It (1990)

Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, John Ritter, Tim Curry, Jonathan Brandis, Brandon Crane,
It is a TV mini-series starring Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, and Annette O'Toole. In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for...
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/ 10

This is a very entertaining made for TV mini-series. It does a good jobat jamming a book with more than 1000 pages into 2x90 minutes movierunning time. The most important parts have been adopted, unnecessaryfat was thrown out, little amandments have been made, sometimes forbetter, sometimes for worse. The writers really tried to remainfaithful to the novel and even mentioned side characters or story linesin short sentences for those who have read the book. The coolest thing,however, is that director Tommy Lee Wallace somehow managed to transferthat unique spirit of nostalgia, friendship and fear into his movie. Ofcourse, the incredible cast deserves a lot of credit for that, too.Amazingly the child actors of part 1 upstage their adult companionpieces of part 2. The greatest performance of all, however, is given byTim Curry, who really gives "It" a face, and a very scary one. He makesthis movie what it is. In my opinion, it's the role of Curry's career,even outshining his part in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".

Now for the bad sides of "It": as a made for TV project this movieobviously couldn't get too graphic and violent and that's a bit of apity. Stephen King's book is awfully graphic and the movie would havebeen twice as scary if they had shown a bit more gore. Mostly Pennywisejust appears and shows his sharp teeth and that gets lame after awhile. The other big minus of this film is its ending. It has to besaid that the ending in the book is so bizarre it's unlikely it couldever look good on celluloid. Still, those crappy special effects werejust disappointing and made me (and everyone else I know) go: "Is thatwhat I've been waiting for the last 3 hours? That is the big climax?"

Bottom line is that for a TV movie with such strict time limits "It"did a very good job at bringing this scary book to life. Nevertheless,I think the story should be retold properly and turned into amini-series à la "Twin Peaks". The only problem is that it's going tobe hard to find someone who can fill Tim Curry's giant clown shoes.

/ 10

Many critics have complained that Stephen King's It is an overlong film.However, considering that the book upon which it is based takes over 1,000pages to tell its story, it is hardly surprising that the film version needsso much running time to cram in all the twists and turns. Besides, the threehour running time goes by quickly because the film is briskly paced and fullof engaging incidents. Also, the depth of the story allows to us to reallyget into the minds of the characters, which is a rare thing indeed in ahorror film, since usually the characters are hilariouslyshallow.

The story unfolds like a two part mini-series (which is, I believe, what thefilm was originally meangt to be). In the first half, a bunch of seven kidsin a small town realise that recent child killings are not the work of amurderer, but are attributable to a monster which awakes every thirty years.They track it down and very nearly kill it, but it just manages to escape.Thirty years later, the seven are all grown up, but they re-unite to seekout the monster when it once more awakens for its regular killingspree.

The acting is very goood, especially John Ritter as a successful architectand Tim Curry as the terrifying Pennywise the Clown. There are some spookymoments, but nothing that I would describe as absolutely horrifying. This isan unusually deep and detailed horror film, well worthseeing.

7/10 / 10

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For AMeal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

Adapted from the epic novella by Stephen King,It is set in the town ofDerry,Maine,in 1960.A series of gruesome child killings are goingon,which seem to replicate similar events that happen every 30 years inthe town,rounded off by a big disaster that causes similar confusionand devastation.Seven young kids are drawn together over the course ofthe summer to face off against a psychotic bully named Henry Bowers andhis gang,as well as coming face to face with the perpetrator of thehorrific killings,a monster which generally takes the shape of a clownnamed Pennywise (Tim Curry).One day,they decide to go down in to thesewers and confront and kill It once and for all.They believe they havedone this,only to get a call 30 years later informing them that this isnot the case and that they must now abide by a promise they made askids to return once again to do battle with It if it everreturned.Now,as mature adults instead of naive kids (and thereforefinding it harder to believe) can they be as successful?

Very rarely do adaptations of King novels translate well to thescreen,with only a handful of exceptions,and the producers of this twoparter certainly had an even harder job on their hands turning a bookof over 1000 pages in to a film adaptation.Under the circumstances,onemight say they haven't done too bad a job,but they've had to edit out alot of key sequences (and even characters) from the book,and as aresult,they've ended up with a script that's had to leave out a lot ofthe original source material,and so you don't get the full effect ofthe book,which was a real door stopper of a book that took forever toread but engrossed you right to the end all the same.So as you mightexpect this film adaptation isn't as good as that but it's still animpressive, scary enough effort all things considered that spreads outan epic story engrossingly enough.

On the acting front,the child actors (with the exception of the one whoplayed Bowers) fare better than the adult actors,with the exception,ofcourse,of Tim Curry in terrifying form as Pennywise (one of thescariest characters in the history of cinema,never mind the fact heonly ever appeared in a TV movie) and possibly Harry Anderson.Some ofthem are laughably bad in parts(especially the one playing the adultBill when he tries to stutter,so sad when young Johnathon Brandisplayed him so well).Pennywise always gave me the creeps,possibly in away no other horror movie character could,and nothing else is scarierin the film.But maybe scares aren't the main aim of the game here,thisbeing a Stand By Me style King fable of friendship over-coming greatevil against all odds.

Overall,this is a decent enough effort taking on the challenging taskof turning an 1000+ page book into a feature adaptation,where it's easyto see where the cracks are showing but easy to appreciate for thethings it gets right.***

7/10 / 10

People were terrified of swimming in the sea after the movie "Jaws".This movie did to me for clowns what "Jaws" did for swimming in thesea. After watching this, clowns will just never be the same to meagain. The unrecognizable Tim Curry portrays a very scary and perhapseven somewhat classic horror character. Pennywise/It surely is onescary looking character!

To be honest without the character Pennywise/It this two parts TV-moviewouldn't had been very well watchable or recommendable. The movie has atypically awful looking TV-movie visual style and the actors andstorytelling aren't much good either. I have quite some fantasy but I'mjust no big fan of Stephen King's horror novels. The story and themoments in it are just always highly unlikely, silly and over-the-top."It" is no exception on this. Another major disappointing aspect of themovie are the special effects and the awful ending that is just a majorlet down and just isn't fitting and doesn't seem to have an awful lotto do to the earlier scary moments and the character Pennywise/It.

Still for the fans of the horror-genre, there is plenty to enjoy. Themovie has some good, original and well constructed scary moments andthe character Pennywise/It should be reason enough for horror-fans towatch this two part made for TV movie.

The cast mainly consists out of TV actors and aren't much good orlikable. Funny thing is that the children cast is possible better andmore likable and believable than the adult cast members. It wasespecially fun to see an extremely young Seth Green, who already actedin the same manner as he still does today.

Silly, bad looking but still scary and recommendable.

7/10

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3/10 / 10

While the acting in this version of Stephen King's It, is for the mostpastgood, (who can argue with Tim Curry as the clown), it none the less wasstripped of a lot of its themes to be put to television. It follows thegeneral premise of the book but omits huge sections of the occurrencesthathappen to the children, some of which are vitally important to thecharacterdevelopment and plot. We lose some of the most beautiful aspects to theirrelationships this way. Also, the structure of the novel, which althoughoverwhelming, is supremely successful, and is again lost in the film.Whilethey could have made it much worse, I must urge people to read the bookfirst. It's scarier, deeper, more complex, and a far betterstory.