One of Stephen King’s most popular stories, which was originally broadcast in three parts in the early 1990’s on Sky and Cable in the UK, finally hit DVD in the UK recently and it’s as frightening as I remembered.
Tim Curry stars as Pennywise the Dancing Clown (a.k.a. scary bastard) who is really something far more terrifying (that’s debatable) which likes to feast on scared little kiddies.
From its wonderful cast of both adult and child stars including Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Tim Reid, Annette O’Toole and Olivia Hussey to Seth Green, Jonathan Brandis, Emily Perkins as well as Laura Harris and Chelan Simmons in smaller roles, the film recounts the trauma the youths endured in 1960’s Maine, and the terror that awaits them when they are reunited 30 years later in the early 1990’s, all grown up and just as scared.
From the creepy opening to the most memorable bits such as Pennywise in the sewer, the school showers and Beverly Marsh’s sink, to his melting face bit towards the end of the first part, or his mug on the moon, there’s no escaping the fact that Pennywise IS the scariest clown to ever grace our screens.
King fans still debate if it’s any good or not, but for people my age who first saw it on its initial TV debut this will most likely haunt the child in each of us forever more.
Stephen King fans are usually disappointed by the film versions of his literary works but for me, IT is right up there with the best of them thanks to its heartwarming and chilling look at youth and the childhood horrors which continue to haunt us into adulthood.