The Malta Independent on Sunday - - CINEMA -

On a rainy day in Oc­to­ber 1988, Bill Den­brough gives his seven-year-old brother Georgie a sail­boat made from note­book pa­per. Georgie takes the boat out onto the street to sail it in the gut­ter and is un­able to stop it from sail­ing down the storm drain. As Georgie peers into the Storm drain, he’s star­tled by the pres­ence in the sewer of a strange man dressed as a clown who in­tro­duces him­self as “Pen­ny­wise the Danc­ing Clown”. Pen­ny­wise claims that the storm blew the whole cir­cus, in­clud­ing him, into the sew­ers and of­fers Georgie his boat to lure the boy closer. When Georgie reaches in, Pen­ny­wise grabs his arm and bites it off be­fore drag­ging the boy into the sewer.

Eight months later, in June 1989, on the last day of term at Derry High School, Bill and his friends Richie Tozier, Ed­die Kasp­brak, and Stan­ley Uris run afoul of bully Henry Bow­ers and his gang. At the same time, Beverly Marsh, a young girl abused by her fa­ther and bul­lied mer­ci­lessly for be­ing a “slut”, runs into Ben Hanscom, a kind but over­weight new kid who se­cretly has a crush on her.

While mak­ing a de­liv­ery to a lo­cal butcher shop for his grand­fa­ther, home­schooled Mike Han­lon en­coun­ters Pen­ny­wise be­fore nearly get­ting run over by Henry. Bill, still haunted by Georgie’s dis­ap­pear­ance and the re­sult­ing ne­glect from his grief­stricken par­ents, dis­cov­ers that his brother’s body may have washed up in the marshy waste­land called the Bar­rens and re­cruits his friends to check it out. Mean­while, Ben Hanscom finds a book on Derry’s his­tory while in the town li­brary, learn­ing the town has been plagued by mys­te­ri­ous un­ex­plained tragedies and child dis­ap­pear­ances for cen­turies. Ben is then lured to the base­ment by mys­te­ri­ous easter eggs like the ones from the Kitch­ener Iron­works in­ci­dent, nar­rowly es­cap­ing Pen­ny­wise in the form of a burnt, head­less boy. But Ben runs into Henry’s gang, flee­ing into the Bar­rens when Henry at­tempted to carve his name on the boy’s stom­ach. Ben runs into Billy’s group as they found the sneaker of a miss­ing girl named Betty Rip­som while search­ing for Georgie, get­ting sup­plies from a lo­cal phar­macy to treat his wounds with Beverly’s help. At the same time, Henry’s friend Patrick Hock­stet­ter is killed by Pen­ny­wise while wan­der­ing in the sew­ers for Ben.

The next day, af­ter the group spend a day swim­ming, they each have a night­mar­ish en­counter with Pen­ny­wise start­ing with Ed­die pass­ing an aban­doned house on Nei­bolt Street where he is at­tacked by the clown in the form of a rot­ting leper. Stan has a trau­ma­tiz­ing or­deal when the clown as­sumed the form of an an­i­mated fig­ure from a paint­ing. At her home, Beverly hears the the voices of sev­eral miss­ing chil­dren, in­clud­ing Patrick, com­ing from her bath­room sink. A clog of her cut hair ties her to the sink as she is cov­ered in the erupt­ing blood that coats the bath­room. Her fa­ther comes in to in­ves­ti­gate and Beverly re­al­izes that Mr. Marsh can­not see the blood. Later that night, Bill is lured into his house’s base­ment by what he thought is Georgie and nar­rowly es­capes Pen­ny­wise. Soon af­ter, help­ing Beverly clean her bath­room as they can see the blood, Bill and his friends dis­cover Henry’s gang beat­ing up Mike. They chase the bul­lies off with rocks and be­friend Mike.

A few weeks later, the group, who now re­fer to them­selves as “The Losers Club”, come to re­al­ize that they are each be­ing ter­ror­ized by the same en­tity. Notic­ing that “It” as­sumes the ap­pear­ance of what they fear, Ben de­duces that the crea­ture wakes up every 27 years to feed on the chil­dren of Derry be­fore it hi­ber­nates again. While in Bill’s garage, nearly killed by Pen­ny­wise, the group de­ter­mines that It moves about un­seen by us­ing the sew­ers around Derry’s well, on which 29 Nei­bolt Street is build, to move around un­seen. Af­ter Bill, Richie, and Ed­die en­ter the house while the oth­ers re­main out­side, Pen­ny­wise sep­a­rates the trio and at­tempts to pick them off start­ing with Ed­die af­ter he broke his arm while fall­ing through a hole up­stairs. But the rest of the Losers ar­rive and Beverly im­pales It through the head with a fence post, the clown limp­ing off into the well af­ter slash­ing Ben. Ed­die’s mother ar­rives and is hor­ri­fied by her son’s bro­ken arm, tak­ing him away. The group be­gins to splin­ter, with Richie, Stan, and Mike aban­don­ing the oth­ers of fear when Bill in­sists that they con­tinue to hunt It.

One day in Au­gust, Beverly man­ages to in­ca­pac­i­tate her fa­ther with a porce­lain toi­let lid when he at­tempts to rape her. But she is ab­ducted by Pen­ny­wise, with Bill re­assem­bling the Losers and mount a res­cue. It re­sponds by giv­ing Henry, who is grad­u­ally be­com­ing in­sane, his miss­ing switch­blade while com­pelling Henry to mur­der his abu­sive fa­ther be­fore send­ing him to kill the Losers. At the Nei­bolt house, the oth­ers man­age to reach a path­way in the well while Mike is at­tacked by Henry. Dur­ing the strug­gle, Mike pushes Henry down the well, where he seem­ingly falls to his death. It lures Stan from the oth­ers to eat him, only to be chased off when the oth­ers ar­rive. They then find It’s lair in an un­der­ground cool­ing tower, con­tain­ing a moun­tain of de­cay­ing cir­cus props and chil­dren’s be­long­ings, where they find a cata­tonic Beverly hov­er­ing be­low the float­ing corpses of the miss­ing chil­dren. While the oth­ers pull Beverly to the ground, Ben’s kiss restor­ing her to con­scious­ness, Bill uses Mike’s Cap­tive bolt pis­tol in an at­tempt to kill It when the crea­ture at­tempted to trick him as Georgie. But It re­verted to Pen­ny­wise and grabbed Bill, of­fer­ing to spare the other Losers if they al­low him to eat their friend. In­stead, they break Bill free and bru­tally wound It de­spite its at­tempts to use their fears against them. Bill coldly tells the wounded Pen­ny­wise that they know It needs their fear to sur­vive, and that they are now ef­fec­tively starv­ing the crea­ture by mak­ing It fear them. Know­ing he has no more power over them while be­gin­ning to dis­solve, It es­capes into a deep pit and the float­ing chil­dren float back into the ground. Upon dis­cov­er­ing Georgie’s yel­low raincoat, Bill ac­cepts his brother’s death and emo­tion­ally breaks down while the oth­ers com­fort him.

One month later, Beverly in­forms the group of a vi­sion she had while cata­tonic from see­ing It’s dead­light, where she saw them fight­ing the crea­ture as adults. The Losers form a blood oath that they will re­turn to Derry in 27 years if It re­turns and de­stroy the crea­ture once and for all. Af­ter the other Losers de­part one by one, Beverly tells Bill that she is mov­ing to live with her aunt in Port­land the fol­low­ing morn­ing. Be­fore Beverly leaves, Bill re­veals his true feel­ings and they kiss.

In an af­ter-cred­its au­dio clip chil­dren con­tinue to sing “Or­anges and Lemons”, while Pen­ny­wise laughs ma­ni­a­cally in­di­cat­ing that he has sur­vived.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: 15

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