Don’t expect a love letter to the Tim Curry-starring two part TV mini-series; this Pennywise is a fresh adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic horror tome It.
The short essentially serves to showcase a new take on the titular being. Naturally, the being takes the form of a clown, but writer/director James Cawley’s version actually succeeds in being more immediately scary than the famous Curry incarnation. Bald, flaking skin and clawed hands, it is more overtly monstrous than the 1990 version. It’s the correct choice – this is, after all, just less than six minutes long in total, so there isn’t the time to play with to let him steadily slip under your skin. Here it needs to be up front and in your face, and here it certainly is. The first shot of Pennywise is genuinely alarming and Andrew Johnson as the creature is very good.
When the film cuts forward in time to the group of adults who are going to hunt the monster, the world created is very convincing. The acting interplay is great and we get a real sense these people have been through a lot together.
Pennywise’s second appearance is also very effective. It’s creepy, startling and gives a great impression. It’s very slickly and skillfully done and could be right out of the new upcoming film. In fact I wish this was right out of the new upcoming film.
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