It (2017) – Andy Muschietti

The crowd-pleasing big screen remake of Stephen King’s 1986 novel, It, brings the scares home today thanks to Warner Brothers. Debuting on blu-ray and DVD the entertaining, updated adaptation will make you float too as you visit the town of Derry, Maine. A town of secrets, and terrors in this wonderful coming of age tale.

Updated from the fifties to the eighties, the film resonates with nostalgia or the older viewing audience, while engaging younger viewers (who should or should not see it) with it’s captivating, and often funny characters.

The story, carved out of half of King’s titanic novel (which hints that the sequel will be due, hopefully sooner rather than later – 2019 feels like a long ways off) follows a group of misfit kids, christening themselves The Loser’s Club as they struggle with not only the local bullies, disdainful, and in some cases abusive parents, and adults, but a terrifying entity that returns every twenty-seven years to feed on the fear and flesh of the residents, especially the children, of Derry, Maine.

Taking the form of a terrifying clown, Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), the entity stalks the youngsters, which in turn unifies them. Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Mike (Chosen Jacobs), Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Stan (Wyatt Oleff) come together in friendship and their bond helps them confront the evil in their town.

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Over the years, I’ve read the novel three times, and each time I get something out of it, and I’m a huge fan of it, even with some of its flaws – giant galactic turtle, the sex content – so I knew what beats the film had to hit, what moments would have to be on the big screen. Knowing the material that well, I knew there wouldn’t be much to freak me out in the film, but I didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did.

Muschietti and company has crafted a thrilling, funny and entertaining film, that looks gorgeous, keeps you on edge, and Skarsgard proves that he’s just as strong in the role as Tim Curry’s standout version in the haphazard television miniseries.

Beautifully shot, in and around the GTA and small town Ontatio, the film is filled with visual nostalgia and watching it, I saw myself and my friends in it, just as I did when I read the book.

The film is filled with heart, laughs, and occasionally a little scary. As such, it’s going to be very popular in home theatres. and happily the blu-ray doesn’t skimp on the imagery, the sound, and some very solid extras including a look at Skarsgard’s approach to Pennywise, and how the clown was brought to life, a fun examination of The Loser’s Club, a chat with Stephen King, and some deleted scenes.

A bracing, exhilarating ride, It is a must see for horror fans, King fans, and those who love a good movie! This one ended up being one of my favourite popcorn movies of the year; entertaining, a genuinely crowd pleasing film filled with nostalgia, snappy dialogue and possibly, one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever (or at least the first half of one).

It is available from Warner Brothers on blu-ray and DVD today!

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