It (1990)

Fear is very real. It isn’t just in your mind either!

The TV Miniseries based on the book of Stephen King (The Shining, The Green Mile) brings the story of It to the big screen. The titular clown, played by Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Clue) is brought to life in truly sinister detail. In the town of Derry, Maine, children go missing at an alarming rate. More than twice the national average! Urban legends between the kids of Derry whisper at sinister and supernatural forces being responsible, meanwhile, the adults go about their daily lives oblivious.

Delivered in two parts, the first covers the characters as children, their struggles as outsiders in school and the formation of the Losers Club. Bill, a member of this group of misfits is struggling to get over the disappearance of his younger brother, George. Convinced that something happened to his little brother and that he might still be alive, Bill sets out to uncover the secret. One by one the children run into Pennywise, the mysterious and terrifying figure who thrives on their fear. Appearing to each character as the thing they are most afraid of.

As school ends the Losers form a close bond after fighting off the local psychopathic bully, Henry Bowers. Spending more and more time together they begin to share their experiences about Pennywise and start to investigate. Each member of the group suffers these terrifying encounters as the creature seems to know their deepest and darkest fears. Each attack by the entity is narrowly avoided and the Losers are left wondering how long they can continue to fight It off before they too become just another missing child in Derry. Realizing that their strength is in their bond of friendship the group sets out to uncover the mystery surround their town and try to understand what is happening to all the children.

Through their research, they discover that every 30 years the number of children going missing increases, along with tragic disasters in the area. Vowing to defeat Pennywise the losers come up with a plan to end the terror once and for all. The young friends discover the base of Pennywise and descend into the sewers following their conclusions, seeking out a final confrontation with the fiend. Unbeknownst to the Losers, Henry Bowers is following with his own gang to exact revenge on the group of friends.

As the first part reaches a dramatic conclusion the Losers Club faces off against Pennywise, realizing that Its’ greatest weapon is also its greatest weakness. One by one the children attack Pennywise using their imaginations to cause damage to this once strong creature. Facing inevitable defeat, It slips further down into the sewer. Feeling victorious the group vows to return if ever children start to go missing again.

Part two begins 29 years later, Mike who was the only member of the club to remain in Derry, starts to hear reports of missing children. These reports remind Mike of his childhood and the promise they made to each other to return should they ever need to; return to finish It once and for all! As Mike contracts the remaining members of the Losers club, we see they have gone on to build successful lives for themselves, free of the horrors of their childhood. Reluctantly they agree to return and reunite in Derry.

It stalks each of the members of the group, remembering them from children that he never got to snatch, and strikes at each of them as they’re alone and vulnerable. Seemingly still able to capture their worst fears and use them as weapons against the group. Resolute that they must face Pennywise again, the group assembles and sets off, again followed by the insane Henry Bowers. The Losers must face off against the creature that knows their fears while avoiding being murdered by the vengeful Bowers. Can the Losers finally become winners against an unimaginable evil?

The adaptation of Stephen King’s It is a fabulous and terrifying adventure. Fans of both the horror genre and King’s previous work will be entertained and scared senseless by the interpretation as imagined by Director Tommy Lee Wallace (Fright Night Part 2, 12 Days of Terror). Central to the whole story is the performance of Tim Curry, playing the titular It, AKA Pennywise, his portrayal of clownish charm is juxtaposed by swift transformation into dark and sinister malevolence. Able to entertain and terrify in one brief moment it is this performance that keeps the viewer hooked, wanting more but dreading his next appearance on screen as he terrorizes the Losers.