Stephen King has presented many novels that have become films. News of the classic novel and 1986 film “It” being remade sparked a slew of excitement among many horror fans. Remakes often have to live up to expectations of familiar viewers, thus making it even more important that a remake is both fresh and nostalgic at the same time. The 2017 “It” remake is able to meet many of the expectations, but does not meet all of them.
The film is set in the fictionalized city of Derry, Maine. This new adaptation is set in the time period of the late 1980s while the original is set in the 1950s. The film focuses on a group of seven kids and terror they face from Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård.
The film immediately starts off by producing a tenebrous undertone. Children begin to go missing in the small town, which elicits the curiosity of the group of friends. This hunt for what happened sets up the film for its future scares.
Comedy is heavily placed throughout the movie. The group of young kids is vulgar in certain cases, which eases the mood of the horrifying events by adding comedic relief. The serious moments are juxtaposed by these moments, which proves to be effective. It has the ability to put the viewer on edge, making them wonder what exactly will happen next.
The adaptation offers scenes of terror, but most of them seem to come off as underwhelming. Jump scares are often recognizable before they happen, yet they still frighten the audience. This is a film that did not present such a reaction. A few rare moments illustrated terror, such as the scene when Bill Denbrough, played by Jaeden Lieberher, is lured into his basement by the apparition of his brother Georgie, who is played by Jackson Robert Scott.
One area in the film that is highly praised is the performance of the infamous villain, Pennywise. Skarsgård does a phenomenal performance of bringing the character to life. He is able to portray the psychotic nature of such a villain, and really sell it. His mannerisms, and equally distinguishable laugh sets out his performance from others. He portrays the villain in a way that is sure to make one’s skin crawl. He is able to embrace the fears of the kids, and use it to his advantage, eliciting a variety of different phobias and methods to affect the children.
“It” is a film that has lived up to the hype of its long anticipated release. The film does lack in certain areas, such as the ability to really scare the viewer. Without Skarsgård as Pennywise, the film wouldn’t have been as memorable or as riveting. Although there were faults in the film, it is still an adaptation that has done justice to the original. The film is rated R and is currently playing in theaters.