[media-credit name=”Screenshot courtesy of YouTube” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The long-awaited debut of the new adaption of Stephen King’s ‘It’ has finally crept into theaters. Since releasing the record-breaking first trailer, the anticipation to see the film has taken over viewers worldwide- and for good reason.
The new release feels almost familiar to those who have seen the original. The strong theme of friendship and courage that was prevalent in the first film appears in the more developed characters in the updated film.
The importance of the character backgrounds weighed down the original thriller, creating too much space in between scares to hold any sort of suspense throughout the movie. In the first film, the whole storyline of the novel was squished into a dragging plot whereas this film splits the plot into two parts: the characters’ childhood experience with Pennywise and their adult encounter with the deadly clown.
This new film was able to balance sequences of bonding and loyalty within the friend group with a tumultuous set of scares that were sure to make the audience jump. All of these horrors were caused by the ancient being Pennywise the Dancing Clown, played by Bill Skarsgard.
With his terrifying portrayal of the child-eating clown, it didn’t take much effort to give the audience a chill. From the way he smiled, to the horrendous clown laugh, Pennywise was far scarier than in the previous thriller- no doubt with some help from modern filmmaking technology. He was absent from the film, but was somehow always with the characters as the film played on.
These brief moments that we have with Pennywise in his clown form stand out and helps the audience understand how this creature functions. He appears to each of the kids in a separate form, unique to their own fear and he only appears when they are afraid in real-life. This ties into how he only feasts on children who are scared, stating that it adds more flavor.
For the character of Bill Denbrough, played by Jaeden Leiberher, the clown appears to him in the form of his late little brother Georgie who was previously killed by the clown. And for character Richie Tozier, played by ‘Stranger Things’ cast member Finn Wolfhard, the clown appears to him as just that, a clown, since Richie is afraid of clowns.
As for the other characters, some other forms the clown takes range from an explosion of blood, a burning family and a man suffering from leprosy. The differing appearances of the clown adds a new layer to the scare factor since you never know which form Pennywise will take and when and where he will strike. It also gives much more insight to the characters’ minds and their pasts, which is something the first movie essayed to accomplish, but it got lost in the length of the film.
The climax of the film is heart-pounding and fist-clenching as the kids try and save one of their friends, Beverly Marsh, played by Sophia Lillis. The kids head into It’s lair, which is composed of old sewer tunnels that connect to a huge underground lair. The middle of the room is filled to the top with tokens of children that have been taken and presumably killed by the clown and even some children who are floating around the mountain.
The kids battle face-to-face with Pennywise as he assumes the identity of their worst fears. However, the courage and passion the kids have to defeat this beast overpowers their fear and without fear, Pennywise is nothing. He seems to wilt and falter as the kids state that they aren’t afraid, and he sinks into another sewer hole, seeming to be disintegrating.
The movie ended after the kids “defeat” the clown, swearing to one another that if he ever comes back to Derry, Maine, they will all reunite to finally kill the creature. Pennywise returns once every 27 years, so the second movie will likely take place when the kids are adults.