What an unsettling and yet gratifying experience “It” was. Intense and otherwise terrifying, “It” fared well among this generation and the last.
Adapted from the 1,138 page novel by Stephen King and directed by Andrés Muschietti, “It” is rated 20 percent higher than the original mini-series from 1990. Because the mini-series aired two episodes to tell the whole of King’s story, the 2017 remake must have a sister film coming soon, as also eluded to in the end credits of the film.
Muschietti, who is known for directing horror film “Mama,” has done an outstanding job in positioning the scare scenes among the adventure and humor that accompanies being in a friend group of 13-year-olds.
Spotlight star and everyone’s favorite “Stranger Things” actor, Finn Wolfhard, plays as one of the main protagonists in the friend’s posse, otherwise lovingly referred to as the Loser’s Club. While Wolfhard is already known for his incredible child-star acting and quirky characters, the other child actors played off each other well. The humor between the kids didn’t feel forced as yet another nostalgic ’80s vibe and middle school memories came flooding back.
What’s most surprising about the cast is who played the demon It. While many of us would suppose It to be a creepy and hard-set featured white man, the actor who starred as the demon is Bill Skarsgård, an attractive 27-year-old Swedish actor whose role varies in several other films.
Besides the incredible cast, all props must go to the screenwriting. Rather than just another horror film with all of the overdone jump scares and flimsy plot, “It” has outdone itself in addressing modern issues. The theme plays on the idea of fear itself, but what’s most credible is the individualization of the character’s fears.
From sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, racism and other known qualifiers that depict realistically horrifying events and fears, the imagination has room to fester on the evil that lies within reach of the real world.
The tantalizing effects these children undergo essentially force them to grow up, which King had in mind from the start. While his novel focuses on the idea of fear, “It” also delves into the embodiment of innocence and its metamorphosis into adulthood. For these characters, though battling their demons is a crucial and identifiable point, King means for people to understand how childhood events push for maturity.
For King, sex is a prime factor separating children from adults, and that ideal is seen in the amount of sex jokes these adolescents consistently make throughout the film in an effort of humor or insult. It is only at the end, once the kids have fought their demon, does the immaturity cease to be as prevalent. Growth is shown here, and it is only signified more when each of them forego their fears in order to stand as a group.
In essence, “It” was not only a satisfyingly scary horror flick, but it was also an exceptional coming-of-age film, one that hasn’t been as accurately portrayed in years. All of “It” was far better than many’s expectations, and if Muschietti decides to present a sequel, the standards are now set even higher.