<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Andy Muschietti. Starring Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes
I remember watching the first I.T. film/miniseries (based on the 1986 Stephen King novel) when I was a kid and it was creepy. This new version is just as disturbing and scary, but it also has a great gang of young kids who lighten the tension with ‘A’-rated banter and typical 80s shenanigans.
I.T. is a film about fears. It’s about psychologically disturbed adults and their rebelling teenage kids who must battle their inner demons and evade the monster that comes out every 27 years to feed on the children of little town Derry, Maine.
Young Bill’s (Jaeden Lieberher) little brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) meets Pennywise, the Dancing Clown. But there’s nothing funny about their encounter. He along with several other kids disappear, but the townspeople show no signs of concern apart from posting ‘missing’ signs. It falls on the streetsmart kids of Derry to decipher the mystery that lurks in the sewers but is far dirtier than the grey water they have to wade through.
Pennywise uses the fears that fester in the minds of these intrepid young ‘losers’ to make them easy bait for his fangs. But what is more scary: the usual blood and gore or the ominous parents and adults of Deer? I’ll let you decide.
What’s great about I.T. is that it’s not only about jump scares and disturbing imagery (without much CGI, which is great). The camaraderie between the bunch of boys and the solitary girl Beverly (Sophia Lillis) is priceless. This is the stuff of nostalgia. You’ll be reminded of all your childhood favourites like E.T.. The nostalgia of the 80s has been captured faithfully (reminiscent of the series Stranger Things. In fact, the actor from that series stars in I.T.).
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise is so menacing that every other ‘scary movie’ with the formula monstrous little girl with long hair pales in comparison.
What’s eery about I.T. is the little things that have nothing to do with the clown that make your hairs stand on end. In the library when romantic and chubby little Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is researching the history of Derry, look carefully in the background and you’ll notice something startlingly menacing.
Far better than the recent King novel movie adaptation The Dark Tower, I.T. is marvellously disturbing.