IT (1990) Tim Curry, Harry Anderson, Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Annette O'Toole, Tim Reid, Seth Green Movie Review

IT (1990)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Tim Curry as Pennywise in IT (1990)

Stephen King has IT

The year was 1960 and a group of 7 teenagers find themselves becoming friends in the town of Derry, Maine. But Derry is a very dangerous place that summer as there are a series of disappearances and killings including young Georgie Denbrough (Tony Dakota) the brother of Bill (Jonathan Brandis/Richard Thomas). But these friends all have an idea of what is going on as they each have had strange and frightening encounters with a clown figure they call Pennywise (Tim Curry). These friends decide to do something about Pennywise and venture into the sewers and attempt to kill him. Thirty years later and most of the gang find them selves reluctantly returning to Derry when old friend Mike Hanlon (Tim Reid) calls them and tells them that Pennywise is back and both murders and disappearances are happening again. Despite their individual fears the friends decide once again to head in to the sewers to confront Pennywise or what ever it is which is doing this and bring an end to the horror once and for ever.

"IT" is one of the many novels written by Stephen King and in this case is an adaptation made as a TV mini-series and then released on DVD as a movie. Not having read Stephen King's original novel I can't say whether this adaptation of "IT" from 1990 is true to the book but it is bum numbingly long and in some places a little scary. In truth most of what is scary about "IT" is thanks to Tim Curry's wonderful performance as Pennywise and unsurprisingly is the most memorable thing about this mini series/TV movie. In fact having recently spent a Saturday night re-watching "IT" I was surprised at how much I had forgotten from the way it ends to various actors who appear in it from a young Seth Green to John Ritter.

The children in IT (1990)

Now whilst the storyline to "IT" interweaves so scenes featuring the grown ups in 1990 leads to flashbacks to the children during the summer of 1960 the best parts of the movie are those which focus on 1960. It isn't so much the recreation of the era which does it but it is seeing a group of misfit children end up becoming lifelong friends and uniting to deal with the horror affecting them which is captivating if a little cliche in places as we watch them play down by the river and go on bike rides. I suppose in a way it is another movies giving the audience the sort of childhood they think back on which they never experiences but here it has more than a touch of horror. It is during these nostalgic scenes that Tim Curry as Pennywise is at his most creepy and memorable.

As for the scenes of the grown ups dealing with the return of the horror in 1990 well there are some fun scenes such as when they meet up for the first time years and catch up to the visions they are plagued by. But the chemistry which the child versions of the characters had doesn't manifest itself with the adult actors and some of the scenes of horror such as when a plate of fortune cookies come alive ends up now a little corny which is nothing compared to what happens when they re-enter the sewers which watched now is certainly not as scary as my foggy memory remembered it.

What this all boils down to is that in truth with each year which passes this 1990 version of "IT" becomes less entertaining than I remembered it being. And after watching it recently it is now painfully cheap and corny in places. Despite this there is part of me which will always like "IT" and part of that has got to be down to Tim Curry whose performance as Pennywise makes the movie.