The original two-part miniseries Stephen King’s It from 1990 is a great, two-part endeavor that I like to call “the scariest movie no one has ever seen.” People have all seen the TV movie’s poster, the stills, and the memes featuring Tim Curry’s intensely memorable yet incredibly frightening clown-character, and the same clown has probably haunted their nightmares more than a handful of times. But how many have actually sat through all three hours of that film and seen the excellent set-up yet ho-hum payoff? At least, given the buzz and the pre-release tracking predictions for this new remake, maybe people will finally have something off which to go when they talk about just how scary It really is.
The long-awaited, heavily marketed film is finally upon us and my verdict is in: Andy Muschietti’s It is the best pure-horror film to get a mainstream release since The Conjuring in 2013. There are other great ones, mind you, but many of them mix in elements of thriller, action, and social commentary. It, even with its barrage of quips and tinges of comedy, manages to be more bone-chilling than its made-for-ABC counterpart and almost as character-centered and developed. Released following a barren month of new releases at the multiplex, the film emerges at the right time, at the dawn of the appropriate season, not only to spread fear, but to reinvigorate the moviegoing public as it should.