Best Horror Movie on 2017: IT

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It (titled onscreen 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 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 Skarsgard 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.

Cast:

  • Jaeden Lieberher as William “Bill” Denbrough
  • Bill Skarsgard as It / Pennywise the Dancing Clown
  • Wyatt Oleff as Stanley “Stan” Uris
  • Jeremy Ray Taylor as Benjamin “Ben” Hanscom
  • Sophia Lillis as Beverly “Bev” Marsh
  • Finn Wolfhard as Richard “Richie” Tozier
  • Jack Dylan Grazer as Edward “Eddie” Kaspbrak
  • Chosen Jacobs as Michael “Mike” Hanlon
  • Nicholas Hamilton as Henry Bowers
  • Jackson Robert Scott as George “Georgie” Denbrough

Filming

Port Hope had undergone a number of changes to transform into the town of Derry.

Production designer Mara LePere-Schloop went to Bangor, Maine, to scope out locations, including the Thomas Hill Standpipe, the land running alongside the Kenduskeag Stream that in It is called The Barrens, and the Waterworks on the Penobscot River. LePere-

Schloop said that they were hoping to shoot some scenes in the city, and possibly take some aerial shots.

By July 8, 2016, Port Hope had undergone changes to transform it into Derry; Port Hope Municipal hall was the Derry Public Library, The Port Hope Tourism Centre became the City of Derry office, Ganaraska Financial was remade as Montgomery Financial, Gould’s Shoes store front on Walton Street changed to a butcher shop, The Avanti Hair Design store front changed to Tony’s Barber Shop, an empty storefront at 36 Walton Street changed to Reliance Cleaners, Queen Street Tattoo store front changed to Derry Scoop, a statue of Paul Bunyan was erected in Memorial Park, US flags hung in place of Canadian flags downtown, and Port Hope Capitol Theatre had appeared to be showing Batman (1989) and Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), thus confirming the film’s 1989 setting.

Design

Costume design

Pennywise’s gray costume was partly inspired by the clothing style of the Renaissance.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise

On August 16, 2016, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, costume designer Janie Bryant spoke of crafting Pennywise’s form-fitting suit and the inspirations it drew from – involving a number of eras – among them Medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, and Victorian. Bryant explained that the costume incorporates all these otherworldly past lives, highlighting the point that Pennywise is a clown from a different time. In designing Pennywise’s costume, Bryant included a Fortuny pleating, which gives the costume an almost a crepe-like effect, to which Bryant remarked, “It’s a different technique than what the Elizabethans would do. It’s more organic, it’s more sheer. It has a whimsical, floppy quality to it. It’s not a direct translation of a ruff or a whisk, which were two of the collars popular during the Elizabethan period.”

Bryant played with multiple eras as a way of reflecting Pennywise’s immortality, and added a “doll-like quality to the costume”. She furthered stated, “The pants being short, the high waistline of the jacket, and the fit of the costume is a very important element. It gives the character a child-like quality.” Bryant spoke of the two puffs off the shoulder, sleeves and again on the bloomers, with her desire to create an “organic, gourd or pumpkin kind of effect”, which includes the peplum at the waist, and the flared, skirt-like fabric blossoming from below his doublet. She explains, “It helps exaggerate certain parts of the body. The costume is very nipped in the waist and with the peplum and bloomers it has an expansive silhouette.” The main color of his costume is a dusky gray, but with a few splashes of colour. She concludes the interview by stating, “The pompoms are orange, and then with the trim around the cuffs and the ankles, it’s basically a ball fringe that’s a combination of orange, red, and cinnamon. It’s almost like Pennywise fades into his environment. But there are accents to pull out the definition of the gray silk.”

Creature design

Judith, the woman in the portrait whose form It assumes to terrify Stan, did not appear in the novel. Muschietti based this sequence on the paintings of Amedeo Modigliani, one of which hung in his childhood home, and which he found frightening, interpreting Modigliani’s stylisation as monstrosity. The eponymous creature in Muschietti’s previous film, Mama, was also based on Modigliani’s work.

Visual effects

Nicholas Brooks was the supervisor, and visual effects company Rodeo FX worked on most of the visual effects on It. Amalgamated Dynamics worked on the special makeup effects.

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