Coulrophobia set to increase as Stephen King's It hits cinemas
Sep 06 2017 by Johnnie Parsons
It's taken 31 years for Stephen King's doorstep magnum opus to reach the big screen, making It, good or bad, the horror event of the year. Despite its drawn out pre-production process and change in creative personnel, IT is one of the better cinematic interpretations of King's writing and certainly the best produced in modern times.
Some 30 years ago, Stephen King's masterful and massive horror work "IT" was released to widespread acclaim and huge sales, becoming the bestselling book of 1986 in the United States.
We open on a rainy fall day in the sleepy (and nearly immediately kind of creepy) town of Derry, Maine. It features Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Skarsgård in the lead roles along with supporting role stars Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott. It'll be interesting what sort of clown face he puts on, because it's not an obvious clown face at all.
Before I even start, it needs to be said: I hate scary clowns. They're scrappy and raw, silly even while scared out of their minds. I'm encouraged. I know that we are proud of the movie.
Another key element of success is the town of Derry, which is a messed up place filled with all kinds of monsters: these include racists, rapists, psychopaths and that's before we even bring in "It".
"It" also begs comparison to the wildly popular "Stranger Things". I mentioned this to Bill as a trait of the character, thinking it was something we would do in post-production. I had never seen anything like that on TV. As the one girl in the group, Beverly could easily be lost on a pedestal (and no, THAT disturbing book scene is not in the movie - thank goodness). The main characters that make up the Losers' Club are all at the point in their teenage years where fear of growing up, fear of the opposite sex, fear of social acceptance peaks.
Twenty-seven years after Tim Curry shambled across America's TV screens as the evil clown Pennywise, Stephen King's classic tale of evil lurking in small town ME finally gets a big budget Hollywood makeover.
Much of the action is carried by the young cast playing a group of outsiders who call themselves The Losers' Club.
And what a monster It is.
For fans of King's sprawling but psychologically penetrating novel, the only screen adaptation has been a 1990 ABC miniseries that featured an excellent Tim Curry as Pennywise but otherwise felt constrained by the standards of network television. That's one of the themes of the novel. 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. There are some monster choices that are utilised to scare the kids that don't hit the same chord of terror that Pennywise does, in particular, the monster that is used against Eddie which is just silly in its design. But thankfully, that does not take away from some of the scarier scenes at the film's climax. "IT was a dream project for me", the Argentinian filmmaker admits. A sexual-abuse subplot that largely remains subtext in the book is made much more obvious in the film, and a love triangle between three of the Losers is given outsized importance here compared to the source material. Can we get another installment with the kids before their grown-up selves reunite in Derry? But I'm really excited about finishing the tale.
And now that the brothers have gained popularity, they're trying to get on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", so if you like what they're doing or you know, think it's so scary it deserves recognition, make sure you repost the images to try to get these two on TV.