“It” is back! Who’s back? It! It who? It what? Yeah, the title of this movie can be slightly frustrating. “IT”, directed by Andy Muschetti, made its way into the box office this past weekend and the mania behind the film is well-deserved. Based off of Stephen King’s novel “IT”, a group of seven kids in Derry, Maine must figure out how to stop an evil clown that turns their worst fears into terrifying realities from capturing and murdering Derry’s children. After Billy, played by Jaeden Lieberher, loses his younger brother Georgie, played by Jackson Robert Scott, to the clown, though Billy doesn’t know that yet, Billy realizes many of Derry’s children are beginning to go missing. Interspersed with endearing coming-of-age moments, the group must face their biggest fears in order to save the children of Derry.
IT is like unlike most recent paranormal movies. It’s unlikely moviegoers will go home scared to turn the lights off. Instead, IT is filled with jump scares. However, the jump scares in this movie are actually scary and not laughable. They’re unexpected and frightening. Oftentimes, scary movies hype up a jump scare and it ends up just being a squirrel running into a bush. In IT, when the audience feels a jump scare is coming, it will actually be scary.
Though IT is terrifying and the characters sacrifice their lives for the children of Derry, it has many comedic relief moments that lighten up the eerie mood in the theater. The group of kids make quality jokes and commentary that will definitely make moviegoers laugh out loud. The camaraderie between the kids is believable and endearing. The scripted banter is realistic and hilarious.
In addition to the scary and hilarious, IT offers many serious, dramatic moments. Derry is not filled with the best role models. The kids act so mature in IT because their lives away from being with their friends are filled with traumatic events. This element helps audience relate to the kids, making their experiences tear-jerking.
The acting in this film is phenomenal. Finn Wolfhard, who played Stan, offers sarcastic, witty humor throughout the entire movie. Yes, they might be fighting off an evil clown, but Stan still has a smart comment to share. Sophia Lillis played Beverly, a strong-willed, confident character despite her terrifying home life. Despite being the only female in the friend group, she has wonderful friendly chemistry with the other kids. Bill Skarsgård, who plays the terrifying clown IT, delivers a frightening performance. His balance of scary, yet theatrical (since he is a clown after-all) culminates into a very creepy character.
Movie reviews can be very opinionated and hard to believe sometimes. What isn’t hard to believe are numbers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, IT scored $123 million at the box office this weekend, breaking biggest opening weekend for a horror film ever and for a Stephen King adaptation. It scored $185 million globally as well. This movie is a hit everywhere.
Catch “IT” at local theaters like Regal Manor Cinema in Millersville or Penn Cinema in Lititz.
Grade: [ A- ]
Rating: [ R ]
Now playing in theaters