NETFLIX’S hit series Stranger Things made two things abundantly clear.

That a throwback to the 80s is a great backdrop for a creepy supernatural thriller and that young teens make excellent protagonists given the right setting.

And that is probably why the timing is not coincidental for this reimagining of IT.

The Stephen King classic is about a sinister clown called Pennywise who feeds on fear and whose murderous history dates back centuries.

Pennywise dwells in the sewers and emerges every 27 years to wreak havoc on King’s fictional small town of Derry.

This time it is up to ‘The Losers’ Club’ to save the town with Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard even among the cast.

What is great about the film is the humour and chemistry between the young lead cast members (Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Sophia Lillis particularly stand out) and the shades of light and dark that you get with all the best horror films.

One moment the story is more like King’s coming of age tale Stand By Me with the teens navigating high school life, bullies and the trials of growing up and finding their place.

The next moment the film pulls no punches in portraying Pennywise in all his terror. It makes it a very compelling but unsettling viewing experience where you care about the characters.

Bill Skarsgård meanwhile is absolutely exceptional as the killer clown who can go from mischievous to terrifying with just a slight adjustment of his glare and twisted smile.

If another actor is ever needed to portray the Joker in a Batman film then producers need look no further.

Some have criticised IT because of how often Pennywise is on screen, arguably reducing the tension.

But this is a different kind of horror – not so much scary but creepy, psychological and at times brutal.

To really feel it, turn the lights out and allow IT to really get under your skin.

RATING: 8.5/10

DAVID morgan