Terror-filled trip back to the 80s
young cast are the perfect mix of fear, fun and fury in and the late-1980s setting ensures more than a few favourable comparisons with hit TV show Stranger Things.
Fittingly, it also evokes memories of King’s own Stand By Me and every one of the seven kids are given their time to shine as they act in the fashion you’d expect them to, rather than as stereotypical facades.
Like many of the Blumhouse studios’ output of horror movies, director Andy Muschietti (Mama) makes use of traditionally innocent props and objects and fills them with terror; the projector scare is one of the film’s finest.
Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman co-wrote the screenplay and do justice to King’s weighty novel by focusing on the childhood version of The Losers’ Club.
The plan is for the already green-lit sequel to shift to the young heroes as adults, meaning the awkward time-hopping that existed throughout the 1990 adaptation is kept to the bare minimum.
Muschietti doesn’t scrimp on blood and gore, but wisely chooses an abundance of tension and drawn-out chills over severed limbs and stalk-and-slash pursuits.
Like the original It, though, the ending doesn’t quite live up to the quality build-up.
Even knowing a followup is on the way, the final confrontation between The Losers’ Club and Pennywise can’t help but fall a little flat.
Thankfully it’s a minor hurdle in the road on what is a speedy, slick, scary thrill ride which gives clowns a whole new bad name.