It (2017)

Out Now On-Demand

You'll float too.

Bill Skarsgård is It, a being that terrorises seven small town Maine children in this supernatural horror adapted from Stephen King's 1986 novel.

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, seven kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.


Directed by

Written by

Drama, Horror, Thriller


Rating: R16 Violence, offensive language & horror


Setting out its stall within minutes, the child-centric first chapter of It quickly proves unafraid of inflicting gore on innocent kids and boasts a freaking terrifying Pennywise thanks to Bill Skarsgård, whose swift arrival on screen defies typical convention of building up to reveal a horrific entity. Debates will rage about whether he’ll prove as iconic as Tim Curry, whose pancake makeup was all the more effective for its banality in 1990’s otherwise sub-par mini-series, but Skarsgård’s malevolence and awkward physicality are captivatingly chilling whenever he’s onscreen - and even when his presence is merely anticipated.

Saving the adult adventures of The Losers Club for another day, this first chapter whips through the source material as a pacey ensemble horror. The film may not have the luxury of letting all of its elements breathe as much as they could, but never feels burdened in juggling its pre-teen protagonists’ smalltown summertime coming-of-age alongside their cat-and-mice struggle against a powerful adversary.

Horror iconography like wolf- and gill-men has been jettisoned in shifting the period setting from the 50s to the 80s, but the scare power of a dead little brother grinning about floating in the sewer or a molested girl’s bathroom sink geysering blood in menstrual metaphor remain undiminished in their effect. As does the pleasure in seeing kids being kids - swearing, boasting, stammering, and wide-eyed gawking their way through their last days of childhood.

Director Andy Muschietti has a great handle on what makes his kids tick on screen, and thankfully resists the impulse to indulge retro Stranger Things tendencies despite the odd glaring pop culture reference. His scares feel contemporary but Muschietti defies dating them through modern conventions, his added set piece scares seamlessly woven into the DNA of King's tale.

The strength of the film lies in its kids - a tough challenge for an adult-focused sequel that’s also going to be robbed of surprise factor by ditching the novel’s leaps back and forth between time periods. Still, let the filmmakers worry about that while letting this superior horror do It’s stuff.

Empire (UK)


More successful as a coming-of-age movie than a horror, It still ranks among the better Stephen King adaptations - no small praise indeed.

Total Film (UK)


The real reason IT works is because it takes time with the kids, revelling in their colourful lingo and comradeship as much as their fears.

The Guardian (UK)


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.

Hollywood Reporter


It is a solid thriller that works best when it is most involved in its adolescent heroes' non-monster-related concerns.

Variety (USA)


King fans will surely appreciate the clear effort and affection that went into this adaptation, even as it struggles to become more than the sum of its parts.



There's never a scene in IT that wants you to pause and appreciate how creepy it is; instead, those scenes serve to build tension and illuminate what the characters fear. The pacing, visuals, and score are all exquisite.

Little White Lies


The film works beautifully as a straight-arrow genre piece, and a portrait of young people taking command of their own destiny.

Sydney Morning Herald


Comes close to capturing the essence of what this author is all about. (Darren Bevan)


A nightmarish yet somehow episodic meshing of phobias and primal premises wrapped up into one effective package, guaranteed to haunt you.




A perfect combination of horror, drama and comedy; It lives up to its source material.




Scarier Than Most

"It" delivers a constant stream of uneasy scares in its lengthy runtime. Whilst a little lengthy, the movie never bores. The scare factor of "It" has been carefully crafted by a great combination of great script as well as the acting chops of Bill Skarsgard and the troupe of child actors.

good sh.t

it is awesome i watched it and it was so awesome i wrote it down in my awesome movies list

IT... is great

I went into this movie not expecting much from it, just the light scare but I was pleasantly surprised (or should that be horrified). IT is a great movie, its like The Goonies with a Horror twist. Worth a see, don't over analyse it just enjoy it :-)

I.T.? O.K.

Ah, Stephen King. The man can write so persuasively, mimicking his characters' inner-thoughts with such sincere veracity, that his stories grip and frighten even as we're consciously thinking "this is so fuggin' stupid". His fantasy and supernatural fiction have led more than one competent film-maker into adaptation quicksand for this very reason: a well-written sentence can take on a life of its own in the readers' head, but you can't film a sentence. Depicted literally, in deluxe Technicolor, King's illusions don't bear nearly the same scrutiny that they do on the page. Fanciful notions like Christine the vengeful car, or a mist teeming with giant tentacle-monsters, or Pennywise the spectral jester tend to come off a lot cheesier in moving pictures than they do in print.

The good news is that IT, in it's new big-screen adaptation, slam-dunks the casting. The kids assembled to play the Losers Club are all really good for their roles. We can believe in these kids and like them enough that we don't wanna see anything bad happen to them. Time with them is well-spent.

So it's a shame that, while IT works as small-town pubescent nostalgia with a welcome twist of crass juvenile humor, the horror dimension feels so... well, obvious. Is it scary? Sort of. It's scary because the soundtrack is loud. It's scary because things appear suddenly. And it milks a few decent shivers from how kids are vulnerable and how innately creepy clowns and subterranean spaces are. But it's never scary because we truly believe what we're seeing - rather, we're TOLD "be scared now". The much-touted Pennywise has some real menace in the first half of the film but the more we see of him the less frightening, and less interesting, he becomes. And then, just as we're getting ready to root for the Losers Club to enter into battle with the titular ghoul, out come the overstated "epic" CGI effects to completely obliterate any lingering plausibility the premise had. By the end of the movie we feel less like we're watching a horror film than a Superhero Origins story - in case you can't tell, I definitely do NOT mean that as a compliment.

IT isn't bad - in fits and starts it's pretty effective - but it is pretty much exactly what the trailer promises: a studio's idea of a full-blooded spook flick, with all the good and bad that entails.

No "Sh" in IT!

In a nutshell? IT delivers the biggest shock by being a really, really good adaptation of a Stephen King book.

Cards on the table? I was never a fan of the 1990 TV mini-series, finding it laughably bad at best, deeply dull at worst. A lot of friends dug Tim Curry’s Pennywise, but the whole affair left me more afraid of bad Stephen King adaptations than clowns.

For me, there have been some great movies based on King stories - The Dead Zone, The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, Misery, Christine, Stand By Me, Firestarter, The Shining - but far more rotten ones - Secret Window, Dreamcatcher, Cujo, Lawnmower Man, Cell, Thinner etc. etc., oh, and, most recently, The Dark Tower.

Andy Muschetti’s second film (after 2013s Mama) takes a solid script, (by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman), and slices King’s novel in chronological half.

Where King’s giant novel flip-flops between childhood flashbacks and the adult present, the movie focuses on the protagonists as youngsters.

The Losers Club are all round great, with Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Sophia Lillis as Bev, Wyatt Oleff as Stan, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, Jack Grazer as Eddie, Jackson Scott as Bill’s younger brother Georgie, and Nicholas Hamilton as town bully, Henry.

The entire young cast bring the same youthful warts ‘n’ all honesty to their young characters as the cast of King-inspired Netflix TV hit, Stranger Things. Think, Stand By Me meets an adult horror movie. Gore, humour, thrills, tension, hell IT feels not a zillion-miles from the original Poltergeist.

The biggest change from the source material is moving the time period to the 1980s, but it’s a time beautifully evoked. IT’s a long movie, clocking in at 135-minutes, and I could complain about the over-reliance on jump scares, and Benjamin Wallifisch’s pretty pedestrian score, but those are quibbles more than compensated for by a great cast, superb cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung (seriously, this is the best-looking horror movie in years), and Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, bringing the monster behind the clown-face to the fore.

Oh, and if you like your horror gruesome, then this is one kids-in-peril horror movie that sure ain’t suitable for kids, delivering blood ‘n’ gore, shocks, shivers, jump scares and enough tension to have cinema managers furiously repairing seats torn by nail-clutching patrons.

Like the aforementioned Poltergeist, IT ain’t full on scary, but it is a joy to see a King tale taken so seriously and given the treatment it so richly deserves. Sure, lovers of the book will be annoyed at what’s been left out, and by the screenplay screwing with King’s narrative structure, but hell after so many dire movies cashing in on King’s name, it’s incredibly refreshing to have one this good on all fronts.

That this is Chapter One comes as no big surprise, and whilst we’ll have to wait to 2019 for the sequel, if it’s as good as this first chapter, movie fans, horror fans, and King fans are in for a treat.




"These Are Gazebos!"

First of all it was a successful trip to the movies on my part. At no point did I shush the speculative whispering behind me or throw my box of popcorn over the squad to me left (apparently they got a lot of the film's humour I kept missing). As teenager of the 80's I loved Stephen King although IT was never a particular fave. The book felt like Stand By Me with a killer clown and got very dodgy near the end. I've tried twice to make it through the mini-series, both when it came out and recently to no avail. I think problem is clowns don't scare me. That aside I love a good horror film and the trailer for IT 2017 sold me. Don't watch the trailer though, just get along and see IT. If you enjoyed the book, you'll love IT. If you haven't viewed the trailer, you'll love IT even more as the movie's most effective sequence is somewhat spoiled by the trailer, shame too as it's truly a frighting thrill ride moment of the film that like a roller coaster, leaves you out of breath and clapping at the end. My only gripe with the film is it lacks patience and tries to key up the horror too soon by way of every sound/trailer trope in the book: WHHHoooosh...booom. screeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH *sudden silence* BBBBBOOOOOMMM THUMP... They even used the 'ringing ears/everything sounds muffled for 10 seconds' bit usually reserved for war movies. Meanwhile on screen, nothing is really happening yet but oh boy, the soundtrack is almost unrelenting. I felt screaming "Okay, I get it! I'm at a fukin' horror movie!" and may have at one point stood up and done just that during an ice cream and coke black out....on reflection now I really I can't be too sure. 4/5