The second adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” is a record-breaking box office hit, receiving $13.5 million in ticket sales its opening night and becoming the third highest preview night gross of 2017 behind “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Directed by Andy Muschietti, who also directed “Mama,” the horror film follows a group of teenagers on the brink of puberty in the mysterious town of Derry, Maine: William “Bill” Denbrough, the head of the group mourning his missing brother; Richard “Richie” Tozier, the loud mouth know-it-all who curses in every sentence; Edward “Eddie” Kaspbrak, the asthmatic hypochondriac that vocally freaks out about everything; Stanley “Stan” Uris, the skeptical Jewish boy; Benjamin “Ben” Hanscom, the new kid that gets bullied for being overweight; Michael “Mike” Hanlon, the orphan boy who is bullied for being African-American; and Beverly “Bev” Marsh, the girl who is physically abused by her father.
Calling themselves the Losers’ Club, the teens become inquisitive about their peers and classmates who keep coming up missing. Because of his little brother’s disappearance, Bill is determined to find out what happened to the missing children and why the people of Derry continue to do nothing about them.
In their search for answers, each teen experiences their fears transformed into reality, with those fears turning into Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Keeping what they have seen a secret initially in fear of seeming crazy, the kids eventually confess to one another what they have seen, confirming that “It” is real and hunting them. With Bill’s encouragement and persistence, the group seeks to learn more about this evil being and destroy it.
The teens, watching film of the history of the town and looking at maps of present and past Derry, discover that “It” must live in the sewers and that the entrance of the sewers is in an old, abandoned house. They also find out that “It” has been in Derry for decades, contributing to numerous mass killings and missing people and only reappearing every 27 years.
When “It” captures Beverly, the group of misfit boys come to her rescue through the sewers and find the dingy, circus themed lair of “It,” along with the dead missing children floating above. The team find Beverly in a trance, awaken her and seemingly defeat the shapeshifting clown.
“The filmmakers honor both the pastoral and the infernal dimensions of Mr. King’s distinctive literary vision,” according to The New York Times.
Before the credits, the movie ends displaying “Chapter One,” indicating that there will be a sequel to the horror hit. Although King’s novel incorporated both the group’s childhood and adult years, this version apparently splits the experiences into two movies in order to include on screen as much from the novel as possible. The second movie will be a representation of the group’s adult years.
The movie is a better adaptation than the 1990 miniseries and has an outstanding cast, especially Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise and Jake Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak. The children actors believably portrayed the story and the dynamics of the friend group. The film had a few jump scares, but successfully created a creepy atmosphere that will make this Halloween scarier than most.
The movie currently has 85 percent with a certified fresh critics’ rating and an 88 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, the film has also received generally positive reviews, with a critics’ score of 70 percent and an audience score of 8/10.