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"It" takes a village ... of children

Updated on October 27, 2011

I'd be interested to see just how many people's fear of clowns can be traced back to this movie. Personally, I've never had much of a problem with them. But boy does this movie give ample reason.

This is probably one of the most iconic Stephen King adaptations out there. Just the image of Pennywise can be enough to make you relive some very creepy scenes. I watched this one when I was a kid and it's stayed with me over the years.

I've read that Tim Curry did such a thorough job with his performance that everyone in the cast avoided him even off-camera. He's really quite a chameleon of an actor. He played Darkness in 1985's Legend. He was Wadsworth in Clue from the same year. Dr. Petrov on The Hunt for Red October. Hexxus on FernGully. Dr. Poole on Oscar. And of course, there's the infamous Rocky Horror Picture Show. I mean, the man'll throw himself into any role.

The movie follows a group of friends who grew up together in Dairy, a small town in Maine. There are two main time periods that are shown in the movie. One in 1960 when they're kids, and again in 1990 after they've all grown up and went their separate ways. Throughout the movie, the story moves back and forth between the two eras.

In 1960, a number of children were attacked, including the younger brother of Bill (Jonathan Brandis). Our team of kids realize that the culprit is some kind of evil force that appears as Pennywise the clown. They confront the beast in its lair and attack it.

Years later, kids begin to disappear once again. One of their number, Mike (Tim Reid), who has stayed behind and kept his ears open, calls everyone back to try once more to stop the clown.

And it's interesting to see a young Seth Green get chased by a werewolf, presaging his future role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I've heard several people rag on this one. Yes some of the effects are a little chintzy today, but they do ther job. But more importantly, the story is great.

The movie suffers from age, but not all that much. If you allow yourself to simply enjoy the movie, you'll have fun.

There's cheese, yes. But this genre is kinda built on cheese.

I give this one 8 / 10.

It was made for TV and is unrated, but it has a bit of language, scary thematic elements, a few disturbing images, and a clown.


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    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 6 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Yeah, that one's pretty ridiculous.

    • vmartinezwilson profile image

      Vanessa Martinez Wilson 6 years ago from Vancouver, WA

      I hate clowns, but that was because of my intense hatred of Batman's Joker. As much as I love me some Tim Curry, I only watched this one once. I can't even watch Killer Klowns from outerspace and that movie was beyond silly.

    • Garlonuss profile image

      Garlonuss 6 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Yeah, it works great on children. I still like the story but it's not as scary as I thought when I was a kid.

      But how about this ...

      My sister never saw it when she was growing up. She was way too young and not that into scary movies for several years afterward. Then my parents got IT on DVD a few years back just before my sister moved out to go to college. One day, she decided to try it out when she was lone in the house. She was very dissatisfied with how the movie ended, but she forgot to take the DVD out of the player until the next day. When she went to put the disc away, that's when she realized that it was a 2-sided disc!

      She'd watched the first episode of the miniseries and thought that was where the movie ended!

      Of course you're not going to like that one!

    • Dallas Matier profile image

      Dallas Matier 6 years ago from Australia

      Pennywise scared the hell out of me when I was a kid (about 10 or 11 or so, I think). To the point that, for a few weeks afterward, I went out of my way to avoid walking too close to storm drains, and I wasn't entirely comfortable in the bathroom at night. I couldn't even watch the whole thing - I had to give up halfway through.

      Even now, it's become something of a personal running joke for me to quietly imitate the voice, and recite some of the dialogue ("Hiya, Dallas... do you like balloons?", and so on)whenever I walk past a storm drain.

      So... yeah, I suppose you could say it left something of a lasting impression on me.

      Though, the movie itself wasn't all that scary when I watched it again a few years ago.