I read “It” when it came out in 1990, and, although I don’t remember much about “It” now, I recall that I thought it was one of Stephen King’s best novels.
The film takes place in 1989-1990 in the small fictional town of Derry, Maine which, unfortunately, appears to be cursed. Every thirty years or so, people disappear (adolescents moreso than adults), lethal explosions occur, etc.
Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberther) is very close to his younger brother, Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott). He makes Georgie a paper boat to sail on the street in the rain. The boat, however, soon winds up falling into the hands of the film’s villain, “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” (Bill Skarsgard), and poor Georgie doesn’t survive his attempt to get the boat back from him. About a year later, Bill still considers Georgie to be just missing, although his father and everyone else assumes he’s dead.
Bill can’t seem to adequately deal with his grief regarding the loss of Georgie, which Pennywise exploits to terrorize and manipulate him. Bill is a member of the “Losers Club,” a close group of six alienated male adolescents and one female, Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis). All of them soon have their confrontation with Pennywise, who has psychic abilities to play on each one of their deepest fears. (One of the movie’s strengths is that the teenagers are well-developed and we learn what each of their fears are before their confrontations with Pennywise.)
Essentially, the film is a metaphor for facing your fears with the support of those you love. The film has much in common with “Stand By Me,” another good adaptation of a Stephen King novel. The movie is suspenseful and scary, but not especially violent or terrifying. The ensemble adolescent cast is terrific, the film has a nice message, and the special effects are good, too. I enjoyed “It,” and, if you are in the mood for a good scary story, you will probably enjoy the movie, too. It will work okay as a rental, but it’s much scarier on the BS. If you don’t think the film is a good one, you just didn’t get “It!”