Anticipation for Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s IT has been through the roof (even if the president can't watch it), but it sounds like the film might actually live up to the hype. This movie sounds positively terrifying, and critics are going wild for it.
The film sits at a positively stellar 96 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and reviewers are raving about the film. It’s being called a nightmare with heart, and a worthy follow-up to the acclaimed 1990 miniseries (interestingly enough, the remake is trending to be even better received than the horror classic).
IT opens September 8.
Check out some choice excerpts from the critical take below and let us know what you think:
The new movie, a skillful blend of nostalgic sentiment and hair-raising effects, with the visual punch of big-screen digital hocus-pocus and the liberties of the R rating, still has the soothing charm of familiarity. The gang of misfit ’80s kids who face down the clown and the deeper horror he represents evoke both the middle school posse of the recent TV series “Stranger Things” (there’s some overlap in the cast), but also the intrepid brotherhood from “Stand by Me,” surely one of the all-time top five Stephen King movie adaptations. -The New York Times
Focusing entirely on the childhood-set portions of King’s book, it’s a collection of alternately terrifying, hallucinatory, and ludicrous nightmare imagery; a sometimes jarring pileup of moods, ranging from haunted house horror to nostalgic hangout humor; a popcorn movie about gruesome child murders; a series of well-crafted yet decreasingly effective suspense setpieces; and a series of well-acted coming-of-age sequences that don’t quite fully mature. -Variety
With plenty of gallows humor, as well as kid banter and inside jokes, It boasts a clever sense of humor throughout its 2¼ hours. The film suffers from a couple of unneeded subplots that derail momentum, but the ending is filled with tension and satisfaction, the result of investing in the teenage protagonists. You don’t root for the Losers' Club just because you’re supposed to — each kid has a complete arc and time to shine as well as mess things up. The cast of mostly unknowns is spectacular from top to bottom; Taylor and Lillis are especially effective with performances that touch the soul. -USA Today
It is a solid thriller that works best when it is most involved in its adolescent heroes' non-monster-related concerns. It will prove much more satisfying to King's legion of fans than Tower did. But it falls well short of the King-derived film it clearly wants to evoke, Stand By Me; and newcomers who were spoiled by the eight richly developed hours of Stranger Things may wonder what the big deal is supposed to be. -The Hollywood Reporter
This is an ensemble smorgasbord of scariness, or maybe a portmanteau of petrification, throwing everything but the haunted kitchen-sink at the audience in the cause of freaking us out. As creepy and horrible things keep happening to each of the kids, it almost feels like a horror anthology, a collection of scares which could be shuffled and presented in any order. In some ways, it is more suited to a TV series – such as Twin Peaks, maybe – and has in fact been adapted that way. -The Guardian
Still, certain aspects of It remain burned on your brain like a flashbulb on exposed film. Cinematography from Chung Chung-hoon, Park Chan-wook’s longtime DP, gives the film a richness and texture that’s far beyond that of most Hollywood films, let alone horror films. Combine that with the booming sound design and meticulous production design, and the film’s more fantastic sequences, like a diabolically imaginative scene where the Losers investigate an abandoned house, are downright inspired. -A.V. Club
Do you plan on hitting up IT on opening night? Brave enough for those clown-only screenings?