'It (2017)' tells the story of the Losers Club, a group of seven kids who stand up against the evil shape-shifting creature that most commonly appears in the form of "Pennywise, The Dancing Clown." 'IT' was easily one of my most anticipated films of the year. I am a big fan of the Stephen King novel that the film is based on and the original mini series adaptation from 1990. For me, 'IT' was good, but not great and this is because of one major issue I had with the film (which I will speak to shortly).
The number one thing this movie has going for it is the excellent cast and the chemistry they share. The losers club is made up of seven kids, and while they all had fantastic chemistry together, it was Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), and Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) who stood out as the real stars of the losers club. Then, we have Bill Skarsgård who plays Pennywise. When Skarsgård was first announced as Pennywise, I was pretty neutral about it. He seemed like he could play the part, but I struggled to envision him in the role. As I started to see more promotional photos and videos of Pennywise, I became more and more excited. Tim Curry's take on Pennywise was more of a goofy, wisecracking character, but Skarsgård went for more of a creepy and psychotic approach to the infamous character. Ultimately, Skarsgård's Pennywise worked for me, but it wasn't what I was expecting based on the film's marketing campaign (more on this later). Another aspect of the movie that stood out to me as particularly strong was how well Derry, Maine, the fictional town from King's book, was portrayed in the film. For those that have read the book, you will know that this adaptation of the story shifted the timeline a bit from the 1950's to the late 1980's. And while these changes were noticeable in some areas, it didn't take away from the story, and it still felt like the Derry, Maine that King created.
Now for the disappointing part: I didn't find it scary in the slightest. Before you jump on me in the comments, I will say that I am aware Pennywise is supposed to be more of a goofy scary. The reason I count this as a pretty sizable flaw is that I feel the film was mismarketed. It was marketed as a truly terrifying and dark adaptation of Stephen King's story. As a result of this, I went into it expecting a genuinely scary film. Unfortunately, it did not deliver on this expectation. Besides the occasional cliché jump scare, I found myself wondering "when is it going to get scary?". I will say though that I am eager to revisit the film. I feel that upon a second viewing, I would ultimately enjoy the film more as I could go into it with proper expectations.
All in all, I enjoyed Andy Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King's 'IT.' The film features some excellent performances from its cast, and the chemistry between the members of the losers club felt pure and authentic. Skarsgard's take on Pennywise was fresh and original, yet it fit the book's description wonderfully. It was, unfortunately, the film's lack of authentic scares that ultimately turned me off. I give 2017's feature film adaptation a 7 out of 10.