Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff
Scare Meter: 8/10
Scare Tactics: PENNYWISE. 'Nuf said.
IMDb Plot Summary: "In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shape-shifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town."
I'm still not sure that I prefer Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise to Tim Curry's, but the 2017 film is definitely better. As many people have said, it's a very fine film even without the horror trappings: all the child actors are awesome, and the beauty of their camaraderie is reminiscent of Stand By Me (also based on a Stephen King story) and the more recent "Stranger Things," which happens to also star Finn Wolfhard but in an amusingly very different type of role. It's in the horror elements that audiences seem divided, but I for one found those elements quite strong. Skarsgård's clown is outright diabolical from the get-go, unlike Curry's, which bothers to pretend to be anything but. So perhaps some subtlety is lost, but given how practically everyone is even slightly afraid of clowns, and nothing good could come out of a boy talking to a clown in a storm drain anyway, it doesn't diminish Pennywise's power. He is a true horror monster in every sense of the word, and he's definitely one of the best. One of the smartest decisions of the filmmakers: splitting the story of the book into two films. Now's there more clowning around to look forward to.