I’d always seen that cover, a paper sailboat, coasting down the rain slicked curb, towards a clawed hand. I saw that book all the time at my grandma’s house, along with some other Stephen King novels, when we would visit, growing up. But one summer visiting, back in 1995, I was intrigued enough to pick up the book and read it. It was a long book, like 1000 something pages, and I didn’t finish it all then, but my grandma let me keep the book so I could finish it, and I was hooked. That book has since become one of my favorites in the Stephen King canon, along with The Dark Tower series, which, we’ll also be getting a movie of in the coming months.
I also recall a time earlier as a kid, when the ABC miniseries ended, and Tim Curry’s Pennywise freaked me out so I never watched it until a few years later, after I’d read the book and became extremely disappointed in the attempt, as it truncates so much of the story, albeit some of which because it was a made for tv miniseries, but still, the story was too good to be left as that being the adaptation of that story.
Cut to 22 years later, and now, as an adult, ironically enough knowing the novel, Pennywise comes back around. This time in the form of a movie adaptation that judging from this trailer, finally does the story some justice. Here it is, if you haven’t seen it yet.
Right off the bat, as a fan of the book, I’m drawn into this trailer, as we get the iconic introduction to Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard-Hemlock Grove), but we don’t get to hear what he sounds like in the role yet, they’re saving that for later. Which works for me, he already makes Tim Curry’s Pennywise look like Ronald Mcdonald in comparison on visual creepy factor.
It’s just a teaser trailer, so we don’t get too much going on here, other than the setup for the basics of the story, well the first half of the novel at least. The screenwriters chose to just focus on the first half of the novel when they were children for this movie, which is the right choice, as it’s really two separate stories almost, just one half of it is informed by what happens in the first part.
The cast playing the kids all looks the part too and this feels like what was in my head when I read that book so many years ago. I need to read it again, but that’s saying something about the quality of a novel that it still sticks out with you decades later after reading it. I like the inclusion of Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard playing Richie here. Ironically enough, since I’d already felt that Stranger Things was as if Stephen Spielberg and Stephen King did a project together in their prime, now the kid is going to be in a Stephen King adaptation.
This looks like it will be terrifying, which is fantastic, as you don’t get good horror anymore, not really scary anyway. Creepy, sure, but not scary. This looks like it could be the first great Stephen King adaptation in a while, definitely up there with the best. Or this could all be just a really good trailer to a bad movie, only time will tell. But as for now, I’m sold on…….It.