“It” is one scary movie, yes, it is.

Coulrophobia, or a fear of clowns, is not all that unusual in children.

A killer clown, known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, isn’t the only scary thing in “It.” There are scary parents, scary teens and scary situations (jumping from a cliff into a quarry and youths throwing rocks at each other).

What’s scariest of all in “It” are the phobias, insecurities and anger management problems among the young cast, which pits tough teens against preteen nerds, the self-described “The Losers Club.”

Director Andy Muschietti (director, “Mama,” 2013) borrows from the Steven Spielberg lexicon, where young people bond in the face of an apparent clueless parental generation.

“It” is typified by fine cinematography (Chung-Hoon Chung, director of photography, “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl,” 2015), especially in the nonhorror or scary scenes.

Among the terrific young experienced actors are Jaeden Lieberher (Bill), resembling a young Dane DeHaan (yes, DeHaan’s career has advanced enough so that there can now be such an appellation); Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie), Bill’s younger brother; Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben), an overweight history buff; Sophia Lillis (Beverly), looking like a young Molly Ringwald (a line of dialogue takes note of this), Finn Wolfhard (Richie), a wisecracker with glasses and longish hair; Wyatt Oleff (Stanley), a Jewish boy about to be Bar Mitzvahed; Chosen Jacobs (Mike), an African-American orphan; Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie), who has asthma, and Nicholas Hamilton (Henry), and Owen Teague (Patrick), leaders of a gang that bullies the younger teens.

Bill Skarsgård is truly terrifying as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

The screenplay by Chase Palmer (feature theatrical screenplay debut), Cary Fukunaga (screenplay, “Beasts of No Nation,” 2015) and Gary Dauberman (“Annabelle,” 2014), based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King (the novel was also made into a 1990 TV miniseries), is especially good at mixing jokey banter with horrific happenings. There’s also a sweetness in the friendships that develop between some of the teens.

The 1980s setting (Title cards announce the “October 1988” and “June 1989”) includes snippets of pop and rock songs from the decade (New Kids on the Block becomes a humorous device): The Cure, “Love Removal Machine”; XTC, “Dear God,” and Young MC, “Bust a Move.”

Production design (Claude Paré, “Night at the Museum,” 2006); costuming (Janie Bryant, “The Last House on the Left,” 2009); music (Benjamin Wallfisch, “A Cure for Wellness,” 2016), and sound design adds to the jump scares.

“It” stumbles a bit. The screenplay’s back story about tragedy in the town of Derry, Maine, never really connects. A scene at the creepy mansion where a zombielike character chases one of the teens is cheesy. The final confrontation between the youths and Pennywise degenerates into fiery, monster-laden CGI overkill (pun intended). At more than two hours, the film is about 15 minutes too long.

That said, “It” is a terrifying trip into teenage angst. And that’s the scariest part of it all.

“It,”MPAA Rated R (Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.) for violence-horror, bloody images, and language; Genre: Adventure, Drama, Horror; Run time: 2 hrs., 15 mins.; Distributed by Warner Bros.

Credit Readers Anonymous:Stay to the very end of the credits, well after it states “It Chapter One” (Yes, “It Chapter Two” is in preproduction.), and hear Pennywise The Clown’s maniacal laugh. The film was lensed in Port Hope and other Ontario, Canada, locations.

Box Office,Sept. 15: “It” hit two weeks in a row, floating its blockbuster status at No. 1, with $60 million, $218.7 million, two weeks, scaring off “American Assassin,” opening at No. 2, with $14.8 million, one week, and “Mother!,” opening at No. 3 with $7.5 million, one week. “It” is the highest-grossing September release ever.

4. “Home Again” dropped two slots, with $5.3 million, $17.1 million, two weeks.

5. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” popped down two spots, $3.5 million, $70.3 million, five weeks.

6. “Annabelle: Creation” dropped two slots, with $2.6 million, $99.9 million, six weeks.

7. “Wind River” streamed down two places, $2.5 million, $29.1 million, seven weeks.

8. “Leap!” leapt down two places, $2.1 million, $18.6 million, four weeks.

9. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” spun down two spots, $1.8 million, $330.2 million, 11 weeks.

10. “Dunkirk” retreated two places, $1.3 million, $185.1 million, nine weeks.

Unreel,Sept. 22:

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle,”R: Matthew Vaughn directs Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Channing Tatum in the Action-Adventure. The British spy group joins forces with a United States spy group to fight a common foe.

“The Lego Ninjago Movie,”PG: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan direct the voice talents of Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Fred Armisen, and Kumail Nanjiani in the animated comedy. Six young ninjas, Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya, defend their island home, Ninjago.

“Battle of the Sexes,”PG-13: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris direct: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, and Elisabeth Shue in the biography-drama about the 1973 tennis match between world champ Billie Jean King and ex-champ Bobby Riggs.

“Victoria and Abdul,”PG-13: Stephen Frears directs Judi Dench, Olivia Williams, Michael Gambon, and Simon Callow in the biography-drama about Queen Victoria and her friendship with a young Indian clerk.

“Stronger,”R: David Gordon Green directs Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson, and Richard Lane Jr. in the biography-drama about Jeff Bauman, who become a symbol of hope following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Three Popcorn Boxes Out Of Five Popcorn Boxes