"Scary as sh*t" - the first It movie reactions are in and it's good news for King fans

The most terrifying part of heading into a Stephen King adaptation isn't thinking about the scares ahead, but worrying about the ways the horror maestro's work has been butchered for the silver screen. Cell or Shawshank? The Shining or Dreamcatcher? *shudder*. Well, thankfully the It movie (opens in new tab) falls firmly into 'hacking down doors with an axe' category. 

Yep, early It movie reactions are in and it sounds like director Andy Muschietti has hit the horrifying sewer water-splashed nail on the head, truly taking the spirit of the books instead of just obsessing over the idea of an evil clown. Our sister publication SFX magazine (opens in new tab) already has its It review, awarding it four out of five stars and calling it "one of the more satisfyingly nerve-wracking films of the year." There's an excerpt below but you can read the whole review in the latest issue (opens in new tab) - on sale now. 

This story lives and dies on two crucial elements: the kids and the clown. While Curry’s take from the TV version may forever be ingrained in our collective consciousness, Bill Skarsgård and the movie’s practical and digital effects team do enough to give this version his (its?) own sense of menace and intensity. Lurking in sewer grates to lure unwitting victims, staging elaborate hauntings targeting our heroes’ buried fears and stalking his subterranean lair, Skarsgård doesn’t just let the make-up do the work, instead bringing his own twinkle amid the chills. 

And Muschietti gleefully ramps up the scare level as the film progresses, leavening the more obvious jump scares with a real sense of atmosphere. Sticking to his belief that real-world devices and tricks can be blended with CG, the director subjects his main cast to some devilishly horrifying moments, able to go to places that the TV movie couldn’t touch while making sure that it’s all drawn from character.

If that's not enough to convince you, here's what the rest of the world thinks so far. Oh, and if you don't like Pennywise gifs, maybe look away now...

It's not just the scares that matter

See more
See more
See more
See more

The Losers are the stars and Skarsgard is a true horror  

See more
See more
See more

And yes, you'll still be afraid when you get out

See more
See more

You too can be this scared when the movie opens in cinemas on September 8. 

Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in gaming, technology, and entertainment. She is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming show and has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland. She can also be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Netflix UK's YouTube Channel, and on The Evolution of Horror podcast. As well as her work on GamesRadar, Louise writes for NME, T3, and TechRadar. When she’s not working, you can probably find her watching horror movies or playing an Assassin’s Creed game and getting distracted by Photo Mode.