‘It’ Reboot’s Pennywise Badly Wants to Scare You, Debatably Succeeds
The 2017 reboot of IT, director Andrés Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King's 1987 horror novel, unveiled a closer look at the new version of the iconic Pennywise the Clown villain today (August 16). And while some are deeming Bill Skarsgård's character "terrifying" — particularly Entertainment Weekly, who also happened to be the outlet premiering the image — others are finding it...less so. Myself included. On the scary scale, it falls somewhere between the sad "hobo clown" on a velvet painting and the one on a Graffix bong. As with the initial close-up revealed back in July, Skarsgård's Pennywise really hits you over the head with the spooky, and his frilly outfit is...oddly well-fitting, with downright precious detail. A skirt, this character design would have you believe, is unsettling. "Pennywise, who are you wearing?"
Armchair critics (and professional critics) shared their reactions on Twitter, with a number of them comparing the image to that of The Incredibles villain Syndrome. They do share a cartoonishly over-the-top "I'M EVIL!" gaze and black-rimmed eyes. Others were thrilled by the reinvention which, as Skarsgård told EW last month, aimed to set itself apart from Tim Curry's portrayal of the evil being in the 1990 mini-series.
"It’s important that we do something fresh and original for this one. It’s purposely not going toward that weird, greasy look," Skarsgård said. And original it is. Where Curry's Pennywise was goofy on the surface before turning on a dime into a teeth-gnashing terror ghoul, it's difficult to imagine IT's little Georgie Denbrough falling for Skarsgård's "hey, c'mere!" for one second. Wouldn't Georgie run away screaming immediately? Here's hoping the true scares will come in Skarsgård's actual performance.
Check out a roundup of our favorite reactions to Pennywise the Clown 2.0 below, and head over to EW for the head-to-toe reveal.
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