Movie review: “It,” a terrifying revival

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Almost everyone is afraid of clowns. There is something inherently scary about the makeup-covered giggling fiends. What many of us don’t know is that the reason for this fear of clowns is largely due to Stephen King’s terrifying novel, “It.”

King’s novel revolves around a group of children who band together to fight a demonic entity that is manifested in the form of the chilling Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Now, “It” has its cinematic debut in a feature film of the same name, directed by Andy Muschietti.

“It” is the story of a group of kids in the small Maine town of Derry. All the kids in the group are social outcasts in some way.  Anyone can find a person within this group of friends that they can relate to on some level, which is one of the elements that draws the audience into the experience.

Derry seems like any other normal American town. It has a cute main street, nice neighborhoods, bullies, cool kids, nerds and everything that audiences associate with a normal life. However, Derry is different in that its citizens go missing at an alarmingly high rate, and no one seems to know why. The town largely pays no attention to this, and the group of misfits take it upon themselves to find out why.

Muschietti successfully creates a terrifying homage to classic horror movies, such as “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” that honor the source material to create a great stand-alone movie.

“It” deals with an abundance of characters. Through seamless direction, most of the kids we follow develop in ways that add emotional depth to the story.

Bill Skarsgard particularly stands out in his role as the antagonist, Pennywise. Pennywise also receives smart development that adds to the frightening nature of his character. There are not many things in our life that are as terrifying as a demonic clown who feeds on the fear and flesh of innocent children.

Due to a story built on solid character development, fantastic source material, great acting talent, terrifying visuals and significant lack of typical horror movie clichés, “It” stands out in the horror genre.

The movie hearkens back to a time in American cinema when scares in movies were not simply loud noises or images flashing on the screen. The movie is one where characters we care about are in dreadful circumstances, and the audience is compelled to feel terrified for them.

If you can stand chilling, demonic and carnivorous clowns and want to see a great movie that stands out in the horror genre, then “It” is a great start to the Halloween movie season for you.

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