Hello, fellow moviegoers!
It (1990) is directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, and it stars Tim Curry, Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, and Annette O’Toole. When mysterious murders start happening in the town of Derry, a group of friends decides to reunite and face the demon that tormented them thirty years prior, when they were children. That demon would be Pennywise the Clown. This two-part mini-series based on the Stephen King novel has become iconic, and it’s a big reason for a lot of peoples’ fear of clowns. So how well does it hold up today?
Right off the bat, I would like to say that before last night, I had never seen this mini-series. In fact, I’d always assumed It was a film that had been released in the early nineties. However, when I did watch it, it was both episodes back-to-back, so it played like a three-hour movie. Initially, I was nervous about starting this, because I had assumed the three-hour runtime would really drag and it would feel outrageously long. Thankfully, It paces itself very well, and it didn’t feel anywhere close to three hours in length.
This two-part mini-series was developed for TV in 1990, and watching it today, you can definitely tell. The production level and acting, for the most part, is pretty bad. But the quality of the story that is being told keeps you glued to the screen for all three hours. The method in which they told this story worked very well. For the first episode (first half if you watch it as a film), they’re switching back-and-forth between what happened when the main characters were children and how that’s affecting them as adults. It simultaneously makes you fear for the safety of these characters as children and care about their adult counterparts. It was the quality of the script that makes It so iconic, and I’m sure that’s a testament to the original novel written by Stephen King.
If you look at this mini-series from a technical perspective, it’s not that great. Most of the performances were wooden and either void of emotion or too over-acted, the visual effects don’t hold up very well at all (granted, I’m sure they were great at the time of release), and everything down to the cinematography feels extremely made-for-TV. Which is to be expected, since it was, but it was still something that bothered me, so I figured I’d bring it up.
The one thing in this mini-series that, despite many of the other issues, is always great, is Tim Curry as Pennywise. Not only was the look of the clown extremely eerie yet convincing, but the performance that Tim Curry gave was fantastic. It’s easy to see why this version of Pennywise has become so recognizable. Not once did it feel too over-the-top or silly. Though many of the other performances were often less than stellar, Tim Curry as Pennywise always seemed to be giving it his all, and that really showed.
Overall, I wasn’t absolutely blown away by the 1990 It mini-series, but I still found it very enjoyable. That’s entirely due to the quality of the story being told. The story here grabs you and refuses to let go. Despite the lack of quality in production, it’s dramatic, it’s intense, it’s nerve-racking, and it undoubtedly lives up to the hype. This is the type of film (mini-series) that makes you want to go and actually read the book afterward. Also, if you’re planning on seeing the new version, I would recommend watching this first, just to get an idea of what to prepare for. It wasn’t amazing, but it was still pretty good.
So what do you think of the original It mini-series from 1990? How excited are you for the new film? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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