Release Date: Nov 18th-20th, 1990.
Written by: Tommy Lee Wallace, and Stephen King.
Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace.
Starring: Richard Thomas, Annette O'Toole, John Ritter, Jonathan Brandis, Emily Perkins, and Tim Curry as Pennywise.
As kids, the novel IT was one of our favorites. It was terrifying, it reinforced our belief that clowns were evil, and in the end, it was all about us. Most people have a creepy part of their town where "the monsters lived" when they were kids, and ours was a series of bike trails in the forest called "Sleepy Hollow" (original, I know), and as a kid, there was no way that you could convince me that something evil didn't live in the darkest parts of those woods.
With IT, Stephen King captured the essence of what it was like for us to go traipsing around in our own version of his fictional Barrens, and we instantly identified with it. He understood. He knew.
When the Mini-Series premiered on TV a few years later, it had us glued to our TV's, an we ate every last bit of it up. We were young and dumb, and had wildly overactive imaginations, so how could it not?
IT mostly appears in the creepy guise of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, but it also has the ability to transform itself into its victim's worst fears, because apparently they taste better when they're afraid.
|MEANWHILE, IN THE PENN STATE SHOWER ROOM...|
|"COME RIDE THE TILT-A-WHIRL, KID!"|
|THOSE SHEETS WILL NEVER BE CLEAN AGAIN.|
|THE LOSERS CLUB.|
The part of the movie set in 1990 with the adults was good too.
Tim Curry's brilliant portrayal as Pennywise is really what drives IT into must see territory though, as the evil, child-eating clown is one of the best movie villains ever, big screen or small. How they're ever going to get someone to recapture that same kind of terrifying magic in the upcoming remake, we don't know. We do know that no one is going to be able to top what he did here with Pennywise. He was that good.
The rest of the cast was just about as solid, if not quite as dynamic. The kids in the 1960 section were all great in their roles, and they included a young Seth Green and Emily Perkins amongst them. IT also features Jonathan Brandis in the lead role of Bill, and it's always a bit sad to watch him in this one knowing that he ended up taking his own life at the age of 21. The kid who played Henry Bowers made for a perfect 60's greaser thug as well.
The adult cast is full of great character actors from yesteryear, chief amongst them, John Ritter, Richard Thomas, Richard Masur, and Annette O'Toole. We still think Richard Belzer would have been perfect to play the adult version of Richie, but what can you do. It's also a bit sad to see John Ritter in this movie, as he too died suddenly, and way too young. Blah.
IT was made 25 years ago, so it's almost pointless (and unfair) to rip on its sub-par special effects, but they're just distractingly bad at times.
|COME ON 1990, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!|
It's no shock at all that they left out the part where Bev's 12-year-old self let the other member of The Losers Club have group sex with her... I know that sounds really skeevy, but there was actually a point to that scene in the book, and the actual sex wasn't it. What they could have included though, and what will hopefully end up in the upcoming remake, are the scenes that involve Patrick Hockstetter, everything that happens on Neibolt Street, the bird, the Turtle, etc.. I guess we'll see.
|"GIVE GRAMMY A KISS!"|
|A GIRL'S FIRST PERIOD IS A SPECIAL THING.|
|THE DELETED "LOVE" SCENE.|
If you like coming-of-age stories that involve murderous clowns, and who doesn't, then IT is a movie that you need to experience. Read the book too, or maybe even first, as it's far more epic in scope.
IT is available now on DVD and VOD.
Annette O'Toole and Emily Perkins played the older & younger versions of Beverly Marsh (respectively), but did you know that Chelan Simmons (Tucker and Dale vs Evil) played the little girl that Pennywise killed at the beginning? Or that Laura Harris (The Faculty) had a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as a snotty school kid? Well now you do.