Real life is far scarier than anything an imagination could dream up
It is about understanding fear. There is a suggestion throughout the whole piece that fear is locked into its psyche and it’s the multi-levels of horror, changing throughout the picture, that show off It‘s undeniable skill of being outrageously scary.
A year after his brother’s disappearance, young Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and his friends are preparing for a summer of searching for little Georgie. However, with other children going missing, a curfew is placed on the town of Derry, Maine with everyone wrapped in fear. Yet, this does not stop the gang or the mysterious shape-shifting monster chasing after them.
The film itself is not terrifying, but the themes and ideas are, and the way director Muschietti portrays those with effortless enthusiasm makes It something much more than just a clown chasing children. It’s clear that Stephen King’s original novel is an incredibly powerful piece and that has certainly been captured for a cinematic audience.
Bill Skarsgard plays a wonderfully wicked Pennywise, in a playful and sinister manner. There’s almost a sense of dread driven into the film each time he appears. Yet it’s the children that are the real stars of the production. All seven of them put in incredibly powerful performances and the sense of camaraderie they bring is excellent. Skarsgard was scaring the young actors on set, and there does seem to be an actual fear coming from them as they play opposite him.
The cinematography is equal to any film released this year with some of the shots being completely mesmerising. The set design is as equally impressive and the choice of location is perfect. There’s clearly an attempt to make the film true to the novel, and it works with both discomfort and control. Muschietti deserves huge praise for creating such a loyal piece at a time when following a novel’s original storyline is an idea often dismissed at the first hurdle.
It is a film of pure horror. It’s powerful, it’s creepy and it’s tense. But what it really has at its core, shining brighter than anything else, is the idea that real life is far scarier than anything an imagination could dream up.