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Early reactions to It praise Stephen King film: 'Totally terrifying,' 'scary as sh--'

The first group of critics saw the ‘It’ movie — here’s what they think

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Director Andy Muschietti had a daunting task: take something as beloved as Stephen King’s It, which already has an iconic feature-length adaptation, and craft a modern cinematic retelling that, if successful, will bring about a Part 2. While reviews of his It film still haven’t dropped, we have the first sign that Muschietti and Warner Bros. have a hit on their hands.

Journalists who saw an early screening of It are writing their early, spoiler-free reactions on social media — and they are overwhelmingly positive.

“I think it’s one of the finest Stephen King adaptations ever made,” EW’s Anthony Breznican wrote. “Beyond killer clowns, It also delves into the grief & anger kids feel when they realize those who should love & protect them do the opposite. These are themes in King’s stories that filmmakers often ignore. But the best adaptations figure out they’re the most vital part.”

Fandango’s Erik Davis described it as “creepy, bloody, super funny, adorably romantic and hands down among my favorite movies of the year.” Phil Nobile Jr. of Birth.Movies.Death called it “a very handsome, polished execution of a story you know inside out,” while Collider’s Haleigh Foutch answered the question on every fan’s mind: yes, it’s “scary as sh–.”

Others deemed It “a carnival funhouse of a film,” “spooktacular,” and “totally terrifying, but also amazing fun.”

Based on the first half of King’s novel, It introduces a new generation to “The Loser’s Club,” a group of junior high school outcasts forced to face their worst nightmares when they are terrorized by a demon clown known as Pennywise, played here by Bill Skarsgard (Netflix’s Hemlock Grove).

Producer Roy Lee explained last year, “We’re taking it and making the movie from the point of view of the kids, and then making another movie from the point of view of the adults, that could potentially then be cut together like the novel. But it’s gonna be a really fun way of making this movie.”

If It proves to be a box office monster, as some critics believe, then the second chapter can’t be too far off. See the early reactions below.

It will hit theaters on Sept. 8.