With all of the It hype lately due to the recent release of the 2017 version of this Stephen King classic, I decided to finally see the 1990 version, directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, after years of pushing it off. And I have to say, It was not what I was expecting.
The 1990 It movie has a bold open. Immediately the viewer is faced with the death of two separate children in the town of Derry, ME, and the introduction of Pennywise, a creepy clown played by none other than actor Tim Curry. As the movie progresses it follows a group of seven friends across two separate time-lines, their pre-teen past where they first meet Pennywise and their return to Derry in the present; they attempt to save their own lives from Pennywise and his many mind games.
The 1990’s It was scary at first, and then just got kind of (really) bad by half-way through. Once the movie finally gets into the thick of its plot, it can feel like watching Stand By Me but instead of just one dead body, the potential is for the entire friend group to wind up dead in the sewer. Unfortunately, the 90’s acting really just drives a wooden stake right into the heart of the potential of this film. I know I have to be fair and try not to the judge the 1990’s acting and movie effects through my 21st century lens. Quite frankly it has been 27 years and the horror industry has made giant leaps since then. But the movie was still hard to finish. Not to mention, the original It was technically a mini-series with two separate parts, so the length of the entire thing put together into one film is an excruciating three hours and 12 minutes long... In order for a movie to hold my attention that long it has to be Lord of the Rings, or at least of equally stunning quality. And I guess you could say It just didn’t have that “it” factor.
Now, to be fair, the 1990 It is a classic staple on anyone’s shelf who identifies as a big horror buff. But that doesn’t mean everyone recognizes it as quality filmmaking. If you can get over the oh-so-dramatized acting of the 1990’s horror genre, and special effects that couldn’t scare a jumpy 10-year-old, then good news everyone! The original It is the movie for you! However, I would not advise this movie if you have a short attention span, or if you suffer from coulrophobia, but chances are you’re already aware of that.