Movie Review: It (1990)

Synopsis: 30 years after stopping a killing spree by an ancient supernatural clown known as Pennywise, a group of friends reunite in an effort to stop the clown's latest murders.

Who's in it? The movie stars Harry Anderson, John Ritter, Tim Curry, Annette O'Toole, Jonathan Brandis and Tim Reid.

Review: I had intended on writing this review Monday. However, after learning of Harry Anderson's death that same day, I felt almost obligated to wait a couple of days.

My oldest daughter wants to see the 2017 remake of this made-for-TV movie. But, before letting her do that, my wife and I wanted her to see this version first. So, since we had a snow storm Sunday afternoon and nowhere to go as a result of that, we ended up watching it.

This was actually the first time I had seen this movie in its entirety. Up until Sunday, I had seen bits and pieces of it, including most of the second half of the film, but had never had a chance to watch it from start to finish. After finally doing so Sunday (taking a couple breaks so I could shovel snow), my opinion of it ended up being a bit mixed.

There were some things I did find I liked about this film. For one, I thought Pennywise (Curry) managed to be very creepy without reaching a point where he wasn't believable. Adding to this was the mystery about who the clown really was. All the movie really revealed was he was very old, showed up every 30 years to create a high body count and the town knew about him but seemed reluctant to do anything about it. They mystery about why this was the case kept him from becoming predictable and boring (as often happens in monster movies that reveal too much too soon).

I think my biggest problem with this film is it just felt too drawn out. To be fair, this movie was purposely lengthy so it could be stretched out over a couple different TV installments. But, the end result was the film seemed to include a lot of unnecessary filler in an effort to meet that time allotment.

I also thought the adult version of the heroes seemed to lack something. Individually, they were OK (Anderson's Richie Tozier really stands out). But, they just didn't have the same chemistry as the child actors did. As a result of this, the second battle with Pennywise just wasn't as exciting as the first battle. In fact, we were really starting to wonder if the movie would ever end.

Final Opinion: After finally watching this film, I am now, for the first time, interested in seeing the newer version. I'm not convinced Pennywise will have as much substance as Curry's version but I am curious if the newer version will feel a little less drawn-out as this film did.

My Grade: C


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