In October 1988, stuttering teenager Bill Denbrough gives his seven-year-old brother, Georgie, a paper sailboat. Georgie sails the boat along the rainy streets of small town Derry, and is disappointed when it falls down a storm drain. As he attempts to retrieve it Georgie sees a clown in the sewer, who introduces himself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”. The clown entices Georgie to come closer, then severs his arm and drags him into the sewer.
The following summer, Bill and his friends (loudmouth Richie Tozier, hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak, and timid Stan Uris) run afoul of bully Henry Bowers and his gang. Bill, still haunted by Georgie’s disappearance and the resulting neglect from his grief-stricken parents, discovers that his brother’s body may have washed up in a marshy wasteland called the Barrens. He recruits his friends to check it out, believing his brother may still be alive.
“New kid” Ben Hanscom learns that the town has been plagued by unexplained tragedies and child disappearances for centuries. He is targeted by Bowers’ gang for being fat, after which he flees into the Barrens and meets Bill’s group. They find the sneaker of a missing girl, while a member of the pursuing Bowers Gang, Patrick Hockstetter, is killed by Pennywise while searching the sewers for Ben.
Beverly Marsh, a girl ostracized over rumors of promiscuity, also joins the group; both Bill and Ben develop feelings for her. Later, the group befriends homeschool student Mike Hanlon after defending him from Bowers. All the while each member of the group has encountered terrifying phenomena in various forms; these include a menacing clown, a headless boy, a fountain of blood, a diseased and rotting man, a creepy painting come to life, Mike’s parents burning alive, and a phantom Georgie.
Now calling themselves “The Losers Club”, they realize they are all being terrorized by the same entity. They determine that Pennywise (or “It”) assumes the appearance of what they fear, awakens every 27 years to feed on the children of Derry before returning to hibernation, and moves about by using sewer lines—which all lead to a well currently under the creepy, abandoned house at 29 Neibolt Street. After an attack by Pennywise, the group ventures to the house to confront him, only to be separated and terrorized. Eddie breaks his arm, while Pennywise gloats to Bill about Georgie. As they regroup, Beverly impales Pennywise through the head, forcing the clown to retreat. However, after the encounter the group begins to splinter, with only Bill and Beverly resolute in fighting It.
Weeks later, after Beverly confronts and incapacitates her sexually abusive father, she is abducted by Pennywise. The Losers Club reassembles and travels back to the Neibolt house to rescue her. Henry Bowers, who has killed his father after being compelled into madness by It, attacks the group. Mike fights back and pushes Bowers down the well to his apparent death. The Losers descend into the sewers and find It’s underground lair, which contains a mountain of decayed circus props and children’s belongings, around which the bodies of missing children float in mid-air.
Beverly, now catatonic after being exposed to It’s true form, is restored to consciousness as Ben kisses her. Bill encounters Georgie, but recognizes that he’s Pennywise in disguise. Pennywise attacks the group and takes Bill hostage, offering to spare the others if they let It keep Bill. The Losers reject this and reaffirm their friendship, overcoming their various fears. After a brutal battle they defeat Pennywise and he retreats, with Bill declaring that It will starve during its hibernation. Their victory is bittersweet, as Bill finally accepts his brother’s death and is comforted by his friends.
It (also known as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The screenplay is by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman. The film tells the story of seven children in Derry, Maine, who are terrorized by the eponymous being, only to face their own personal demons in the process. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries.
The film stars Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Skarsgård as Bill Denbrough and Pennywise the Dancing Clown, respectively, with Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles. Principal photography began in the Riverdale neighborhood of Toronto on June 27, 2016, and ended on September 21, 2016. Other Ontario locations included Port Hope and Oshawa.
It premiered in Los Angeles on September 5, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 8, 2017. Upon release, the film set numerous box office records and grossed $700 million worldwide. Unadjusted for inflation, it is the highest-grossing horror film and the third highest-grossing R-rated film of all-time (after Deadpool and The Matrix Reloaded). It received positive reviews, with critics praising the performances, direction, cinematography and musical score, with many calling it one of the best Stephen King adaptations.
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Nicholas Hamilton, Jake Sim, Stephen Bogaert, Stuart Hughes, Owen Teague, Jack Dylan Grazer, Janet Porter
Screenplay by: Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga
Production Design by: Claude Paré
Cinematography by: Chung-hoon Chung
Film Editing by: Jason Ballantine
Costume Design by: Janie Bryant
Set Decoration by: Rosalie Board
Art Direction by: Brandt Gordon, Peter Grundy
Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch
MPAA Rating: R for violence / horror, bloody images, and for language.
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: September 8, 2017