By Joshua Simpkins
If I have said it once, I’ve said it some million-and-one times: I love me some Stephen King. In fact, the book I am currently hooked into is by Sai King. I took a two-year hiatus to devour two Dean Koontz series—Odd Thomas (9 books) and Frankenstein (5 books)—and now I’m back to the Master of the Macabre. I have read 90+ percent of his works and seen every one of his film and television adaptations. Now, I know I have griped on and on about how I dislike reboots in the past; it takes a very special remake to make the grade in my book. Knowing both of these things about me, dear friends and neighbors, I must confess I have seen the remake of Stephen King’s IT—starring Bill Skarsgård (Allegiant), Jaeden Lieberher (The Confirmation), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Sophia Lillis (37), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween), and Chosen Jacobs (In His Feature Film Debut)—and IT is terrifyingly spectacular.
IT follows the Losers Club—Bill (Lieberher), Ritchie (Wolfhard), Beverly (Lillis), Ben (Taylor), Stan (Oleff), Eddie (Grazer), and Mike (Jacobs)—as these seven friends traverse the troubled waters of puberty, bullies, crushes, curfews, and one supernatural, psychotic, killer, Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Skarsgård), in the summer of 1989. Forced together out of necessity, friendship, and luck, the Losers Club take it upon themselves to investigate when young children in their little town of Derry, Maine, start disappearing, only to be found dead, most brutally mangled, days later, if the little lost souls are found at all. During a search of 29 Niebolt Street, the Losers have a terrifying showdown with this evil demon who has been terrorizing their town and successfully wound the beast, but at the cost of their unity.
Weeks later, the disbanded Losers suffer a terrible blow when Pennywise—taking advantage of their weakened bond—gets Beverly; taking the fiery redhead down into he depths of the Derry sewer system. Deep within the bowels of Derry, the Losers face their every possible and greatest fears in their attempt to rescue Bev and destroy IT. The Losers must set aside their petty squabbles and overcome their greatest fears if they are to thwart the malevolent monster and bring serenity back to their quite little town. However, a bargain proposed by the wicked clown could sever the Losers ties with each other permanently, plunging Derry into darkness for always and eternity.
The original Pennywise actor Tim Curry gave the remake his blessing. Heck, Stephen King himself signed off on IT, giving the film a grand endorsement. It surpasses my standards of a remake, and I am exceedingly ecstatic. The entire cast and crew deserve major kudos for the job that they did on IT. The young actors are amazing and Bill Skarsgård plays quite the menacing foe. Curry’s Pennywise is scary, witty and blunt, but still sort of grounded. Skarsgård’s Pennywise is more metaphysical—cerebral, sinister, crazed, methodical and downright terrifying. Seeing this film gave me a fright, yes, but I also felt a sort of nostalgia that was a welcomed sensation. I think that pre-teens today need to see a movie where kids their own age are not only the protagonists, but pal around together, riding bikes, getting in rock fights, swimming in their tidy-whities, with no electronic devices attached to their persons. IT is everything I was hoping for. With that being said, I say go see IT…go see IT, and you’ll float too. Now go on and have some scary, good fun at the movies.