In case you haven't heard, director Andres Muschietti's IT has been picking up tremendous buzz over the last couple of weeks. The movie's marketing received a strong response throughout the summer, but last week saw the first dam burst - with critics revealing their thoughts on the upcoming horror blockbuster via social media. Now, however, the full review embargo has lifted, and the reaction early has been extremely positive.
As I watched Bill Skarsgard's wholly disturbing clown, Pennywise, simultaneously terrorize on-screen children and the audience around me, I filled with a juxtaposing, wonderful joy. It's not only exciting to see a movie that can elicit such an impressive visceral reaction, but also create a rich, cinematic world that somehow manages to be both terrifying and inviting.
But I'm not the only one who has expressed positive feelings towards the latest Stephen King adaptation. In his review for Variety, Andrew Barker also praises the movie, and while he notes that he feels that the film feels uneven in parts, one thing that definitely works incredibly well is the young ensemble that's been put together:
Following the novel's example, Muschietti has constructed a film that's just as much "Stand by Me" as creature feature, and casting director Rich Delia goes above the call of duty assembling a group of youngsters who are every bit as funny, irritating and empathetic as the script requires.
Dan Callahan has also published his thoughts for The Wrap. In his piece, he expresses some disappointment in the performance by Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise (showing clear appreciation from Tim Curry's take in the 1990 miniseries version), but ultimately expresses satisfaction with the finished product:
Muschietti ("Mama") approaches this charged material methodically, proficiently, and even somewhat coolly, but he has just enough imaginative creativity to hit the necessary emotional beats here, particularly as the kids decide to fight Pennywise on his own turf in a large abandoned house.
If you're waiting to hear about some true blue negative reactions to IT, you're going to have to keep waiting - as William Bibbiani's review for IGN is another glowing write-up for the film. Calling it the "Most Stephen King movie ever," the 9.2/10 review heaps praise on the adaptation, and notes that it's balance of tone is the true key to its success.
Emotions are more powerful when you're a child because you're experiencing them for the first time. To scare the living hell out of his audience, Muschietti forces us back into that naive mentality, and THEN rips us limb from limb.
We will very likely start hearing some more diverse opinions emerge as the week continues and more professional critics file their thoughts on IT, but this early reaction will certainly have fans excited for some early Fall scares. We'll have plenty more about the film coming your way in the next few days, including interviews, features, and box office updates, so be sure to stay tuned for the latest here on CinemaBlend!