Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TV Review: Stephen King's It (1990)

Stephen King's It (1990) teleplay by Lawrence D. Cohen and Tommy Lee Wallace, directed by Tommy Lee Wallace

Seven childhood friends in the New England town of Derry reunite in 1990 to fight the same evil force that they fought in 1960. The town has a curse--every thirty years something terrible happens. In 1960, it was a wave of disappearances and deaths of young children. A mysterious entity that most often manifests itself as a clown called Pennywise (played with effective relish by Tim Curry) lures children to their deaths. Since the seven friends banded together, they avoided death and had the courage to face the malevolent force, seemingly defeating it. But a new series of deaths and disappearances has started. Mike, the one friend who stayed behind in Derry, sees the pattern and calls his friends back for another fight with fear and evil. As adults, will they have the enough courage and belief to fight the good fight and win?

The movie is a two-part adaptation of the book, giving it plenty of time (just over three hours) to develop characters and have plenty of scares. The actors are good, with Tim Curry's performance as the stand-out, even though he is unrecognizable. The seven friends aren't only menaced by the evil force; they also face up against high school bullies who don't fare well against Pennywise in the ultimate confrontation back in 1960. The big finale in 1990 is a little less convincing since the special effects look dated. Even so the story has a satisfying ending and is well worth the three hours.


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