It

Film, Horror
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(22user reviews)
It

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

The evil clown still scares in the new Stephen King adaptation

If all you remember from Stephen King’s 1986 doorstop, the 1,100-page 'It' is that it’s the one with the legendarily evil clown Pennywise, a vicious and supernatural abductor of children, you’re pretty much up to speed. The clown is the best thing about the book, which was the first in King’s glorious ’80s run (a span that included 'Firestarter', 'Cujo' and 'Pet Sematary') to show signs of slackening discipline. King had that one brilliant idea—who loves clowns, anyhow?—but his innocent Maine teens sure spent a lot of time running around getting nowhere.

Predictably, Andrés Muschietti’s lush-looking adaptation, while a marked improvement on the tedious 1990 TV miniseries, has the same shortcomings as King’s original material. Whenever 'It' is bringing the evil-clownness (and that’s often), it’s hair-raising and devilishly good. Glowering as an especially toothsome and chompy Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård supplies the slightest lisp to his chirpy line readings; he’s like a young child in his approach, making the violence all the more sudden. Muschietti, working from a much-finessed screenplay partly credited to Cary Fukunaga, has his whiteface jack-in-the-box jump out of sewer grates, doorways and even a garage’s slide projector screen. This is Hollywood throwing around big-budget horror money with panache; you’ll sweat buckets.

But even though our clown-busting heroes predate the sweet kids on 'Stranger Things' , they feel more generic. No performance here captures the adolescent longing that this story—essentially a coming-of-age tale—requires; only Sophia Lillis, playing the Molly Ringwald in an all-boys club of self-described losers, comes close to developing a distinct psychology (though her character’s deeply buried trauma has been sadly reduced). Predictable bouts with high school bullies who get their comeuppance, summertime bonding down by the water hole, awkward crushes: It all seems tired in our post–'Stand By Me' moment. You wait on tenterhooks for Pennywise’s next floating red balloon to cruise by. That’s not exactly how the concept is supposed to work, but at least the scares pop.

 

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday September 8 2017
Duration:
135 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Andrés Muschietti
Screenwriter:
Chase Palmer, Gary Dauberman, Cary Fukunaga
Cast:
Bill Skarsgård
Jaeden Lieberher
Sophia Lillis

Users say (22)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:10
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|22
1 person listening
Tastemaker

Thanks to the original (made for TV) film-- I have never trusted clowns (or Tim Curry, but the latter does not really affect my life too much). So of course when the remake came out, I felt like I needed to test the waters again. Pennywise is still terrible, and has less of the dad jokes now. This means he is definitely not likeable. 


Its more psychologically thrilling than the first, but knowing the first film really sets you up to know what's kinda going to happen (it IS different in places), and also, I am about 20 years older so my appetite for horror is a bit more than what is was way back when. 


Tastemaker

I really liked the film. I thought I would be traumatised for life as, not unlike almost every sensible on earth, I am deeply scared of clowns but it was the perfect mix of very scary during the film and forgettable after the film. I think the acting from everyone but especially the kids was fantastic! Overall, what I liked the most about the film is the funny - and sometimes very rude - dialogues between the brilliant kids. Do see it!

Tastemaker

Confession time – I’ve never seen the original IT all the way through. A few moments of Tim Curry climbing lamp-posts and being far too in-my-face for comfort left me unwilling to subject myself to the terror of actually watching the whole thing but there was something about the Goonies-esque vibe of the trailer for this new adaptation that had me waiting for the arrival of this year’s creepiest clown with a delicious mixture of anticipation & dread.


Depending on how you feel about the original, you’ll be pleased / unhappy (*delete as appropriate) to know that this is nowhere near the terror-ride that that was. Don’t get me wrong, there are some definite moments that will get your fingernails digging into your palms as though someone’s about to take the last piece of birthday cake without checking first but overall, this movie has much more of a young-adventurers, Goonies-meets-Explorers feel to it. The script is sharp and very funny which is a great credit to the film as that humour really lifts the scenes which are harder to watch. 


The young cast are all excellent and, by turn, touching, courageous & hilarious with Sophia Lillis' Beverley and Jack Dylan Grazer's Eddie especially memorable . The opening few moments are utterly compelling with sheets of grey rain, a white-picket-fence neighbourhood and an impending sense of fate as the doomed Georgie sets out to play with his boat…you see that gutter, you know what’s coming.


It’s not perfect – although Bill Skaarsgaard is physically excellent as the bulbous headed clown (who knew a fridge could be so scary?!), his Pennywise loses some of the horror of Tim Curry’s version simply down to the CGI that kicks in quite often. When mouths open and layers of teeth emerge, it just didn’t look real enough to believe in and that was a problem for me. That said, there are plenty of other points in the films where the special effects are used to maximum and applaudable effect – if you’re not a fan of blood, you may wanna nip to the concessions stand during one particular bathroom located scene – and although gore features quite heavily, there are also times when it’s simply beautiful yet ultra-creepy visuals that keep your eyes glued to the screen.


I can’t wait to see who they cast as the adults of all these characters in the sequel; I hope they stick with relative unknowns as they’ve done with the children so that the oddball quirks or matinee good looks of better known actors don’t pull me out of what’s happening before me. This is a losers club and should remain so even as they ascend into an adulthood that we already know will have some serious ass kicking to be done.


OK so let me start with......

If you have a fear of clowns then I'd suggest you stay very far away from this particular movie..

Even though I didnt find the whole movie "scary" as such, there were parts that had my pupils dilating and my fists clenching ...

The storyline is a bit of a hit and miss really.. A bunch of misunderstood and ill treated kids who become friends and can see this scary clown ... I didnt connect with it.

I found it uneventful and lacking in depth.

Yeah..sorry this wasn't a winner in my books


Sometimes a film arrives at exactly the right time. The China Syndrome came out twelve days before Three Mile Island’s nuclear near-disaster. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opened in South Africa one week prior to the great man’s death. And in 2017, Stephen King’s IT hits the big screen after a summer of flops. One year after a worldwide “killer clown” craze. 


Having watched the original as a child and being scarred for life from it I was eggar to see if and make sure they did a good job of this classic tale. 27 years since Pennywise' last appearance and this film is superior to the previous original mini series in every way. Similar to 'Stranger Things', 'IT' is an unlikely mix of 80's coming of age film and a conventional horror. I'm a huge horror movie fan and I find that usually horror films have good jumps and scares but when you strip them away they're actually quite poor films, I feel like IT would stand on it's own without with the 'Just a horror film' title. It's characters are likeable, funny, endearing and genuine not to mention the incredible score that bleeds through the film soaring and creeping in equal measures. 


I did find that the pacing of the film began to slack in it's latter half this I found relaxed the audience making their job of scaring us that big harder. I also wish I didn't see Pennywise as frequent, we're all afraid of the unknown and what we can't see, by the end of the film he felt too familiar for my likings. 


Never the less, highly recommended and a great watch, 

Looking forward to Chapter 2. 

Tastemaker

I am a fan of the mini series that came out in the 90’s. I am a horror fan in general. I went to see IT on its opening weekend. Obvs. The hype has been ridiculous and I have been a victim of said hype, eagerly watching every teaser or trailer as they were drip fed to us over the past few months. With what was fed to me, I was still sitting on the fence about IT but leaning towards the side of ‘like’ all along. I knew of Bill Skarsgard and his fine work in the Netflix show ‘Hemlock Grove’….cancelled after season 2…….it was a bit convoluted and was trailing off by the end of season one BUT Bill was good and creepy, and hot, which is an odd thing to say for the future Pennywise……but he is! I digress, he’s an alright actor and he worked his ass off playing this iconic creepy clown. THE iconic creepy clown. In fact, he actually has a handful of lines and when you see IT in the film, it’s not always him. I feel there wasn’t enough of Pennywise really did like the fact the film was more true to the book and IT does not just appear as a clown but I wanted more. This is part one of two,so we have a whole other film to go. He was fab as Pennywise and what you did see of him he delivered all those horrid moments….well…horridly…in the best way! I guess you can sense I liked this flick. I did. I really did. It’s nothing like the 90’s version and it’s all the better for it. IT! This depiction is less character based and we see the creature of IT as more of a creature, terrifying and wears a grin but from the very start we know that this thing is not human at all but a monster. This is something that was not as clear in the 90’s version but we had Tim Curry and he really is the whole reason that version stands as one of the most iconic performances in a horror film, outright scary. I also say this as I saw IT when I was 13 years old and it struck every fear chord I had in my pubescent body. I actually only managed to watch the first ten minutes of IT when I was a kid and had to wait until I was in my mid 20’s until I had the balls to watch the series all the way through. Revisiting a story that I am so familiar with was a challenge as a cinema viewer. I know these characters, I know their fate, I know who that bloody clown is. With all that in my arsenal, I still found the film scary, disturbing and chilling. No longer a teenager, I wasn’t scared to my very bones but I was jittery! It’s a great story, that’s the thing, horror is best with a good story attached to all the scares and also an able cast. Those elements were all there. It’s a brill film. Cannot wait for the second one. I heart Derry. They all float here. Yay!


I went to watch this without knowing anything about the book or original movie, and just being told its a scary horror film. So obviously I was nervous as I'm not a huge fan or horrors or psychological thrillers, however I must say this didn't have as many scary moments as I had expected. To be honest, some of the jump out of your seat moments were more comical than frightening. The storyline all in all was slightly disjointed at parts too but I definitely recommend it as the "scary clown" still delivers and the movie has plenty of dark moments for those of you who are huge horror fans!

Tastemaker

The original IT movie was probably one of the scariest movies of all time (in my opinion). Definitely one of childhood nightmares. However, this remake just doesn't quite deliver.. There are plenty of jump out of your seat moments and the usual horror movies scares, but it is just lacking a bit of atmosphere.


More of an emotional ride to be honest, with some touching coming-of-age moments. Quite a few humerous moments too, which detracts a bit from the terror feel.


Having said that, I absolutely will not be hiring a clown for my daughter's next Birthday!!


More an 'analogue kids on bikes coming of age' movie than a full-on horror, IT 2017 takes back much of what Netflix's Stranger Things borrowed from the 1991 original (and other films from the same era) with regular gags and jump scares peppered in for good measure. It's an entertaining romp, but in terms of terror will leave about as much a lasting impression on you as a fairground ghost train.


Not what I was expecting from a creepy looking horror, 'IT' certainly delivered on the jumps but also gave so much more. At it's heart it's almost a coming of age film, with some incredibly touching scenes and lots of fun.


Loved Loved Loved IT! it was so well done, not your typical "cheap fright" horror. It stayed true to the original but much ,much better. The actors were great, there is a comedic element that is just brilliant. I can't wait for part 2. I really recommend it. 


Sometimes a film arrives at exactly the right time. The China Syndrome came out twelve days before Three Mile Island’s nuclear near-disaster. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opened in South Africa one week prior to the great man’s death. And in 2017, Stephen King’s IT hits the big screen after a summer of flops. One year after a worldwide “killer clown” craze. 


Having watched the original as a child and being scarred for life from it I was eggar to see if and make sure they did a good job of this classic tale. 27 years since Pennywise' last appearance and this film is superior to the previous original mini series in every way. Similar to 'Stranger Things', 'IT' is an unlikely mix of 80's coming of age film and a conventional horror. I'm a huge horror movie fan and I find that usually horror films have good jumps and scares but when you strip them away they're actually quite poor films, I feel like IT would stand on it's own without with the 'Just a horror film' title. It's characters are likeable, funny, endearing and genuine not to mention the incredible score that bleeds through the film soaring and creeping in equal measures. 


I did find that the pacing of the film began to slack in it's latter half this I found relaxed the audience making their job of scaring us that big harder. I also wish I didn't see Pennywise as frequent, we're all afraid of the unknown and what we can't see, by the end of the film he felt too familiar for my likings. 


Never the less, highly recommended and a great watch, 

Looking forward to Chapter 2. 

Tastemaker

I've not the read book or seen the original, but from what I've heard of the original, they could've made the film a lot scarier and darker. Not too memorable, but fun to watch. 


So I haven't read the book or seen the original film either, but I went to watch it with someone who has read the book many times and apparently it misses quite a lot out (as most films based on books have to) but from the sounds of it there's all sorts of wrong in the book that I'm glad they missed out.


The film was very jumpy, really dark and a great watch in my opinion. The acting was really great.


So being one of those people who had never read the book or seen the original film, I went into this with no expectations except for it being really scary and really amazing. All of the hype does and doesn't live up to what was presented. To be honest the best thing about the film is the relationship between the kids. It's basically stand by me with a scary clown. Who to be fair isn't that frightening, but what do I know considering I find any clown a bit silly. Though the performance by Bill Skarsgard is absolutely brilliant, never would anyone have thought that one person could make being a clown sexy. The horror is a bit too over the top, what happened to the days of good suspense? But what it lacks in horror it makes up for in heart.

Tastemaker

The classic Stephen King story is having a remake and it's as creepy as you would expect. The clown is here to play and scare you to death. A masterpiece of modern horror movies!

Tastemaker

I remember seeing the first 'IT' on video at a sleepover when I was about eleven years old and being absolutely terrified of clowns afterwards. I brazenly thought that since I am not eleven years old anymore I would be absolutely fine seeing the remake. lol! It was WORSE. Clowns are creepy anyway, but Pennywise is an absolute creeper of a clown - from the whiteface to the teeth to the elevator-like rising from and sinking into sewers and his appearing out of nowhere. My poor heart was giving me palpitations for the entire film. One of my friends told me this was a nice 'coming of age film'. What?!  It's true that there were some nice sweet moments, but don't forget about the clown! My overall impression was still terror.


Really enjoyed this re-make. Has a great combination of humour and horror. The beginning scene with the boat immediately set the bar (and in my opinion was heeps better than the old film) for the rest of the film, everyone should go see it.


Enjoyable as it goes but all rather unengaging. Skarsgård plays a creepy Pennywise but the losers' club group of kids never quite create enough charm to make us care. The jumps keep coming but the 2 hours and 15 minutes feel very drawn out. And this is only chapter one...


It is a chilling adaptation of Stephen King's original with a very good story line. Typically I don't really watch horror films but I can say I'm really glad that I watched It. With lovable protagonists gore and mystery this film encompassed everything I would want from a horror film. Maybe it's because one of the children was Mike from Stranger Things but I would say that the film had that Stranger Things feel where the kids fight the monster. The group were so endearing and the story line was really well developed I would highly recommend going to see it if you're in the mood to be spooked.


As a big fan of both the book and the original TV miniseries with Tim Curry, I initially wasn't sure of the point of remaking 'IT' in 2017. That said the performances of all the kids alone make this worthwhile - all of them give really strong, nuanced performances that draw you into the story.

However I found Tim Curry's menacing Clown a lot scarier than the one here. There are also too many Jump scares - which always seems a bit lazy in a horror film. Likewise some of the CGI - just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should.

The film is engaging though and did leave we wanting to see Part 2 - which is where the TV series was weaker, so there's definitely an opportunity to right the wrongs from that point of view.