Not every novel-to-screen adaptation can be a winner…
But take my word for it, THIS one IS!
We’re talking ‘IT’ based on Stephen King’s 1986 best selling novel which literally scared the hell out of readers—and didn’t do much to bolster the reputation of clowns either.
Sure ‘IT’ is a shocker, but it’s really more on the creepy side of things as we follow the doings of seven misfit school kids in a small burg in Maine.
They call themselves The Loser’s Club and what they experience at their young age shouldn’t happen to your worst enemy.
They’re being terrorized by an immortal, shape-shifting entity responsible for the disappearance of local children.
This dark figure shows itself as a not so harmless killer clown known as Pennywise who returns every 27 years to unleash his R-rated, evil carnage.
And THIS just happens to be the year!
Think GOONIES do Stephen King with shades of STAND BY ME thrown in for good measure.
The Loser’s Club here is portrayed largely by young unknown actors. All of whom get it right and should have great futures in Film.
Ditto their oft weird parents.
But it’s Bill Skarsgard’s clowning as Pennywise that will REALLY creep you out.
This thing is unnerving and guaranteed to stick with you long after you have left the theater.
On the Plus side the script has the kids of The Loser’s Club popping enough funny one-liners to keep the film from bogging down to just shock-upon-terror.
Yet there is a downside too.
‘IT’ suffers a bit due to its overly long 135 minutes running time which could have easily been cut back by say 15 minutes and would’ve made the film even better.
That said, this movie is a definite step in the right direction for Hollywood and a great way to usher in the Fall Film season.
‘IT’ should wake up the box office in a big way this weekend.
My grade: B
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings during Kansas City’s Morning News on 98.1 FM, KMBZ.