GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Pennywise the Dancing Clown is back and as terrifying as ever in “IT,” the hotly anticipated big-screen adaptation of the best-selling Stephen King novel.

Coming in at a whopping 1,137 pages, the novel was originally adapted as a two-part TV miniseries in 1990 with Tim Curry as Pennywise, who planted himself in the nightmares of the youths of the day.

RELATED: Tim Lammer's full review of 'IT'

Now, 27 years later – the same time increment in which Pennywise returns to wreak havoc in the fictional town of Derry, Maine – Bill Skarsgard (“Hemlock Grove”) is Pennywise, a shapeshifting clown who feeds on the fears of kids and manifests himself in different ways to terrify members of a group of pre-teen misfits (known as The Loser’s Club), who are constantly being targeted by bullies.

“IT” has it all – jump scares, horrifying imagery, a foreboding atmosphere, a decrepit haunted house, and ghoulish characters. At its heart, though, it’s a 1980s-like coming-of-age tale, a la the Stephen Spielberg movies of the '80s and Rob Reiner’s brilliant 1986 adaptation of King’s novella “The Body” which was retitled “Stand by Me.” “IT,” in fact, is also loaded with unexpected humor, which takes the edge off the otherwise terrifying narrative. One thing is for certain: “IT” doesn’t disappoint.

"IT" (R) 3 1/2 stars (out of 4); Kid Quotient: None