This Friday, Warner Bros. Pictures is releasing director Andy Muschietti's hugely anticipated Stephen King adaptation IT, finally slithering from the sewers to the silver screen after years in development. The faithful take on the literary horror master's 1986 novel brings with it an R-rating. That's a particularly interesting challenge when most of the cast are only about 14 years old. Now Muschietti has revealed that despite the MPAA rating, his IT cast have all seen the film. He explained:
Yeah, they saw it in an early stage. When we were reaching our final stages of edit, so it was a rough final version, not all the effects were there, but we did something up in Toronto and we reunited the cast and it was a great opportunity for them to see the movie. I showed it to them.
Naturally, any child is going to have his or own level of tolerance for R-rated horror, and actually being in the movie surely helps drive home the reminder that what's happening on the screen is fiction. That said, don't assume that IT isn't going to traumatize your young ones just because it features a young cast. Andy Muschietti specifically told Den of Geek that he definitely didn't target the film to younger viewers in any way. He said:
I mean, I didn't make this movie for children. In fact, what allowed me to be faithful to the intensity of the book is that it's R-rated. So supposedly no children have to see this movie, but...
The answer, then, to, "How scary is It going to be?" appears to be, "very, very scary." The inciting incident of the book sees an even younger kid (played in the film by Jackson Robert Scott) murdered by a monstrous, shapeshifting clown that lives in the sewers of his hometown of Derry, Maine. Judging from the footage that has been released from the film, including a trailer that teases the incident, it seems that IT does not shy away from being as terrifying as humanly possible.
Although none of the IT cast have ever led an R-rated movie before, a few members of the film's Losers' Club have had experience taking on monsters. Finn Wolfhard, for instance, previously battled 80s monsters on Netflix's Stranger Things, while IT's lead, Jaeden Lieberher, helped his mother take down a more human monster in Colin Trevorrow's recent The Book of Henry.
While the MPAA rating of the film has a debatable value, anyone considering preventing eager young eyes from seeing IT would do well to also consider a key element of the plot. Derry is a town where disappearances happen on a regular basis, with all the adults turning a blind eye. It becomes, then, the responsibility of the kids to take matters into their own hands. The creature they face seems to feed on fear and, as such, IT makes a strong argument that children shouldn't be shielded from the scary things that are out there.
If it's scares you're looking for, check out seven other horror movies that, along with IT, have us excited for the big screen frights to come.