As It Happens


Story by Chuck Tackett

Anyone who knows me is quite aware of my fondness for classic horror movies circa 1930’s – 1950’s.
Back then, with limited special effects and technology, movie makers with the black and white film made movies scary and suspenseful with shadows and fog. There was not a need for lots of gore to make one scared. It was implied.
Lately, I have heard wonderful things about the big screen movie “It.” I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t comment on whether I liked the movie or not. The plan for me is to watch the film when all the hoopla has died down. I hate watching a film in a crowded theater.
I remember the TV series of “It” that came out around 1990. The miniseries was okay, but I realized when “It” was going to be a television series, there were going to be lots of restrictions. Also being the year 1990, I really didn’t expect much. Measuring “It” by today’s standards, technology, and special effects, you can’t help having the opinion the TV series was pretty lame. Entertaining, but lame.
Back then I remembered Tim Curry of “The Rocky Horror Movie Show” playing the part of Pennywise. When I first heard that “It” was being made for the big screen, I wonder who was slated to play Pennywise. It was a pleasant surprise when actor Bill Skarsgard, brother of actor Alexander Skarsgard is best known for playing Eric the vampire on HBO’s “True Blood,” and recently, “Tarzan,” was slated for the role.
I first became aware of Bill Skarsgard from the Netflix series “Hemlock Grove” that ended a couple of years ago. He played the role of Roman Godfrey, a half human half upir creature. I had no idea of what a upir was, but by watching “Hemlock Grove,” I knew they were some sort of vampire. Researching upirs, I did find out they are a vampire like creatures known in Ukraine folklore. Unlike normal vampires, upirs can walk around daylight without getting burned by the sun, and they consume both blood and flesh. Upirs and werewolves are natural enemies. So it seems, Bill was following his brother’s footsteps in horror movie genre.
After the “Hemlock Grove ” series ended in 2015, I thought I would never see Bill Skarsgard again. He was so good playing an entitled rich spoiled heir battling his inner demons. Imagine my joy when I found out Bill was playing Pennywise.
Friends of mine told me that Bill and Alexander are part of a Swedish acting family dynasty: The Skarsgards. Their father Stellan has had minor success in America, but the family is superstars in their native Sweden.
From what folks have been telling me, “It” will have a sequel. Been over 30 years since I read the novel from Stephen King. If the movie is as scary and wonderful as folks have told me, I would expect the sequel to be very interesting. I wonder how that storyline would go.
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