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Andres Muschietti's IT adaptation doesn't let Stephen King's much-loved novel down

Andres Muschietti's IT adaptation doesn't let Stephen King's much-loved novel down

That's one of the themes of the novel.

"Even though Stephen King's It was written a little more than three decades ago, director Andy Muschietti's new big-screen adaptation feels especially well-timed". Bill SkarsgÄrd's eerie portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown sheds any doubt of the actor's ability to continue the legacy of Tim Curry from the 1990 miniseries. Although the newest kid in school, a bully magnet named Ben (the excellent Jeremy Ray Taylor) discovers a lot of Derry's sad history, we never learn why Pennywise does what he does - just that he does it every 27 years.

As more and more children go missing in Derry, the Losers Club is brought face-to-face with their fears, and one truly horrifying clown.

The long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King's terrifying story about a shape-shifting creature that takes the form of its victims' worst fears (most memorably a murderous clown called Pennywise) finally arrives on the big screen this month.

The story will be told in two parts.

I think if you ask anyone what they think of clowns, (clowns are) as much fear as they are jolly, amusing characters. Much like Quentin Tarantino's first volume of Kill Bill offered a delirious yet morally unmoored mixtape of kung-fu spectacle, only for the second installment to provide the context that retroactively made it all meaningful, It very much feels like the flashier half of a longer story. It's power to scare, ultimately, is not as strong as its power to evoke the joys, confusions and fears of childhood, or its power to leave you wanting more.

The result: a coming-of-age yarn not unlike a horror-inflected jumble of The Goonies and E.T. Without the adults adding the thematic side of things, this is just a film about a creepy clown that jumps out at people. Both he and collaborator David Katzenberg (they banded together for 2011's The Hard Times of RJ Berger) spent six years developing It, and even though the reception for the movie has been great, they are not counting their chickens before they're hatched. The rules for Pennywise are never clearly defined, allowing the monster to do just about anything It wants to.

Perhaps that's inevitable, as the film is incomplete by design, punting one half of its source material to a potential sequel - and considering the film's pre-release tracking numbers, that sequel looks fairly inevitable. It's a focus on those awkward years we all faced, where you could only count on your friends.

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"[King's] books speak for themselves, his career speaks for itself".

It does suffer from a few drawbacks.

It, too, features Muschietti's distinct, fantastical visual treatment, and even horror staples like the blood-soaked bathroom and the scary clown take on their own distinct appearance under direction.

The members of the Losers Club are broadly sketched - one stutters, one is fat; one's a hypochondriac, one (Richie, played by Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard) a joker. But this is 2017, and thanks to a rash of real-life creepy clowns being spotted at night in towns across America just a year ago, we all know that even adults would go running to the police if they spotted one, especially if said clown had razor-sharp chompers and charged at them in close quarters.

Bill Skarsgard will take on the role of Pennywise in the latest film adaptation of the classic Stephen King horror. It's a chilling, emotional, gripping and heartfelt experience.

This eclectic bunch is brimming with charm, wit, and character thanks to their respective actors.

Meanwhile, the new film - which hits United Kingdom cinemas on Friday 8 September - has already received rave reviews with Stephen King himself giving the new film his seal of approval.

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