‘IT Chapter Two’ review: Horrifyingly great reunion

Stephen King didn’t fail to amuse us with It Chapter Two as a fun and horrifying reunion of the Losers Club.

Evil resurfaces as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club to return to where it all began in IT Chapter Two, the conclusion to the highest-grossing horror film of all time. Twenty-seven years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise, he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Kids are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all, putting them directly in odds with a clown that has become deadlier than ever.

IT Chapter Two is brilliantly created and inspired from the books itself. It’s not as scary as the first one, but this surely offers a lot more on the story making it a horrifying tale overall. It’s funny and pure when the film presents distinct personalities in precise sequences. The film showed The Losers as a grown up adults where some have already had a life. When Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) who was obsessed with what happens to Derry, telephones them all with grim news it results in puking, car-crashing and all-round panic seeing that the characters had a traumatic experience from the past.  From Richie (Bill Hader), now a professional on comedy stages, to Beverly (Jessica Chastain), who still sadly suffering abuse, to Bill (James McAvoy) being a sensitive screenwriter who writes bad endings per se — we can all feel these characters instantly lived-in, vibrant, authentic human beings who we can relate to.

This film is beyond what we imagine. Like Pennywise, It Chapter Two wants to keep you in a constant state of distress because it heightens the overall intensity of the story. While it has a lot of twists and scary popups that would put you at the edge of your seat, it also pokes fun to some scary things. You’ll never know if you are going to be scared or not at all. What’s interesting is at some point, Pennywise stops being ‘scary’ and starts being annoying. Wellm that depends if you are not really afraid of clowns. But in this film being almost three hours long you’ll be scared more of what will happen to the characters (plus those intense scary popups that literally put a shock). It really takes you to uneasy comfort, you’ll be scared or maybe you will even laugh at it. Overall it is well-balanced on being scary and funny because at some point, it stops to poke fun at the ridiculousness of its story. A special mention to Bill Hader’s Richie, who points out how dumb Pennywise’s little jig is. He’s seen what the clown can do to people and the many monstrous forms it can take, but he also knows that if he’s going to die, he might as well crack a couple jokes while he’s got the time which makes this film horrifyingly fun at all.

It is engaging and beautifully inspired by the books, without having to resort to having too much horror, romance, and comedy. It’s well balanced and more disturbing than anything in chapter one. Director Muschietti is not playing it safe with this one. It is amazingly an adult territory, enormously troubling to witness, let alone a more gruesome grown up film. The film literally throws all the monsters most people were afraid of as this was the final face-off of The Losers Club with Pennywise. There are exquisitely executed scares with various nightmares, from unsettling spine-chillers to a full-force fright. It is both classy and disgusting; the monsters were design wonderfully and all out in the service of scaring its audiences. From the opening to the climax, Muschietti successfully keeps the horror going on throughout its whole runtime.

It Chapter Two takes almost three hours long for a horror film. That’s not to say that it isn’t a solid horror film—it is, but it’s trying to do something more than just frighten you for a few hours with a story about a bunch of kids who are now grown-up adults fighting a crazy clown. It really, really wants to make you laugh. But it is the best long hour for a horror film by far. While you don’t absolutely need to have seen the first film to be familiar with the premise, it would be a lie to say that It Chapter Two isn’t made better by having the first half still somewhat fresh in your mind. It shows how the now-adult Losers have gone about their lives as the film opens, and we’re reintroduced to each character in small slice of life moments that give you just enough information to understand what kind of people they’ve all become. It’s one of the best scenes of the film showing these adults Losers reeling on some struggles from the past that they had to overcome. Despite delivering many subplots, the film leaves you with a feeling of wanting more.

The cast members are absolutely the best thing that this film had. The film gives its leads the idea of being the grown-up versions of the younger counterparts from the first film (who greatly reprise their roles adding some cuteness and innocent feels for the viewers). Their inclusion in the film makes interesting scenes where the adult Losers relive their memories in a dynamic way. James Ransone’s Eddie is one you’ll definitely see as the perfect adult version of Jack Dylan Grazer. He’s matches every emotion, jokes, and scared face of the young Eddie. His fun partner Richie played by Bill Hader is one of the more surprising gems tucked into this film. Seeing them exchange scenes together turns the film in both fun and emotional ways. Other characters like Jessica Chastain and Jay Ryan, who become that hot adult version of Ben, come across as rather extra special characters that are just going through the motions in a good way. James McAvoy on the other hand, clearly did the best of himself playing the adult version of Bill.

Overall, Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise is the real deal in this film. His comeback is an absolute horrible as a clown. His first appearance is surprisingly nasty, and then so are all the others. He is indeed a brilliant actor, he inhabits Pennywise to diabolical degrees, with or without CGI he is next-level creepy as hell.

Beware if you are afraid of clowns because It Chapter Two will make you shout, groan, and look away, but it’ll also make you laugh and appreciate children who have the common sense to stay the hell away from them, You’ll have a fun, horrific ride as you enjoy the characters more than you expected.

3.5 out of 5 stars
IT Chapter Two stars James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgard, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, Jaeden Lieberher, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Finn Wolfhard. Directed by Andy Muschietti. Runtime: 2hrs and 55 mins

WATCH: Evil resurfaces in teaser trailer for horror film ‘IT Chapter 2’

Director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club—young and adult—in a return to where it all began with “IT Chapter Two.”

Check out the film’s official teaser trailer below and watch “IT Chapter Two” in Philippine cinemas September 5th.

“IT Chapter Two” is Muschietti’s follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed and massive worldwide box office hit “IT,” which grossed over $700 million globally.  Both redefining and transcending the genre, “IT” became part of the cultural zeitgeist as well as the highest-grossing horror film of all time.  Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, “IT Chapter Two” brings the characters—who’ve long since gone their separate ways—back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film.  

James McAvoy (“Split,” “Glass”) stars as Bill, Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Mama”) as Beverly, Bill Hader (HBO’s “Barry”) as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa (TV’s “Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments”) as Mike, Jay Ryan (TV’s “Mary Kills People”) as Ben, James Ransone (HBO’s “The Wire”) as Eddie, and Bill Skarsgård returning in the seminal role of Pennywise.  Andy Bean (“Allegiant,” Starz’ “Power”) plays Stanley, and reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie.

Muschietti directs from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (“IT,” “Annabelle: Creation”) based on the novel IT by Stephen King.  Barbara Muschietti, Dan Lin and Roy Lee are producing the film.  Marty Ewing, Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg are the executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Checco Varese (“The 33”), Oscar-winning production designer Paul D. Austerberry (“The Shape of Water”), editor Jason Ballantine (“IT,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”), and Oscar-nominated costume designer Luis Sequeira (“The Shape of Water,” “Mama”).

“IT Chapter Two” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.  #ITMovie

‘IT’ standout Jack Dylan Grazer is fanboy Freddy in ‘Shazam!’

Popularly known for starring as the Losers Club’s asthma-afflicted Eddie in the global horror blockbuster “IT,” Jack Dylan Grazer now stars in New Line Cinema’s action-adventure “SHAZAM!” in the role of Freddy, a geeky foster kid who has had a tough young life but who definitely hasn’t lost his sense of humor…or mischief.  

In the film, superhero enthusiast Freddy helps out his bunkmate, Billy (Asher Angel) who’s freaked out by what’s just happened and who—or what—he’s become.  By shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—Billy can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam, courtesy of an ancient wizard.  

If anyone can figure out this superhero thing, it’s the superhero super nerd, Freddy.  Director David F. Sandberg feels a lot of the funniest moments in the movie come from our superhero just hanging out with the ultimate fanboy.  “Freddy is just the expert that Shazam needs.”

“Freddy lives at the foster home, and he lives with a disability that has to do with his leg and his spine and his foot, so he walks with a crutch.  He gets bullied for it, but he doesn’t really let it affect him.  He lets it roll off his back and, rather than feeling sorry for himself, he laughs about it and makes fun of himself.  He’s confident, which I really admire.”

Freddy may exhibit a fair amount of bravado, but he’s not invulnerable…he just hides it well.  What he doesn’t attempt to hide is his collection of superhero memorabilia or the fact that, as Grazer notes, “He’s a total superhero fanatic, like extraordinaire.  He knows everything.  So, when he finds out that Billy is a superhero, it blows his mind.  This is a dream come true.  At first, I don’t think it even crosses his mind to think, ‘I wish I could be in his shoes.’  I think he’s just so caught up in being in the presence of a real superhero.  And he knows exactly what to do.”

“Freddy has to act as Shazam’s how-to manual,” Sandberg offers.  “He immediately knows what to test for: super strength, invisibility, super speed, and so on.  So, we get to see the two of them having a lot of fun with that but also really discovering the abilities Shazam has.  Of course, because they’re kids, they’re going to film it and put it on YouTube.”

Grazer says he found the story “empowering, because usually it’s grownup superheroes fighting crime or bad guys.  But this time it’s a kid; at least on the inside he’s still a kid.  And he’s scared, but he still wants to help save the day.  And Freddy is another kid who, by being friends with Billy, gets to help in his own way.”

Zachary Levi (Shazam) and Grazer spend the better part of the movie together.  “Jack was awesome, the dynamic was great,” he says.  “And I think story-wise, their friendship really helps to sell the idea of an adult who’s a kid on the inside, because if you don’t have that other kid to bounce back and forth with, you’d just have an adult pretending to be a kid in a bubble.  You need that exchange to make it work.”

When Freddy isn’t mentoring/managing Shazam, he’s often with the hero’s true self, Billy.  The relationship between those characters, though at first a prickly one, was equally important to conveying the story.  Just as they both did with Levi, Angel and Grazer hit if off right away.  “Jack was exactly how I imagined Freddy,” Angel states.  “He’s such a cool guy and loves what he does, and I knew he would be perfect and that we’d have a lot of fun.”

“Freddy is really the proxy for the superhero fans in the audience,” Sandberg says.  “And the way Jack plays him—this fast-talking, funny kid who walks with a crutch and seems to be as far from a superhero as you can be—just proves what I like about this movie: that everyone can be a hero.”

Now showing in Philippine cinemas, “Shazam!” is a New Line Cinema production, and distributed by Warner Bros., a WarnerMedia Company.  #SHAZAM

About “Shazam!”

David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle: Creation”) directs New Line Cinema’s “Shazam!,” the origin story that stars Zachary Levi (TV’s “Chuck”) as the titular DC Super Hero, along with Asher Angel (TV’s “Andi Mack”) as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong (the “Kingsman” movies) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Peter Safran (upcoming “Aquaman,” “The Conjuring” and “Annabelle” films) serves as the film’s producer.

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard.  Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!  Can he fly?  Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).

“Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT”) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (“Annabelle: Creation”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV’s “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV’s “Fresh Off the Boat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”).  Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV’s “Killer Women”) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond”) as the Wizard.

Warner Bros. Pictures surpasses $5-billion at worldwide box office

Warner Bros. Pictures has crossed the $5 billion mark at the global box office this year—only the second time in its illustrious history that the Studio has crossed that tremendous milestone. It is also the eighth time in the last nine years that Warner Bros. has earned more than $4 billion in a single year, marking an industry record. The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Additionally, setting a new Studio record in 2017, Warner Bros. had five of its feature film releases each take in more than $500 million worldwide (in order): Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ action adventure “Kong: Skull Island” (with Legendary Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures), starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly; Patty Jenkins’ action adventure “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine; Christopher Nolan’s sweeping epic “Dunkirk,” with an ensemble cast including Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy; New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT”; and, most recently, Zack Snyder’s “Justice League,” teaming Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Raymond Fisher, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, which stands at more than $574 million and still climbing. The year’s highlights also include three more releases crossing $250 million worldwide: the animated feature “The LEGO® Batman Movie” (with LEGO System A/S); New Line’s horror thriller “Annabelle: Creation”; and Alcon Entertainment’s dramatic thriller “Blade Runner 2049” (with Sony Pictures).

In making the announcement, Kroll stated, “We are thrilled to reach this extraordinary benchmark as we come to the end of an amazing, record-setting year. Surpassing five billion dollars in a single year can only happen with an incredible level of hard work across all theatrical divisions, as well as the invaluable contributions of the many talented filmmakers and actors with whom we are so fortunate to collaborate. Congratulations to everyone who shares in this success.”

Horror film ‘It’ grosses P50.18-M on opening weekend in PH

MANILA, September 11, 2017 – New Line Cinema’s IT, the critically lauded big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s perennial best seller, floated to the top of the Philippine box office on its opening weekend, earning P50.18-million across 213 cinemas, and still climbing.

Directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama), the much-anticipated horror thriller has surpassed the opening figures of recent horror blockbusters, The Conjuring (P39-M) and Lights Out (P36.7-M).

In making the announcement, Francis Soliven, General Manager, Warner Bros. Philippines, said, “IT is the film that everyone is talking about, whether fans of the genre or not, driving moviegoers across the country to brave the cinema for their own encounter with Pennywise. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the results, and congratulate New Line Cinema, director Andy Muschietti and his phenomenal cast and crew on this fantastic opening.”

New Line Cinema’s horror thriller IT tells the story of seven young outcasts growing up in the township of Derry, Maine, who call themselves the Losers’ Club. Each of them has been ostracized for one reason or another; each has a target on their back from the local pack of bullies…and all have seen their inner fears come to life in the form of an ancient shapeshifting predator they can only call It.

For as long as their town has existed, Derry has been the entity’s hunting ground, emerging from the sewers every 27 years to feed on the terrors of its chosen prey: Derry’s children. Banding together over one horrifying and exhilarating summer, the Losers form a close bond to help them overcome their own fears and stop a killing cycle that began on a rainy day, with a small boy chasing a paper boat as it swept down a storm drain…and into the hands of Pennywise the Clown.

Directed by Andy Muschietti, IT is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. First published in 1986, IT became an instant classic. It continues to be counted among the best and most influential works of the undisputed literary master of horror, inspiring numerous film and television projects in the years that have followed.

The film stars Bill Skarsgård (Allegiant) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Sophia Lillis (37), Finn Wolfhard (Netflix’s Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming Cops and Robbers), Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween), Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic) and Jackson Robert Scott, making his film debut.

Muschietti directed IT from a screenplay by Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman, based on the novel by King. Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti produced the film, with Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada, Richard Brener, Toby Emmerich, Marty P. Ewing, Doug Davison, Jon Silk and Niija Kuykendall serving as executive producers.

New Line Cinema presents a Vertigo Entertainment/Lin Pictures/Katzsmith Production, IT. The film is being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

MOVIE REVIEW: It (2017)

Shot with meticulous craftsmanship, boasting with camp classic 80’s horror scare tactics that never get old, Andrés Muschietti’s It (2017) proves that adaptations and horror films are still in the game for cinematic marvel.

Set in the late 1980s, It follows the story of a quiet suburban town haunted by an eerie entity in a form of a ghostly clown who calls himself Pennywise, and every 27 years, it feeds himself with the fears of unknowing, helpless children.

The biggest theme of the film is the concept of reality versus fantasy, caused by fear, paranoia, or occasionally by even deeper elements of post-traumatic stress, almost hallucinogenic, which distorts one’s perception of what’s real and what’s not. Keep in mind that this is a film in which the cast is mostly composed of young adult actors below the age of 18, thus the perspective majorly relies on them. The film also discusses certain politically taboo, yet relevant issues such as pedophilia, incest, patricide, child abduction, and teenage violence (bullying is an understatement). That being said, these issues faced by the children are presented in the film in two ways: 1) in the eyes of an adult; and 2) in the eyes of a child.

For every child facing the above-mentioned circumstances, in their own psyche that’s spotless from the heavy-handedness of these crimes, it’s just another horror episode; hence, the presence of It. The clown represents that magic realism element of the life issues every child in the film is being threatened of. In reality, they are almost too young to comprehend the darkness of these crimes, that is why the figment of their minds have created this monstrous character. It loves fearful children in which he can easily manipulate: the concept of child abduction by luring kids with red hot balloons that represent celebratory fun and happiness — exactly what a child is vulnerable of. In the eyes of the children, everything is a big adventure, and oftentimes exaggerated. It isn’t even about Pennywise alone; they all had their versions of fear and evil that exist exclusively for them. Moreover, notice how Richie’s (Finn Wolfhard) paranoia was fed when he saw a poster of himself missing, wherein in reality, he’s not missing at all? That’s an example of how a child’s perspective can be so boisterous, that it plays with them several steps ahead in comparison to what the present event actually is. On the other hand, in the adult’s perspective (e.g. parents, police officers, detectives, etc.), it’s yet another crime of child abduction that their town fears; the reality is, pedophiles and sociopaths are out there, present and hunting for children — exactly the metaphor as to why the kids are the only ones who can see everything It does. The version of how adults see things are completely different as to how young children do. That being said, the ultimate question is: which sequence is real? The adult’s or the child’s? That’ll remain unanswered and it is left for the audience to see which version they want to lean on.

On a technical aspect, the art direction of the film is to die for. The director’s use of bland, sepia colors of mostly murky browns, greens and beiges completely contrast the aesthetic festivity of the colors that Pennywise has. It establishes two things: 1) how mundane suburbia is, and 2) how monochromatic the adult world is. Given that particular establishment, naturally, a child’s mind escapes from that box. For every scene that a luminous, red hot balloon appears, a child is lured. For a kid who lives in a world of dullness, comes along the vivid colors of It, has always been the first step in fishing these children for abduction: feeding their vision, and giving them what they want to see before it unravels the horrors underneath that coy, sugary facade. The art direction gave all those layers of reality versus fantasy and adult versus child perspective in a mega-synthesis of popcorn fun, atmospheric direction and figurative language.

Bill Skarsgård’s performance as Pennywise is deliciously delirious, it’s everything you could ever hope for in a horror film remake. Skarsgård’s Pennywise is parallel to Heath Ledger’s Joker — not only it won’t disappoint, but it also gives you a brand new perspective of a classic character you thought you already knew. He’s bizarre, eerie, and that wicked laughter is just the glittery touch the film needs.

It makes sense how It remains a neutral pronoun; relatively unknown, and ultimately mysterious. That being said, it’s one thing to have a veil of mystery wrapped around a character, and it’s another thing to be empty. That exactly is my biggest issue with the film. It, the clown whose screen presence haunts you, ultimately feels void. Pennywise is an empty characterization. Who is It? What is It? It was thinly established in all of its back stories, as if gambling an assumption towards what the viewers are knowledgeable of. Now, I am speaking from a defamiliarized audience’s point of view, who has not read the novel or could hardly remember the original miniseries— the character history of It requires familiarization to the original source; otherwise, it’ll feel like a one dimensional, self-referential villainous act.

At the end of the day, It delivers what an adaptation should justify, and what horror films should offer. The direction is visionary; the editing has a blistering effect, milking every moment — no scene felt unnecessary; a screenplay written with an engaging emotional core; a cast ensemble of promising young actors; and an iconic villain whose screen presence will cling in audience’s heads for a long time. This is one of 2017’s best in cinema.


4.75 out of 5 stars


Bill Skarsgård plays predator clown Pennywise in horror film ‘It’

The filmmakers of New Line Cinema’s horror-thriller It knew the actor cast as the predator Pennywise would have a significant impact on virtually every aspect of the film.

The enigmatically short title refers to the story’s central villain, an ancient shapeshifter that takes the form of its victims’ deepest fears and comes out of hibernation every 27 years to feed on the most vulnerable residents of Derry, Maine: the children. This time, however, seven young outcasts, who dub themselves “the Losers’ Club,” will band together to do battle with the mysterious being they call by the all-encompassing pronoun: It. But It goes by another name…a name that has become iconic in the annals of horror: Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

After an extensive process, Bill Skarsgård landed the coveted role. Director Andy Muschietti says, “I was first captivated by Bill’s performance in his audition and from then on, it was like discovering a new treat every day. He not only brought mystery and an intriguing quality to the character but had the guts to explore Pennywise’s insane theatricality. He had a madness in his look, and his body language was completely unnerving. Some of the physical demands of this role were exhausting, but I have to give it to Bill—his energy was at full all the time.”

In turn, Skarsgård says he counted on Muschietti’s guidance and appreciated the confidence his director placed in him. “Andy trusted me and I trusted him. I knew I was in good hands so I could really go for it, and he responded to what I was doing. We had a great collaboration between the two of us.”

Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith remarks, “You can’t overstate what Bill added to this character in terms of his physicality, his attitude and his expressions.”

In fact, one expression the actor was able to bring to the role took the director by surprise. Muschiettir ecounts, “Pennywise’s wall-eyed appearance was something I had in mind from early on—I wanted him to have this crazy look where one of the eyes is going in a different direction, the opposite of cross-eyed. I mentioned this to Bill as a trait of the character, thinking it was something we would do in post-production. But he said, ‘Well, I can do that,’ and he just did it right there. And it freaked me out! You will see it in the movie; it’s pretty terrifying. One thing Bill couldn’t do was turn his blue eyes yellow—that we did have to do in post—but the wall-eyed stunt is all him.”

Apart from his physical characteristics, Skarsgård focused on creating Pennywise’s distinctive voice and maniacal laugh. For the voice, he landed on what he calls “a kind of crackling, high-pitched tone.”

Muschietti gave a great deal of thought to how he was going to reveal Pennywise onscreen. “It’s an iconic moment in the book that many people will be waiting to see,” the director acknowledges. “The scene is mesmerizing; the first appearance of Pennywise is intriguing and charismatic, but at the same time, you know there’s something wrong about him. But he’s also shrouded in a kind of magic that is quite unsettling.”

That unsettling feeling is something to which Barbara Muschietti could relate. “Clearly, the first time we see Pennywise is an incredibly important scene and, speaking for myself, it’s something that stays with you. From the first time I read the book, it was very difficult for me to look at a storm drain and not think of Pennywise lurking,” she smiles. “We wanted to create an image you will never forget.”

Opening in Philippine cinemas September 7, 2017, It is released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.

Horror film ‘It’ knows what you’re afraid of

Whether it’s a monster under your bed, what lies in the dark, or a creature lurking in the shadows, there is no escaping your greatest fear in New Line Cinema’s upcoming horror thriller IT (in Philippine cinemas September 7).

Bringing Stephen King’s seminal bestseller to the big screen for the first time, acclaimed director Andy Muschietti says, “Fear is universal; it’s something we can all relate to. And what could be more terrifying than something that doesn’t just attack you, but attacks you with what frightens you most?”

The enigmatically short title refers to the story’s central villain, an ancient shapeshifter that takes the form of its victims’ deepest fears and comes out of hibernation every 27 years to feed on the most vulnerable residents of Derry, Maine: the children. This time, however, seven young outcasts, who dub themselves “the Losers’ Club,” will band together to do battle with the mysterious being they call by the all-encompassing pronoun: It. But It goes by another name…a name that has become iconic in the annals of horror: Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

First published in 1986, IT became an instant classic and the top-selling book of that year. Captivating readers for more than three decades, the perennial bestseller continues to be counted among the best and most influential works of the undisputed master of literary horror, inspiring numerous film and television projects in the years that have followed.

That was certainly true for the filmmaker at the helm of the movie. “I am a big fan of Stephen King, who was my favorite author growing up, so IT was a dream project for me,” Muschietti states. “As someone who loves making scary movies, I have always been fascinated by fear, and probably the time when you’re the most terrified is when you’re a child watching your first horror movie. It’s a feeling you won’t have again for the rest of your life, so it’s become a bit of a chimeric quest for me to bring that sensation back. That helps me create because I believe you can only scare other people with what scares you, too.”

There is another layer to the story that is trademark Stephen King. There is arguably no writer who is better at juxtaposing unmitigated horror with the experience of growing up—and perhaps never more perfectly than in the tender coming-of-age tale at the heart of IT. Producer Seth Grahame-Smith emphasizes, “We knew from the very beginning of this process that IT was more than just a horror story and the movie had to reflect the different tones of the novel. It’s set at a certain time in these young characters’ lives when they are truly coming of age, so we wanted the film to capture the charm of those character-driven moments, but in turn be utterly petrifying.”

Andy Muschietti’s sister and creative partner, producer Barbara Muschietti, credits the screenwriters with finding that balance. “Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman were able to capture the touching facets of friendship between the Losers’ Club and even a brush with the first love of adolescence. But make no mistake: you are going to be scared,” she smiles.

The terror of “IT” is embodied in the malevolent clown, Pennywise—devourer of children, connoisseur of fear. Bill Skarsgård, who took on the villainous role, says, “I was very familiar with IT and the character of Pennywise growing up. The way I look at it, he needs children to believe in what they’re seeing and to be afraid in order to consume them because fear seasons the flesh. To me, as a kid and even now, that is the most frightening concept ever.”

Representing the Losers’ Club, actor Jaeden Lieberher says, “It’s definitely about overcoming fear because if the kids aren’t afraid of Pennywise, they have a chance of beating him. But it’s really scary watching all the bad things that are happening to them.”

Lieberher plays the de facto leader of the group, Bill Denbrough. The ensemble of young actors rounding out the club are: Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier; Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh; Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak; Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris; Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom; and Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon.

A presentation of New Line Cinema, IT will be released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.

4-minute footage from horror film ‘It’ to play in front of ‘Annabelle: Creation’

Warner Bros. Philippines has just confirmed that an exclusive four-minute footage from the upcoming horror thriller It has been attached to play before Annabelle: Creation when the latter opens in cinemas across the country on Wednesday, August 23.

The fresh footage will only be seen in theaters and won’t be officially released online.

Audiences of Annabelle: Creation are likewise advised to stay in their seats after the end-credits.

New Line Cinema’s Annabelle: Creation has David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) helming the follow up to 2014’s hugely successful Annabelle, which scared up nearly $257 million at the worldwide box office during its run in theaters. The new film is once again being produced by Peter Safran and James Wan, who also partnered so effectively on The Conjuring movies.

In Annabelle: Creation, several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

The film stars Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil), Philippa Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s Homeland, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

Meanwhile, New Line Cinema’s IT is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, and will open in Philippine cinemas September 7, 2017.

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

Directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama), IT stars Bill Skarsgård (Allegiant) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Sophia Lillis (37), Finn Wolfhard (Netflix’s Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming Cops and Robbers), Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween) and Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic).

WATCH: Stephen King’s child-killing clown is back in main trailer for new adaptation of ‘It’

“You’ll float too.” Watch the official main trailer for New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “It,” based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name.

View the trailer at below and watch “It” in Philippine cinemas on September 7, 2017.

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

Directed by Andrés Muschietti (“Mama”), “It” stars Bill Skarsgård (“Allegiant”) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (“Midnight Special”), Jeremy Ray Taylor (“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”), Sophia Lillis (“37”), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s “Stranger Things”), Wyatt Oleff (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming “Cops and Robbers”), Jack Dylan Grazer (“Tales of Halloween”) and Nicholas Hamilton (“Captain Fantastic”).

Muschietti is directing “It” from a screenplay adapted by Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman. Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti are producing, with Marty P. Ewing, Doug Davison and Jon Silk serving as executive producers.

A presentation of New Line Cinema, “It” will be released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.