Seen September 7th
Back when the original miniseries aired, it seemed like there was no way that this specific book could be adapted better. We thought we had the perfect Pennywise, the perfect bunch of kids and the perfect way to tell the story… we were wrong, because they just made the perfect version.
It follows the tale of a group of kids who affectionately call themselves “The Loser Club”. When kids start vanishing in Derry (It’s always Derry) the loser club tries to figure out what’s causing it. Along the way they have to face their greatest fears, including one goddamn terrifying clown.
I never thought that I’d say this but… there is someone better at playing Pennywise than Tim Curry. Turns out we were waiting for Bill Skarsgard to come along and just transform that character into something that was beyond horrific. From the moment he pops on screen he is unnerving and when he finally goes for a kid, it’s enough to make you glad you wore brown pants. He is incredible, completely demented in every possible way and fills the film with a sense of terror, even when he’s not on screen.
The kids themselves are brilliantly cast, every one of them gives a brilliant performance that makes the Loser Club one that you’d want to be a part of. This isn’t a case of “They’re fine actors… for children”, no, these are amazing performances by amazing actors that deserve endless credit. Even the bullies are amazingly well done, genuinely terrifying and not cartoonish like the originals were. These guys are messed up and we are told why. It’s genuinely a great bunch of actors who take the material and transform it
It is not a film that holds back. Right from the start, we are forced to deal with how violent and brutal this clown is. That opening scene with Georgie from the original? Yeah, they gave that scene steroids and put it in this film. From the second that we first see Pennywise until the second the credits roll, you are never given a chance to really catch your breath because at any second a red balloon will appear to freak you out. Even just the concepts that this film brings up are terrifying. Beverly’s dad might be the creepiest of them all just because of the implication. There’s so much in this film that’s genuinely terrifying that to spoil even a little of it feels like an injustice. Somehow, this film shocks and surprises me even though I’ve read the book and seen the miniseries so I know what’s coming… still caught me off guard every time.
Genuinely terrifying in every way, great performances, great scares, great effects and best of all… the film is complete. There isn’t some cheesy cliffhanger, it’s a full film that puts everything on the table and has fun terrifying the crowd. This is a film that floated right to the top of the heap.