While watching IT I realised I don’t think I have ever seen the Tim Curry tele-series of the Stephen King story, something I need to rectify immediately. I watched this in a 400 seat cinema with two other people, one I could see about five rows in front of me and one that sat about eight rows behind me. That was the one that kept scaring the shit out of me with her bloody chip crunching at silent moments of nervous tension. I wanted to give her a balloon on the way out.

IT is out now and on its first weekend has broken multiple records, the most important being the largest opening for a horror movie in history – IT is slaughtering left right and centre and deservedly so. It is released in Australia from Roadshow/ Warner Bros, runs for a pant pooping 135mins and is rated MA15+. I urge you to see this romcom haha.


Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in IT 2017
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise




IT, directed by Andy Muschietti (MAMA), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young 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.

IT is one of the most superbly timed movies that was needed right now in history. IT takes the best of 80s horror and 80s kid’s films and blends them. A blend of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, GOONIES, POLTERGEIST and STAND BY ME, IT is also embracing the phenomenon that is STRANGER THINGS. The 80s is so hot right now – see READY PLAYER ONE – also about to release, just finished the book = AWESOME. Add to this the evil clown crap that has been going on around the globe recently mixed with the shit that has been remakes of late IT is movie timing perfection. And who the hell doesn’t like a damn good scare.


Jack Dylan Grazer, Jaeden Lieberher and Finn Wolfhard in IT 2017
Jack Dylan Grazer, Jaeden Lieberher and Finn Wolfhard



I have mentioned it in quite a few of my horror movie reviews. I LOVE HORROR. Being scared is another emotion like sadness and happiness. It is designed to send your fight or flight response mode into Defcon 2. If shit hits the fan you are in Defcon 1. The US military calls this “nuclear war imminent,” – basically horror movies have you in heightened alert mode, you’re ready to run or fight. I applaud a movie that can elicit a response like that from us ordinary humans generally living the mundane. I go into a very quick fight or flight mode in horror movies and then get drunk on it. The scarier it is the more humoured I become – I’m kind of like “fuck it, I’m all in.” Like many people I get off on the being scared part haha.

And IT is close to my favourite horror drunk movie of 2017 – can’t pick that or GET OUT as my fave.


When it was announced that a new IT movie was coming I groaned like the rest of the movie sensible world. Hollywood just doesn’t take risks anymore. The remake is the status quo of the last 5-10yrs. Based on fans of original movies most remakes will break even regardless of how shit they are – just put someone hot and/or known in it and voila, bean-counters start clapping. But Muschietti, who eventually came on as director after some earlier director woes, delivers a film that is superbly made. I do think they could have shaved 30mins off the run time and made it a little more sharper. It did occasionally drag and there appeared to be way too many jump scare scenes for the sole purpose of a jump scare and less about progressing the plot. But all the scenes look amazing!

Production levels are superbly high and the casting and creation of Pennywise was a work of genius that is the masterstroke of this movie. That and King’s story is just bloody twisted. Even he thinks Pennywise is his darkest creation. He has seen it a couple of times now and thinks it is possibly the best recreation of his work. But I am glad the filmmakers made their own version of the story. At 1138 pages there was a lot to shave off. Most thankfully the pre-teen child orgy – no one wants or needs that in a movie. Nor did we need to see Henry fuck a pig and then jizz all over a birthday cake.

I am sad we didn’t get the “smoke hole” scene but this could be a grand way to start the sequel – they will definitely have the budget for it after this movie finishes its run.


Finn Wolfhard in IT image
Finn Wolfhard



The cast are all perfect for the movie. Jaeden Lieberher as the lead kid comes from some cool films in MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and ST VINCENT. Finn Wolfhard just gets legend status for being in STRANGER THINGS and Wyatt Oleff gets my respect because he is young Star Lord in both GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies. Jeremy Ray Taylor will win hearts as Ben and while everyone will hate Henry with a passion Nicholas Hamilton is brilliant as the little fucked up kid. He has been on my radar since STRANGERLAND and then CAPTAIN FANTASTIC. He’s also a Sydney boy so keep your eye on him – he’s going places, he is also the first person ever to make a mullet look good. 

Then there is Pennywise and Bill Skarsgård’s performance. It is currently my favourite performance of 2017. It’s bloody terrifying. While a 70% make-up Bill Skarsgård also went to contortion school for the role and that ability to move his eyes in separate directions….all him….no CGI. Skarsgård, son of Stellan and brother to Alexander, is drop-dead gorgeous in real life and not terrifying in any way. He was kept away from every other actor and all crew minus a handfull in the lead up to shooting. One of his first scenes was to scare a bunch of children – I think it was for the TV show scenes – he truly terrified a lot of the children who were all in tears. You also see the terror in the lead kids’ eyes, he nailed it. If they stuffed up Pennywise the movie was dead in the water.

Skarsgård got so into character he had nightly nightmares and was nearly out for the potential (now confirmed) sequel due to mental distress. He has since confirmed he is coming back.


IT children main cast image
IT children main cast



Nearly everything about this movie is impressive. It is possibly the best remake in the last few years and the timeliness of IT’s release is brilliant The greatest master stroke of the movie is Bill Skarsgård and his Pennywise. If you don’t like being scared avoid this movie at all costs but if you like taking a second pair of undies with you to horror movies and get off on being scared shitless then run to the cinemas ASAP because You’ll float too, YOU’LL Float too, YOU’LL FLOAT Too, YOU’LL FLOAT TOOOOOOOOOO.





 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.