It ★★★½

I don't know why everybody seems to be afraid of clowns these days. I didn't grow up with that fear and I don't think any evil clown related film is going to change that anytime soon.

I saw an advanced screening during the Fantasy Filmfest in Hamburg today and I must say that I quite liked this remake, having only seen the original 1990 TV movie a couple of months ago. That one was a slightly better 3 1/2 star two-parter for me (hence my 6.5/10 tag on the remake) but the first half with the kids was definitely stronger than the second half with the adults, so I thought it would be a good choice that they were going to focus on one timeline with kids only in this one (for now at least, since the credits boast "Chapter One") but it turns out that some of that grown up reflection component was kind of missing here and I'm curious about how they will address certain things that they changed in comparison to the 1990 movie in a likely sequel or "Chapter Two".

As a friend of mine Krautsalat summed up: "Take out Pennywise the Clown and you're left with Stand By Me." -- although I'd call that a bit of an overstatement, it is definitely very true that the emotional connection between the children and their acting outside of the horror elements is truly great and it very much makes you invest in them and their unique coming-of-age story on an emotional level, making it one of the strong suits of this remake. If that's the best strong suit to have for a self-proclaimed horror movie is up to you, though.

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