Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott, Owen Teague, Logan Thompson, Jake Sim, Javier Botet, Tatum Lee, Steven Williams, Stephen Bogaert, Geoffrey Pounsett, Pip Dwyer, Ari Cohen, Stuart Hughes, Megan Charpentier
Director: Andy Muschietti
Argentine director Andy Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King's famous novel has Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), the dancing clown track down and torment the children of small-town Maine. Muschietti's version begins as the book does, with innocent, six-year-old Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott) chasing his toy boat gifted to him by his beloved older brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), as it sails down a gutter and into a storm drain on a rainy afternoon in fictional Derry. Pennywise just happens to pop up in the sewer with the boat and a smile that lures the young boy to his tragic demise.
It is located in 1988-89 where a core group of seven kids, similarly bullied adolescent misfits, enlisted by Bill, get embroiled in uncovering the lingering mystery of disappearing children. Muschietti has shown himself to be a past hand at horror (remember 'Mama?') and he creates some moments that children might find terrifying but more than that it's the manner in which he has dealt with the developing camaraderie between misfits that makes this experience elevating.
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The children have not only to deal with their own personal complexes and fears but also grapple with the fear of the unknown as they progress towards adulthood. Bill and the kids do a fantastic and totally convincing job of drawing the viewer in. The esoteric mix of wonder, danger and learning is quite a potent one. It is both poignant and harrowing!
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