Stephen King horror thriller It doesn't clown around

posted on Wednesday, 6th September 2017 by Steve May

Broadcast  HDR  IMAX  Cinema  Sound Design 

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Director Andy Muschietti’s reworking of Stephen King’s horror classic It is receiving a day and date release in IMAX theatres in the UK, North America and select IMAX theatres internationally - and it’s well worth seeking out on the biggest screen around.

Eagerly anticipated, the horror thriller is set in the late Eighties and tells the story of seven teen outcasts growing up in the township of Derry, Maine. Self professed members of the Losers’ Club, they soon have more than the local bullies to worry about when they encounter a malevolent shape-shifting child-stealer with a penchant for red noses and balloons.

First published in 1986, It is a long-standing favourite of genre enthusiasts. Bill Skarsgård does a suitably spine-tingling job as It, aka Pennywise the clown, while his teen adversaries brim with good humour and bravado. The movie looks like an early Amblin production, courtesy of DP Chung-Hoon Chung (in an artful way), while the sound design consistently entertains - refusing to be drawn into the cliche of quiet-quiet-bang scares.

The movie was shot on an Arri Alexa XT/M, with Company3 producing the digital intermediate. A Dolby Vision iteration has been made for Dolby Cinema, along with an Atmos sound mix. Hopefully we'll see both on the eventual 4K UHD Blu-ray release.

Losers Club

Pennywise With Balloon

While coulrophobiacs are advised to give the film a wide berth, It’s more of a wild, creepy ride than hardcore horror, and way funnier than you might expect. The tone apes Netflix’s breakout hit Stranger Things, and plays as more sinister version of The Goonies with a splash of Stand By Me for good measure.

From the Brightly lit Maine exteriors, with kids racing to the local haunted house on their bicycles, to a subterranean world of freakish evil, the beats look familiar yet feel fresh. This is down in no small part to the ensemble cast - Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Finn Wolfhard (confusingly from Stranger Things), Chosen Jacobs and Jack Dylan Grazer - who are a joy to watch.

There's no post credit scene - although Pennywise has the last laugh.

Rating: Recommended - Four Killer Clowns

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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