The first reviews are finally hitting the web for It, and so far it sounds like critics are loving the new Stephen King adaptation.
The first King movie of the year, The Dark Tower, didn’t fare so well with critics or the box office. That movie earned a dismal 16 percent rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and has earned just over $100 million at the worldwide box office against its $60 million budget. It is faring much better, with a 91 percent RT rating after the first 55 reviews, and it’s expected to have an opening weekend of at least $55 million in North America alone — which would be a record for September. So what are critics saying so far about the movie? Here are a few samples:
“A popcorn movie about gruesome child murders.” – Andrew Baker, Variety
“This is an ensemble smorgasbord of scariness, or maybe a portmanteau of petrification, throwing everything but the haunted kitchen-sink at the audience in the cause of freaking us out.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“The infamous clown is plenty freaky, though it’s the youngsters, bursting with hormones and one-liners, who make It one of the better Stephen King adaptations.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today
“Pennywise is Freddy Krueger — a small-town specter stalking kids in their minds. Like the Freddy films, It doesn’t shy away from nastiness and definitely earns its R rating. There’s implied incest, bullying in the extreme, and children are violently attacked.” – Chris Nashawaty, EW
“For the first time in a long time, someone has a made a children’s horror film that feels dangerous, which is that nostalgic sweet spot that we’re all craving right now. A timeless horror gem worthy of repeat viewing, It is an instant Halloween classic that will haunt audiences for years to come.” – Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting
“It, the latest adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel, is an extremely entertaining studio horror movie that will make you laugh as much as jump in fear.” – Jason Guerrasio, Business Insider
“Skarsgard’s Pennywise is leering and solicitous, but you can also sense there is a mind underneath the various shapes the shock tactics It employs — a mind utterly alien to human understanding. It’s a tremendous, unsettling and skillful performance, melding Heath Ledger’s Joker with something straight out of the mouth of hell.” – Don Kaye, Den of Geek
“Muschietti excels in creature design, and It contains some very effective and well-executed nightmare imagery … certain aspects of It remain burned on your brain like a flashbulb on exposed film.” – Katie Rife, AV Club
“What will REALLY put a chill down your spine and raise the hairs on the back of your neck are the moments when an adolescent character is isolated from friends, all alone in the cellar or the bathroom or the alley or a dark office, and something they’ve long feared springs to ‘life’ in a certain fashion, confirming their worst sense of dread and doom.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
“It may not be the best Stephen King movie (even though it comes impressively close), but it’s probably the MOST Stephen King movie.” – William Bibbiani, IGN
“Overall, the film is being praised for its scares, its heart, and its performances, which add up to a surefire blockbuster and one of the most frightening films of the year.
It opens on September 8.