‘It’ finds fear in clowning around
“Nobody else is going to do anything,” Beverly (Sophia Lillis), the one girl who finds her way into the group, tells them.
Directed by Andy Muschietti (“Mama”), “It” relies a little too heavily on jump-out-at-you thrills, and perhaps unavoidably yields diminishing returns in its second half, which becomes a trifle repetitive. Still, the camaraderie among the kids — as well as the nicely rendered flourishes of growing up, from first crushes to the colorfully juvenile insults — bring enough humor and heart to the horror to carry the movie over its rocky patches.
As King movies go, the tone most closely resembles “Stand By Me” — one of the highlights of that filmography — without coming close to scaling those heights. There’s also an appropriate connection to “Stranger Things,” the Netflix series that played like a King homage, with Finn Wolfhard as the foul-mouthed Richie, who provides the lion’s share of the movie’s comic relief.
“It” in many ways represents the ultimate King construct, a romanticized trip into adolescence and small-town life where kids are the heroes, adults barely exist and bicycles are the preferred mode of transportation. So while the movie isn’t necessarily buoyant, as assembled, it floats just fine.
“It” premieres Sept. 8 in the U.S. It’s rated R.
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