention the weird dance he did in the final scenes, which should have been the pinnacle of fear, but left the audience just laughing.
The movie had a budget of $30 million and grossed about $218 million in its first week. While there are a few “cringe-moments,” IT is scary and unbelievably funny. The acting overall was phenomenal, and the plot was entertaining.
However, some critics are saying they were disappointed in the film because it strayed too far from the novel. While I did not read the book, I do know it is 1,138 pages long so it would be virtually impossible to make that into a feature film that people would have the time to see. Instead of it being 2 hours it would need to be 10. I know I would not want to sit through that, and I doubt anyone else would. These critics are saying how they wished King would have made the novel into a short series instead, but my argument is that if it was a short series, then it would lack a large variety of viewing. Even though millions of people have streaming services, the number of people that go to the movie theaters would still outnumber them. Therefore it seems very logical to lose a few details and gain millions of viewings around the world in the process.
Overall, the quality of the movie was excellent and the cast had the audience laughing, crying and shaking in their seats. I will not spoil the ending, but I think it is definitely worth seeing.