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1990 / Horror
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7.8 / 10
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Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by Lawrence D. Cohen and Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring Tim Curry, Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Annette O'Toole and Tim Reid

A group of social outcasts are tormented by an evil demon who can shape-shift into a clown which feeds on children's fears and kills them. After defeating the demonic clown as kids, it resurfaces decades later and they must finish it off as adults once again.

The following tags are associated with this movie: Clown, Stephen King, Monster
Extra content related to IT

Movie Discussion
IT (1990)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

10 / 10
While newcomers to this particular adaptation of the novel will find it to be a little too corny, there were many children who watched this in the 90's and it scarred them for a very long time. I happened to be one of those children.

Even to this day, in my mid-30's, I still tend to get goosebumps at some of the clown encounters. Tim Curry's performance as Pennywise the Clown is nothing short of amazing. The simplistic opening with Pennywise being seen through the sheets of laundry is very eerie and disturbing with what's left up to your imagination to conjure. The music is equally as haunting and doesn't take more than ten seconds in before the hairs on my arm start to raise.

This adaptation is a fixture of my childhood, hence the high rating.
IT (1990)
Review by Michael Mahoney

7 / 10
I don't think I can be good judge of this television mini-series. Despite having read the book multiple times, and seeing how tepid of a series this was in comparison, there's still huge amounts of nostalgia as far as It is concerned, which clouds my better judgment.

My better judgment sees the massive flaws with this adaptation - it's far too condensed, even in it's lengthy running time, leaving rather big plot points left out (the house on Neibolt Street, the ritual of Chud, a clearer picture of both Derry's history and It's influence), which isn't helped by the fact that the budget is clearly that of a television project, so while the book is rather gory, there's not much to be found here. And the deeply important symbol of love and friendship shown in the book? Of course, nowhere to be found here.

At times, there are changes made here that I sort of like - Ben seeing his father on the marsh (in lieu of a mummy), Stanley facing Pennywise in a creepy house (as opposed to three dead boys in a standpipe), and even Richie's encounter with the werewolf. Of course, I'd have much preferred the two trips to Neibolt House instead, but the dingy school basement was good also. Lastly, the shower sequence with Eddie always freaked me out when I was younger, so that was welcomed.

I like most of the actors and actresses in this adaptation, really. As far as the kids go, Seth Green (Richie) and Ben Heller (Stan) were my favorite. Emily Perkins (who later goes on to star in the Ginger Snaps series) is nice to see this early on, but I don't think she really captures Beverly's essence. For the adults, Harry Anderson (Richie), Dennis Christopher (Eddie), and John Ritter (Ben) stole the show. Pennywise, played by Tim Curry, is of course pretty damn good, and really does a solid job with a creepy performance. Lastly, though he wasn't relevant whatsoever, it was nice to see William B. Davis years before he was the Cigarette Smoking Man on The X-Files in a small appearance.

Another positive aspect of this movie I have to mention is the score, which is often haunting and rather brilliant. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but every time I hear the score, I get chills. Unfortunately, it was a bit corny of them to put "It's All Right" by The Impressions on repeat. Some of the dialogue is a bit awful too, such as the line I often quote, "Why does It hate? Why is It so mean?", and the whole, "He just knows," exchange. Just felt a bit ridiculous.

All of this is to say that, as a rather big fan of the book (I read it about once a year or so), this adaptation leaves out a lot, and I mean a lot, of important stuff, from the Turtle to Chud to Neibolt Street. Some of this is due to budget constraints, and the 2017 movie fixes a bit of this, but it's noticeably lacking here. Still, I cannot deny how important this film is to my love of the genre - I saw this so many times when I was a kid, and it's one of the eight or so horror movies that's crucial to me being a horror fan. Because of that nostalgic value, despite the many flaws, against my better judgment, I'd say the movie is just a little below average. If you don't have any childhood connections to it, though, it might fare quite a bit worse. 6.5/10 (rounded up to 7/10 to fit site's format).
IT (1990)
Review by Alex Martel

6 / 10
As "IT" is a nostalgic movie for many people, I must first admit that I've only seen the 1990 "made for television" movie when I was in my late teens, as I was around 1 year old at the time of its release and it never seemed to play on any of my 5 TV channels.

Despite this, I have a bit of a unique experience with "IT". When I ended up getting my hands on a DVD copy, the film was printed on a double sided disc. I remember quickly scanning the disc with my eyes and seeing "WIDESCREEN" written on one of the sides. Presuming that the other side was for the cropped 4:3 aspect ratio version, as it was the case for many other movies back then, I plopped it into my DVD player.

So... that's the story of how the first part of "IT" I've watched was the boring second half that feels like a soap opera where a bunch of bad actors flip a laughably bad rubber spider over at the end. And it took me way too long to realize that the better half, where the characters are children, was on the other side of the disc.

Being a TV mini-series, I guess the two episodes combined were too long to put on a single sided DVD without compromising image and sound quality. Anyway, the first half, despite its faults, is much stronger than the second, and even then I can't find it in me to badmouth it too much. Tim Curry is excellent as always and there's a couple of fun moments sprinkled in even the second part.

So while "IT" might not have scarred my childhood and left me with a crippling fear of clowns, I at least have my own, special memory of the movie.
IT (1990)
Review by Chris James

7 / 10
I went into detail in my "IT (2017)" review about how this was my first horror movie (well, first I attempted, not first seen all the way through) and how it scared me for years and how nostalgic I am etc etc. So I'll get right to the point. The 1990 miniseries is far from perfect, and one of the few horror movies where I can say that the remake is better in almost every way. If you haven't seen either, go see the remake. Actually, read the book, then see the remake. Hell, by the time you finish all that, part 2 of the remake should be out!

On to "IT (1990)". Like practically everyone will tell you, the movie shines in the first half. The setting of Derry is imagined well from the pages of the book, given even more life by the child actors. I really liked this group and they captured the feeling of being outcasts well. They feel like your friends as well as eachothers. It's a strong theme of the first half that, like everything else, the second half doesn't pull off nearly as well. The main attraction though is Tim Curry as the titular IT, or Pennywise as his clown form is known. He can take on various guises, but the clown is who you'll remember. And that is because Tim Curry is as awesome as he is terrifying. He even carries the weaker second half entirely on his shoulders.

I know where the films scares are now, but the infamous Georgie scene still gets me. Luckily it's right at the start so i can relax a bit more after it, but there are still fun scares dotted throughout. Whether this movie will scare you depends, as I've had as many people tell me they found it daft as people that shared stories of sleepless nights due to it. I fully admit it's mostly a fun, nostalgic trip for me. Without that, I'd still recommend it, but there are much better horror films (hint: one with the same title).
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More releases from 1990 for you to check out

Pledge Night (1990)

Hardware (1990)

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

The Exorcist III (1990)

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