‘It’ Is the Most ‘Blood-Curdling Film of the Year’ and 6 Other Unnerving Reviews

The film starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96 percent

Pennywise is back to terrify a whole new generation in “It,” and critics approve. The New Line Cinema adaption of Stephen King’s famous novel has a score of 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Critics are calling it the most “blood-curdling film of the year and possibly the best King adaptation yet,” as well as an “entertaining” and “smart adaptation” of the novel that gave us Pennywise the Clown.

“Andy Muschietti’s feature film adaptation of the first half of the novel is in many ways a remarkable feat of condensation that hits most of the major points in the narrative,” wrote TheWrap’s film critic Dan Callahan. “In spite of its flaws, this new ‘It’ does capture the spirit of the book, and especially its metaphor for coming together as a group to combat evil.”

“It” stars Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, along with Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff and Jeremy Ray Taylor.

The film, directed by Andy Muschietti, will hit theaters on Sept. 8.

See 7 of the best reviews below.

Brian Truitt, USA Today:

“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… With plenty of gallows humor, as well as kid banter and inside jokes, ‘It’ boasts a clever sense of humor throughout its 2¼ hours. The film suffers from a couple of unneeded subplots that derail momentum, but the ending is filled with tension and satisfaction, the result of investing in the teenage protagonists.”

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Stephen Whitty, Newark Star Ledger:

“The new version of King’s classic demonic clown story delivers two of the author’s signature pleasures – an emotional re-creation of those beleaguered years of childhood, when it was us-against-the-adults, and a truly visceral sense of horror. Yet ‘It’ is truly a smart adaptation because it’s not a mindlessly faithful one. King’s novel switched between two time periods, following its characters as children and as adults – this movie is ‘Chapter One,’ and while complete in itself, it’s saving the adult tale for later.”

Travis Hopson, Punch Drunk Critics

“‘It” is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most blood-curdling film of the year and possibly the best King adaptation yet. That’s not small feat because the novel is so good on multiple levels. The film captures perfectly so many of King’s pet themes, particularly adolescence and the fear that comes with being on the cusp of adulthood. The world has begun to change for you in ways that nobody is prepared for. As the innocence of youth fades, the darkness that comes with maturity has started to creep in, and at least in the small town of Derry, Maine that darkness isn’t an imagined thing. Monsters really do lurk under the bed, in the sewers, and in the shadows.”

Ethan Sacks, New York Daily News

“They’ve finally stopped clowning around with a Stephen King adaptation. In fact, ‘It’ mines its scares almost too seriously for a movie about a demonic clown stalking the children of a New England town. This clown, played by Bill Skarsgard, virtually unrecognizable under all that makeup and coiled menace, is about as funny as a heart attack.”

Jason Guerrasio, Business Insider

“‘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.”

Tim Grierson, Screen International

“The terrors are everywhere in ‘It,’ the superb adaptation of Stephen King‘s horror novel about a group of teen outcasts who discover that a mysterious killer clown is just one of their problems. Scary but also emotionally visceral, the film compellingly articulates the universal anxieties associated with adolescence — small wonder, then, that director Andy Muschietti doesn’t just focus on fanged bogeymen but, also, the daily torment presented by bullies, abusive parents, rampaging hormones and the loss of a sibling. Consistently, persuasively unnerving, ‘It’ turns the coming-of-age drama into a nightmare.”

Katie Rife, AV Club:

“Certain aspects of ‘It’ remain burned on your brain like a flashbulb on exposed film. Cinematography from Chung Chung-hoon, Park Chan-wook’s longtime DP, gives the film a richness and texture that’s far beyond that of most Hollywood films, let alone horror films. Combine that with the booming sound design and meticulous production design, and the film’s more fantastic sequences, like a diabolically imaginative scene where the Losers investigate an abandoned house, are downright inspired. And perhaps the writers gave us the best adaptation of a practically un-adaptable book that anyone could give. But it’s hard not to wonder, had the studio not felt the need to clean up this messy, sprawling tale, if this could have been one for the ages.”