This vil­lain’s not clown­ing around

‘It’ is the great Stephen King hor­ror movie we have been wait­ing for

The Western Star - - LIFE - Leigh Paatsch

A SPEC­TAC­U­LARLY spooky new adap­ta­tion of the old Stephen King book, It ar­rives fully weaponised with enough hee­bies and jee­bies to force a global spike in recorded out­breaks of coul­ro­pho­bia.

That’s the fear of clowns, in case you didn’t know.

How­ever, once you get to know It’s big-shoed, red-nosed pro­tag­o­nist, Pen­ny­wise (played by Bill Skars­gard), there’s ev­ery chance you will be­come a coul­ro­pho­bic for life.

Pen­ny­wise is a Freddy Krueger of the fair­grounds who is spend­ing the sum­mer in the small town of Derry, Maine.

He has been a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor for more than a cen­tury, though he al­ways leaves a pe­riod of ex­actly 27 years be­tween stays.

With­out stray­ing too far into the spoiler zone, men­tion must be made that Pen­ny­wise is but one phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of a shapeshift­ing evil en­tity which comes to be nick­named “It” by the kids of Derry.

Any child un­lucky enough to score some face time with “It” in any of its forms is guar­an­teed a one-way ticket to the miss­ing per­sons list.

How­ever, when Pen­ny­wise is to the fore, the un­set­tling force that pro­pels It comes through with un­re­lent­ing, creepy clar­ity.

From the mo­ment we first cast eyes on this grotesque carny freak Pen­ny­wise plays upon each of our se­cret fears like tin­kling ev­ery key on a grand pi­ano.

While scary enough in its own right to have you avoid­ing cir­cuses, street pa­rades and birth­day par­ties forever­more, It is also a very well-made, well-acted movie that can eas­ily claim a place as one of the year’s best.

Not just for its un­set­tling col­lec­tion of eerie, van­ished-kid shocks to the sys­tem, but also for some ac­ces­si­bly bright and il­lu­mi­nat­ing sto­ry­telling.

This is the key rea­son why It is des­tined to be a mas­sive box-of­fice hit in the weeks ahead.

Though the movie will def­i­nitely rat­tle an au­di­ence, su­pe­rior script­ing and a ju­di­cious use of re­straint en­sures no-one will be re­pulsed by what they must en­dure.

In ad­di­tion to Skars­gard’s sin­is­ter stylings as the de­ranged Pen­ny­wise, the movie also ex­tracts win­ning per­for­mances from a pre­dom­i­nantly young and rel­a­tively un­known cast.

This novice sec­tion of the en­sem­ble not only ex­cel in the tor­rid and tense sec­tions of the pic­ture, but also when the sit­u­a­tion calls for lev­ity and light re­lief as well.

Thanks to them, the fraught, yet im­mer­sive It ex­pe­ri­ence de­liv­ers a com­plete and last­ing rush, not un­like the Net­flix classic Stranger Things in a sin­gle, pow­er­ful two-hour dose.

❝plays Pen­ny­wise

upon each of our se­cret fears like tin­kling ev­ery key on a grand pi­ano.

PHOTO: WARNER BROS. PIC­TURES

NO LAUGH­ING MAT­TER: Bill Skars­gard brings Pen­ny­wise to life in the movie, It.

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