New adaptation of Stephen King classic has what It takes

IT (Andy Muschietti). 135 minutes. Opens Friday (September 8). See listing. Rating: NNN In Stranger Things wake, It feels.


IT (Andy Muschietti). 135 minutes. Opens Friday (September 8). See listing. Rating: NNN

In Stranger Things wake, It feels like the driftwood shoring up on the Stephen King nostalgia.

The spectacular Netflix series paid homage to Kings fondness for childhood bonds and inter-dimensional demons while also giving the material room to breathe. It, the shot-in-Toronto movie adaptation of Kings novel about a killer clown, feels limited by comparison, but still works well enough.

Tim Currys Pennywise in the 1990 miniseries may have given kids nightmares, but Bill Skarsgards performance is the creepier take. His face is more pointed, with eyebrows perched high and his voice oscillating between giddy and grave, making every bit of idle chit-chat chilling. But the terror melts away whenever he stretches his jaw wide to swallow his prey, revealing a mouth that looks like the digitized sarlacc pit in Return Of The Jedi.

The frights are secondary to the charming kids who dub themselves The Losers. They keep us engaged in their struggles against bullying and neglect and leave us wishing for more by the films end.

Standing out among them is Sophia Lilliss performance as the sole female, Beverly, whose terror facing puberty and sexual abuse gets under your skin more than Pennywise ever could.

See our list of 35 Stephen King movies, ranked from best to worst

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