Now Showing: It

Stephen King’s novel has been effortlessly remade with a killer cast to appeal to a younger, fresher audience.

Pauline Woodley , A&E Editor

“You’ll float too, you’ll float too, you’ll float too…” will be ringing in the ears of everyone who watches this movie for its relatable message that everyone is afraid of something. Based on Stephen King’s novel by the same name, “It” is perfectly scary in all the right places.

Much like the original two-part TV movie, director Andy Muschietti’s “It” is not as terrifying as it may seem from the outside. This film is unlike any other recent horror movie because Muschetti is able to find the right balance of scares, comedy and good-hearted fun without trying too hard.

In small town of Derby, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Eddie (Jack Grazer) and Stanley (Wyatt Oleff) are your typical outsiders. Deeming themselves “The Loser’s Club,” these pre-teens’ everyday troubles include trying to ward off bullies and dealing with their overbearing parents. One rainy day, Bill’s younger brother Georgie takes the paper boat Bill made him for a test run. After the boat falls down a sewer, Georgie meets the terrifying, infamous Pennywise and is pulled down into the sewer by the less-than-friendly clown.

The film fast forwards to the last day of school when“The Loser’s Club” dumps their homework in the trashcan as summer has officially begun. After all being harassed by the same grungy group of bullies, “The Loser’s Club” picks up a couple extra members, including home-schooled Mike (Chosen Jacobs), new-kid Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), and the town’s very own fearless Hester Pryne, Beverly (Sophia Lillis).

This rag tag group of misfits may look like the average “Goonies” gang from the outside, but after each member begins seeing a terrifying clown everywhere they go in the oddest places, they learn that their town has a horrifying history of missing children. The crew begins to investigate what is causing these children to vanish into thin air and who is bringing their deepest fears into their everyday lives.

This remake of a cult classic is finally at home on the big screen. Pennywise the clown feeds off of children’s fears, and the movie makes it a point to show how fears can tear people down, but also bring people together. This film is as much a coming-of-age movie as it is a horror movie. In the same breath, Muschietti is able to transform an innocent first-crush scene into a scenario in which one of the characters is being swallowed by their bathroom sink.

The thing that truly ties the film together is the phenomenal cast. Each character is effortlessly brought to life by the adolescent actors. Although each actor did an amazing job, the shining star and comedic relief was “Stranger Things” star Wolfhard who plays Richie with the perfect balance of wit and fear.

In Hollywood, it is normal for scripts to make young adults seem either too childish or too mature, so audiences hardly see an awkward middle ground that these characters represent.

Only a few horror films are able to master truly relatable fear, and this one did an excellent job in making shape-shifting Pennywise universally scary.  

For me, Pennywise was film’s highlight. He is known for his terrifying demeanor and actor Bill Skarsgård portrayed his chilling character beautifully.  He was so horrifying, it was hard to imagine a real human being behind the makeup and costume.  Anytime Pennywise was on screen, spines tingled due to his sheer fear factor.

For those that are apprehensive about watching the film, I suggest you try your absolute best to see it. The movie was not jam-packed with scenes that made you jump, but the parts that were meant to be scary certainly did their job.

This is not the last we’ll see of Pennywise as he returns every 27 years and Chapter 2 of the two-part saga is set to start filming next spring.