Stephen King goes at IT again
New Line Cinema's horror thriller "IT," directed by Andy Muschietti ("Mama"), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
There have been so many Stephen King adaptations over the last four decades - many of them bad - that it’s easy to take them for granted. But there is something undeniably appealing about the sensibilities of this prolific author, a visual quality that translates effectively to the screen, and it’s something that director Andy Muschietti captures disturbingly well in his adaptation of IT… or at least, in this first half of the two-part film.
Stephen King’s seminal work about a group of put-upon children who overcome their fears - personified as a demonic clown - and later revisit their childhood traumas as adults has been adapted once before, in a 1990 TV mini-series.
And although that version features a haunting performance
by Tim Curry as the titular monster, its workmanlike presentation doesn’t come close to this new adaptation, which understands that King’s small-town nostalgia is purposefully grandiose.
Memories of childhood have a tendency to take on a larger-than-life quality, a perspective which Muschietti interprets on film with romantic sentimentality half the time and grotesquely distorted funhouse-mirror theatricality the rest. of course, this Test Article also says a lot about the layout.
The Bottom Line
Be prepared to jump, but not too high
A rickety, ramshackle house that was raised on the corner of Hollywood and Vine last month is actually brand new. It's designed to scare you into seeing "It," the Stephen King book that is now a movie. What is It? Well, it isn't just the scariest pronoun ever, It is also a clown, but not a funny one.