Clowning around again?
Clowns have always been a puzzle to the public eye. The concept of a good hearted entertainer with their identity hidden behind a colourful suit is an innocent yet easily distorted idea. They’ve been a staple figure in horror movie cinema for decades, dating back to 1924 with He Who Got Slapped, the first clown horror movie of its kind. So here we are today, with a trail of horror clowns dotted throughout cinema, at the release of the brilliant Stephen King’s IT remake.
IT 2017 is not the first of Stephen King’s movie adaptations – cinema has graced us with the delights of Stand By Me, The Shining and many more. All these masterpiece adaptations have left fans with high expectations and bubbling excitement, so it was essential for director Andy Muschietti and all of the team to execute this film perfectly.
The cast of IT was chosen so wonderfully. The acting was so great it is difficult to tell who the star of the show was – the Losers Club had such a potent chemistry together on set and they balanced out the stress of the horror with their sweet nature and comedic one liners. Each character had such depth, for example Richie (Finn Wolfhard) being the class clown of the group and Beverly, the artistic leader. Because the movie had an balanced focus on the protagonists, you become attached to the characters. The one liners bring life to the film and are scripted to resonate with typical humour of that age, making the characters relatable. Because of this, when fear and horror strike, you are made to watch in fear as these loveable teenagers become vastly endangered whilst you’re praying that they make it out alive. Overall, the Losers Club displayed an unbeatable performance.
The other star of the show was undoubtedly actor Bill Skarsgard. The unrelenting, twisted Pennywise is no match for anyone (bar the Losers Club, of course). In production, Bill never saw the rest of the cast until it was his time to shoot. They hid him from the Losers Club cast in order to amplify fear and to create a real sense of tension when they would finally meet, and this payed off well in film. It heightened the quality of the overall acting because the fear portrayed was partially true. Skarsgard gripped the horror of the film and demonstrated an authentic, undeniable quality of terrifying performance that leaves you shaking every time you pass a sewer. He constructed the perfect balance of horror and distorted playfulness – working with a contortionist really developed his performance.
The directing and production of the film flowed perfectly. Director Andy Muschietti has a talent for demonic horrors – his previous work, Mama, focuses on the supernatural which provided him with the skills and flare that evidently reflected in his direction of IT. His focus on the smaller elements in the story worked really well, such as references to the original book and the time period e.g cinema references and releasing the film 27 years after the original which is tradition. Speaking of the original, in comparison, the remake did it perfect justice. It kept the same unbeatable chemistry of the Losers Club, and who could of thought that Skarsgard could be a real match for Tim Curry? He took the flare of Curry’s performance and made it his very own, refreshing the scare of the character. With the original having the tricky task of squeezing a large novel into two films, a common audience opinion is that the second half of the original could have done much better. But here in the remake, the story is revived and you get a full sense of satisfaction that the story has been told completely.
The plot of the film was really well structured. It would flit between the Losers Club friendship, hooking you on their relatable nature and sweetness before plunging you into the depths of Pennywise’s terror and sickening you to your stomach as you watch Pennywise reveal that terrifying jaw of teeth.
Overall, IT is an unmissable film that will be treasured by both Hollywood and King fans for years to come. If you’re looking for the new fright on the scene, IT 2017 is the movie for you.