There’s a common, unspoken rule in horror movies: You can plan any gruesome murder for the adults, but you have to leave the children unharmed. Well, Andy Muschietti’s new film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘IT’ stars a bunch of tweens, so one would assume that no matter how scary it gets, no one is harmed, right?
Wrong. The opening sequence itself reveals a shocking event that sets the tone for the movie, which, it’s important to note, is R rated. So, don’t be fooled by the young cast — this is a horror to be taken seriously.
Set in 1988, the film will introduce you to the Losers — a rag-tag bunch of kids in the township of Derry, Maine, who aren’t quite popular in school. They’re bullied, ostracised, and ignored, so they gradually band together. But bullies aren’t the Losers’ only problem — there is something dark and dangerous running around their beloved town. Something that isn’t human, something that has the power to turn into what they fear most in the world. Parents and elders don’t believe them, even as more and more kids go missing. So, after some terrifying encounters, can the Losers get to the bottom of what is terrorizing their town? And at what cost?
The movie uses a lot of horror classics like playing with the audio to create that foreboding feeling or jump scares. And it has a villain — or monster — that is genuinely scary. But one of the best parts of the movie is clearly the talent from the very young cast. These are kids just being kids, in their brilliant unfiltered way. They aren’t cute model students, and they aren’t trying to be. They are a group of potty-mouthed youngsters, always ready with a witty insult or a ‘yo mama’ joke, and they will have you laughing, and rooting for them.
Perhaps, this is the genius of Muschietti’s ‘IT’. A lot of horror movies spend time and money on inventive villains or graphic special effects. But IT wins you over because once you relate to the kids — and it’s impossible not to relate with at least one of them — you’re terrified about who you’re going to lose.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%