By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer
Stephen King’s IT (2017), directed by Andres Muschietti is a riveting thrill ride that keeps you glued to the front of your seat. IT certainly has its fair share of jump scares, as does every horror movie.
However, Bill Skarsgard puts on an amazing performance as the main villain, Pennywise the Dancing Clown that made every scene he was in horrifying.
Not to mention, Muschietti created an extremely creepy atmosphere throughout the film that gives the audience an uncomfortable sense of anxiety.
This anxiety was not exclusive to a few scenes preluding scares, but was present even during scenes with lighter tones.
That being said, the movie was certainly fun and its young cast was hilarious. It is always a gamble to make a movie with such a child based cast as it creates a very strict filming schedule. Not to mention the young people often lack experience.
This, however, did not seem to be a problem for the cast and crew of IT. The young cast of IT seemed to finesse humor as well as genuine terror out of each of their roles. In a horror film, it is almost as important for the victims to be genuinely scared or else the audience simply won’t be scared either.
Young actors such as Finn Wolfhard, who also stars in the Netflix original series, Stranger Things, Jaeden Lieberher, Jack Dylan Grazer, and more were all a part of the “Losers Club” in the film.
Lieberher played Bill Denbrough, the film’s main protagonist and the leader of the “Loser’s Club.”
While this was Lieberher’s first major film role, on screen it seemed as though he’d been acting for a lifetime.
In the book and the movie, Bill is tortured by the death of his little brother Georgie and his emotions are extremely intense.
It could not have been an easy feat for Lieberher, but one might actually believe he lost a brother, as to how well he captures Bill’s raw emotions on screen.
Wolfhard was tasked with serving as the film’s comedic relief as the role of Richie Tozier. Wolfhard is laugh-out -loud funny.
He makes crude jokes and drops f-bombs throughout the entire film. He’s certainly needed as this movie is one of the scariest films in recent memory.
Muschietti does a wonderful job not letting Tozier’s humorous role runaway with the film and take away from the scares. The humor is great, but even when Wolfhard will have you in tears laughing, you are almost looking over your shoulder in the theater going “where the hell is that clown?”
Speaking of clowns, this movie is nothing without the stellar performance of Skarsgard as Pennywise. Skarsgard has never had a major film role and has mostly just done professional modeling, but again like his costar Lieberher, you’d believe he was acting forever.
Pennywise was everything we thought he’d be: he was tactical, he was brutal, he was heartless, and he was a child killer. While Tim Curry’s performance as the murderous clown in 1990 was wonderfully scary, Skarsgard raised the bar to a level I did not think was possible.
As already stated, IT does not rely on jump scares, rather it relies on the ambience set by Muschietti and the exceptional performance of Skarsgard.
He stole the show every time he was on screen and absolutely paralyzed the audience with fear.
With the Halloween season rapidly approaching and the fact that this movie is being praised as one of the best horror movies in recent memory, you’d be a fool not to see this film.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably pee your pants; get to the theater and see IT.