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Tuesday
Sep122017

It (2017)

“No one mentioned a clown”. Despite many attempts to read Stephen King’s thousand-plus-page novel, It, over the years, this sentence from very early in the book always stops me in my tracks. King’s encapsulation of unthinkable nightmares and sprawling small-town conspiracy unsettles me more than all the “good parts” I’ve skimmed, or the 1990 TV adaptation, or even Andy Muschietti’s new blockbuster film. The big-screen It compensates for a lack of scares with a dynamic young cast (as well as Bill Skarsgård, whose insatiable harlequin-monster, Pennywise, is sufficiently eerie when he’s not a sped-up-and-screaming CGI puppet). In updating Derry, Maine’s “Loser’s Club” to a pack of late-80s middle-school misfits, the screenwriters retain King’s sense of adolescent teen dread of the world and devotion to one another. I wouldn’t be surprised if, twenty-seven years from now, people remember It as a beautiful coming-of-age story first and forget to mention the clown.

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