James Cole Clay // Film Critic
Rated R, 135 minutes.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer and Nicholas Hamilton
Available Tuesday on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and DVD.
Seeing IT in a packed theater was one of the great film going experiences of last year. It was a difficult experience to come down from, but luckily now, the feeling can continue on repeat as the film hits Blu-ray and DVD this week.
Andy Muschietti’s blockbuster continues the excellent trend of films like GET OUT and the Scream Factory horror releases for having an excellent group of special features. What I liked so much about the special features for IT is Warner Bros. hits you with quality of quantity. There are four special featurettes, including 16 minutes of deleted scenes. The only thing missing is a feature-length commentary, but I’m expecting Muschietti to be releasing a director’s cut closer to when CHAPTER TWO releases.
An in-depth look at the Bonus Features
This was a banner year for Bill Skarsgård’s career. The (now) iconic performance he gave as Pennywise the Clown will follow him for the rest of his days. This 16-minute long dive into his Skarsgård’s psyche and physicality is much for than a “Oh, it was so great to work with Bill… and wow, was he so scary” fluff piece. We see how Skarsgård prepared for the role and how he continued to simultaneously collaborate and scare the cotton candy out of the kids who make up the Losers’ Club.
Fun fact(s): 1) Muschietti wouldn’t let the kids see Bill dressed up as Pennywise until they met in the scene. 2) Skarsgård had his own tent secluded from everyone on-set where he would prepare vocal exercises, involving lots of drool.
THE LOSERS’ CLUB
Just a group of kids living one unforgettable summer. As memorable as Pennywise may be, the success of IT also hinged on the excellent ensemble cast that made up The Losers’ Club. As you can imagine, wrangling a group of 12-year-old boys would be a task for any director. However, Muschietti channelled his inner Steven Spielberg to make these kids’ performances pop with emotional resonance. And boy, are these little guys just so charming, even outside of the world of Derry, Maine.
Fun Fact(s): Actor Sophia Lillis, who plays Beverly, says the boys were definitely hard to get focused during certain scenes, but their energy made their chemistry that much better on-set.
AUTHOR OF FEAR
Author of IT, Stephen King, sheds light on why he wrote the epic 1986 novel. He discusses the ideas that went into creating a cursed town — Those new to the author’s work will notice the dark places his mind can go. While there are so many King adaptations out there – some good and some bad – he slyly gives IT a glowing endorsement at the end of the feature.
Fun Fact(s): King based Pennywise of the living legends he discovered in the town where he resides Bangor, Maine.
There’s a lot to spoil here, so I won’t go into the content of the scenes, which actually add depth to the story. However, you get to see more of the adults in the deleted scenes and how Pennywise the clown as not only affected the kids of Derry, but the adults as well. My prediction is Muschietti will be preparing his director’s cut with several, if not all of the scenes that are included on this disc. This is a film absolutely worthy of a “double-dip.”
Look out for our 4K review of IT later this week!