We could be looking at the best King adaptation since ‘The Mist.’
If you’re like me, well first off congratulations, but more relevantly, the announcement of a feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s epic horror novel, IT, probably left you feeling conflicted. On the one hand, more King adaptations and horror films in general are undeniably good things. On the other though, that’s a lot of book to cram into a feature film, and we already have a fairly competent mini-series adaptation as well.
Plus – and I may be alone on this one – I don’t love the novel. To clarify, the parts involving the kids work really well, but the book as a whole just bites it when that goddamn intergalactic turtle shows up. It stops the story and the scares dead cold.
The film went through a few different creative hands, some more promising than others, before settling on director Andrés Muschietti (Mama). The plan seemed to be to break the monster novel into two features, one focused on the children and the second on their return as adults. This is good news in theory, but it also means the first film will be an incomplete experience – something YA films have grown to bank on but which genre films have never really tackled. Making matters worse, photos of the new Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) just look ridiculous. Those ruffles… eesh.
So no, I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of a new IT adaptation – and then I watched the new trailer. Check it out below, and then join me in saying “holy shit, give me this movie now.”
Holy shit. Give me this movie now.
Forget all the bad things I’ve said about how stupid Pennywise looks in still photos as he appears terrifying in action. Focusing on the kids keeps us where the horror is strongest, and it prevents any kind of distraction from familiar “star” faces we’ll inevitably get with the adults. (Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard is present, but he gets a lifetime welcome pass for his name alone.) I have a small concern over the loud sound cues for jump scares, but that may just be for trailer usage.
It looks to be a wonderfully atmospheric and far more attractive film than the genre typically sees too. Muschietti gets some credit there, but we’d be remiss in not pointing out cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon whose work we last salivated over in Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden.
So yes, I’m fully on board for this one now, and I don’t need to see any more trailers, teasers, or images. If the movie itself can deliver even a portion of the dark beauty and utter creepiness of this trailer than we may be looking at another kick-ass horror movie in a year that’s already seen several. Even better, it may just be the best King adaptation in a decade.
“When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.”
Stephen King’s IT screams into theaters on September 8th.