If you never want to look at red balloons and yellow raincoats the same way again, then you need to fire up Netflix and watch the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s It.
However, we strongly advise you to watch the film in the company of good friends because this particular King adaptation does not let up, and like Pennywise the Clown, will haunt you for days. If you’re brave enough, you’ll be glad you gave this movie your time because not only is the premise horrifying, the special effects are next-level.
Stephen King’s It
We’ve seen countless Stephen King film adaptations over the decades, but It somehow manages to pull off the impossible.
It stays faithful to its intimidating source material while tastefully glossing over some of the more disturbing imagery found in the novels. And despite the film’s ‘R’ rating, it went on to become the highest-grossing horror film of all time.
What’s more, Andy Muschietti’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s It is the sixth highest-grossing R-rated film of all time (adjusted for inflation) at the time of this writing with over $700 million in total worldwide box office revenue.
Stephen King Praised It
Most importantly, Stephen King himself has gone on record praising It for not only meeting his expectations but actually exceeding them in every conceivable way.
If you know anything about Stephen King’s creative clash with Stanley Kubrick while they were working together on The Shining, you know all too well that King does not mince words when he’s dissatisfied with the final outcome of a project that has his name attached to it.
The Loser’s Club
Like the Stephen King novel of the same name, It centers on a group of kids known as The Losers Club.
In 1988, 12-year-old Bill Denbrough’s little brother, Georgie, goes missing after chasing a paper sailboat to a sewer opening. Upon approaching the sewer, he comes face to face with Pennywise the Dancing Clown, who bites off his arm and drags him into the sewage system.
One year later, still haunted by his brother’s disappearance, Bill has reason to believe that Georgie’s body probably washed up in a marshy wasteland called the Barrens.
Pennywise Comes Every 27 Years
Bill’s new classmate, Ben Hanscom, does some research of his own and learns that the entity that abducted Georgie is actually the menacing monster behind a number of missing children for centuries in the town of Derry, Maine.
Like Stephen King’s novel, It reveals that Pennywise resurfaces every 27 years to feast on local children before going into a long hibernation. He physically manifests in ways that play on each child’s fears to lure them to their deaths and drags their bodies to the Barrens.
It Is Terrifying
While this Stephen King adaptation was elevated by its clever use of CGI sequences to drive some of the more elaborate scares, It received even more praise for the amount of effort that went into making Pennywise the Clown look as terrifying as humanly possible.
We’re not saying that Bill Skarsgård is terrifying without all of the prosthetics and makeup that he wore on his face, but it’s clear that he spent a considerable amount of time practicing his signature sardonic smile that will haunt your dreams after watching this film.
If you don’t believe us, it comes with strong recommendations that you check out his interview with Conan O’Brien when he does his Pennywise smile without the aid of special effects.
Critics And Fans Loved It
It was also well-received by fans and critics alike, and garnered an 85 percent critical score against an audience score of 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Die-hard Stephen King fans universally sang songs of praise for It for its use of visceral visual storytelling and strong emphasis on developing its principal characters.
It took everything that was great about the novel’s themes of fear and mortality and expertly translated the source material into a film adaptation that has earned its keep in the horror genre as one of the best of its kind.
It Chapter Two, which took place 27 years after the events in the first film and mirrors the second chronological half of the novel, was met with mixed reviews, but still makes for a worthy back-to-back viewing experience. While Chapter Two isn’t currently available for viewing on Netflix, you can watch It in all of its horrific glory on the streaming platform today.