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DENVER — I’ve seen  “it,” and until today, I was not allowed to review it. But the embargo has lifted, and I’m thrilled to report this movie scared the “it” out of me.

Yes, Pennywise, the shape-shifting clown is terrifying. And a triumph. It’s the right kind of old-fashioned, roller coaster thrills and frights.

The scares are well done and perfectly timed.

But believe it or not, the kids outshine the clown. This is a coming-of-age story, the “us against the grown-ups” battle. It’s a focus on those awkward years we all faced, where you could only count on your friends.

There is plenty of wicked humor, and setting this movie in the 1980s was a brilliant piece of direction.

“It” also begs comparison to the wildly popular “Stranger Things.”

I’m giving “It’ four out of five, and I’m tempted to give it 4.5. It will stand as one of the best Stephen King adaptations, in the grand tradition of “Stand By Me.”

It is rated R, and there  are more than a few jarring scenes that involve violence on young  children. But this is a must-see for any fan of King, of horror, or of good film making .

“It” is in theaters Thursday night.