When people say that Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown scared them in the 1990 version of It, I do not see how. Is this because people possibly have a fear of clowns or the movie from their childhood? Sure, Tim Curry did a good job as the character but he never petrified me. For the most part, the teleplay felt like missed potential. It was far too low budget and lacked the good acting aside from Curry’s performance. Now, 27 years later, (coincidentally) a big screen version of It has finally been made that fully takes advantage and has fun with the plot and turns it into a solid adventure that everyone should enjoy.
It is not really a horror film like the advertisements would suggest. More or less, the film seems to be inspired more by such Stephen King adaptations like Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me (1986) than something like Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980). Or in other words, it is an adventure movie that includes horror elements. The film very much feels like an episode of Stranger Things (it doesn’t help that one of the stars of Stranger Things is in this movie) The setting is also updated from setting of the book in the late 1950s to the late 80s. It also feels very aware of the era it is based in. We see a Gremlins poster in one of the character’s room. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Batman (1989), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989). The bikes the children ride are there only modes of transportation, walking is done only sometimes and when it is, it is for short distances only. This somehow makes it all the more epic and innocent. Because, there was a time in our lives where we didn’t have a licence and biking was our only way of getting places.
Pennywise the clown, this time played by Bill Skarsgård. Sounds much more childish this time around. I think the opening scene of the movie (shown in the trailers) doesn’t fully show what is in store with his performance. The odd delivery and his genuine creepyness at the correct moments of the film is what makes Skarsgård a treat to watch on screen.
The budget on It was only 35 million dollars. The way everything looked would make me believe it to be at least twice that amount. This is also just the first part of a planned duology but Warner Bros. is waiting on the returns for this movie before they begin shooting. If you enjoy The Goonies (1985) and other “eighties youth-adventure” type films, but wished that they had a little more violence in them. Than look no further than It.