Stephen King’s It (1990)

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away (well, OK, in early 1990s Iowa) I read It by Stephen King. Now that book scared the crap out of me. Let’s just say I had an odd phobia of plumbing after I read the book. Yeah, I know, most people walk away from King’s classic horror story being terrified of clowns, but I am not most people. Heck, even to this day, a little tingle of fear tickles the back of my neck when I step in to the shower and the drain gapes ominously at me.


Sure, I was aware that an It miniseries was made and available on VHS (hey, it was the early 90s); but there was no way I was going to relive that terror so shortly after having read the book. Years passed. I like to think I matured as a person and grew out of my “scaredy cat” phase. And finally, finally, I deemed myself ready to watch It. And it only took me over a decade.


Stephen King’s It tells the tale of a group of kids in 1960s Maine as an evil clown monster (Tim Curry) terrorizes their small town by killing little children. The gang of misfits (including a young Seth Green) work together in an effort to rid the town of this devilish figure. However, thirty years later, the mysterious killings start up again and the group must return to their home town to fight this crazy clown once more.


While I am not sure if my young self was more of a weenie than my current self, but I found the book to be more horrifying than the miniseries. I suppose it could be argued that there is something to be said about imagination having the ability to be more terrifying than movies; but still the book was creepy as heck. Although this is not to say that I didn’t jump several times with the small screen version.


However in both the miniseries and the book, it is apparent that Stephen King is an awesome storyteller. Often in movies, I find flashbacks to be overused and unnecessary. But in It, the flashbacks only add to the story. We learn of each person’s experience with the devil clown—and more importantly their childhood traumas—one at a time, until we are offered a complete picture of not only how they defeated It, but also how they became friends and the adults they grew in to. It’s so refreshing to see a story told well.


Being that the series is early 1990s, the effects seem a little dated. I think this helped reduce the fear factor of the piece. Also, Stephen King’s It (the miniseries) is not as gruesome as I remember the book. That being said, Tim Curry gives an awesomely creepy performance as the demon-clown.


Overall, I enjoyed watching It. The cast was wonderful and the story was great. If you have an extra three-plus hours and like horror films, check out this one. Or, if you want to be really freaked out, read the book.


Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!


Score: B-

Netflix Queue: 486

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