Some 30 years ago, Stephen King's masterful and massive horror work "IT" was released to widespread acclaim and huge sales, becoming the bestselling book of 1986 in the United States.
The enigmatically short title refers to the story's central villain, an ancient shapeshifter that takes the form of its victims' deepest fears and comes out of hibernation every 27 years to feed on the most vulnerable residents of Derry, Maine: the children.
Standing or crawling or oozing against them all is Pennywise, and as played by Bill Skarsgard this physical embodiment of the entity is malicious, cunning, feral and undeniably frightening.
Initial reactions were positive, and this score backs that up. She's played by a magnetic Sophia Lillis in what is easily the film's most complex and convincing performance. A young girl is found dead amid the snow-bound peaks of an American Indian reservation in Wyoming. Much like Quentin Tarantino's first volume of "Kill Bill" offered a delirious yet morally unmoored mixtape of kung-fu spectacle, only for the second installment to provide the context that retroactively made it all meaningful, "It" very much feels like the flashier half of a longer story.
It successfully keeps you gripping the side of your seat for more than two hours.
He talked readily about his role despite some nerves over stepping into Curry's shoes. Similarly, your enjoyment of this new version will also depend on how sceptical and suspicious the world has made you.
I am 27 and the things that I read for in auditions tend to be younger guys, and majority look like me (laughs). "And a guy saw me and stood up and said, 'I've seen the original Pennywise!' And I said, 'Well, good for you.' I think whatever scares the trousers off you when you're a child is an image that always stays with you". Aside from Curry's performance, it really hasn't aged well.
As someone who wouldn't usually be first in line to see a film like IT, I would recommend others that might be apprehensive to get out and go - it's worth it. I have had some sleepless nights. Rarely a horror movie that fleshes out the characters as people with personality and their own struggles rather than putting them there so the monster or ghost has someone to haunt or prey or fight. I know we worked hard on the movie.
In the book, Pennywise wears a silver clown suit and introduces himself as "Mr Bob Gray, aka Pennywise the Dancing Clown".
Any questions? I invite you to ask away in the comments.
What was it like working with the child actors?
"They've stressed how happy they are that you're here and they believe in you".
The first time I met the kids was at a table read. For me, every character I do is a sort of relationship, it is sort of a marriage. I was like, 'Hi, I am Bill.
Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section! I trust Andy and I trust Barbara. Just as there's no denying that a series like Stranger Things wouldn't exist without King's It, there's also no question that Stranger Things informs the way that It paints its band of nerdy young misfits and the fears they carry around inside them.
What were your own fears growing up?
I would have panic attacks at night. I remember that in '90. Sweden is a small country and my family is really big there (laughs).
Born in the year the TV movie came out, Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard - brother of Alexander and son of Stellan - was cast as Pennywise for the 2017 movie. "If you like the characters... if you care... the scares generally work".
It overwhelmed me at times. "And that, even more than the clown's nasty tricks, might be what lingers with you".