The reviews are in for the new It movie - and it's scary

Will you be going to see It? Picture: Warner Bros. on YouTube.
Will you be going to see It? Picture: Warner Bros. on YouTube.

Reviews for the film adaptation of Stephen King's It are in, with critics predicting the movie will leave a whole new audience terrified of clowns.

The supernatural horror movie version of the author's 1986 novel follows a group of children who are terrorised by an evil clown called Pennywise.
It is the second adaptation of the book after the 1990 TV miniseries which saw Tim Curry appear as the shape-shifting supernatural villain, a role played by Bill Skarsgard in the new film.

Many critics have declared director Andres Muschietti's new adaptation a "horror classic", and it currently has a rating of 100% on movie rating website Rotten Tomatoes.

The Guardian said It "is an ensemble smorgasbord of scariness, or maybe a portmanteau of petrification, throwing everything but the haunted kitchen-sink at the audience in the cause of freaking us out".

The Metro deemed it a resounding success, calling it "a genuinely bloody, creepy and terrifying piece of classic horror mixed with brilliant teen humour, romance and a classic coming of age story".

The Telegraph gave It four out of five stars, saying it was "a ring-the-changes update, with the ramped-up set pieces and state-of-the-art grisliness to match".

The round-up on film website Collider said: "There's never a scene in IT that wants you to pause and appreciate how creepy it is; instead, those scenes serve to build tension and illuminate what the characters fear."

The reviewer added: "The pacing, visuals, and score are all exquisite."

The Hollywood Reporter deemed it "satisfying, if not quite terrifying".

There was plenty of praise for the cast, with The Telegraph commenting on the "skilful grotesquerie" of Skarsgard's performance and website IGN saying he plays the clown with "gruesome, wall-eyed anti-charm".

However, some felt Skarsgard's incarnation of the character could not eclipse Curry's haunting portrayal in the television adaptation.

The headline in The Wrap summarised: "Horror Tale Floats Many Characters, But the Clown Disappoints."

The reviewer said: "A lot of the time in this version of It, Pennywise feels more like an effect than a person, and sometimes this is a problem, because a visual effect is too distanced from us to be as scary as Curry was using just his made-up clown face and his growling voice."

Much of the action is carried by the young cast playing a group of outsiders who call themselves The Losers' Club.

The Chicago Sun-Times said: "When a film of this magnitude has so many young characters front and centre in the lead roles, so much depends on the casting - and in this case, there's not a single mis-step."

USA Today said: "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."

The film, released this month, is the first of two parts.