And when you’re down here…YOU FLOAT TOO!
So I actually have been looking forward to this week’s throwback Thursday movie of the week. I really enjoy this film a lot. Tim Curry, a brilliant and talented actor, nails his role as a supernatural being who preys on kids by disguising himself as a clown named Pennywise. Anyone who grew up in the 90’s may know who this character is. What I remember from watching it as a kid was that it was meant to be scary and some scenes were very effective. However it wasn’t the clown that scared me back then. It was Eddie Bowers, the town bully. He didn’t give me nightmares or anything but at moments of heavy suspense were the scenes with him in it picking on one of the members of The Losers Club. The supernatural element was just a perk on making this a great mini series to watch. Pt 2 of this miniseries wasn’t as entertaining because i wasn’t an adult back then. I related more to the movie when they were kids. Now that I am an adult, I wonder if that will change.
So the moment I started watching this on my DVD copy, the title screen pops up and immediately you hear the circus theme to Pennywise and a big face picture of the clown which brought back so many memories of watching it. Watching it again as an adult, this movie was heavy. I am surprised this movie didn’t make it on the big screen. I would have loved to have seen pt 1 in theatres and wait a year or two to see the second half. Stephen King did a wonderful job capturing fear, friendship, and loss all in one movie. With over 7 main characters to keep up with and give them enough screen time and character development felt effortless. It wasn’t him however who wrote and directed it for the small screen. That credit goes to Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween 3, Fright Night 2) His track record may not be too popular on the big screen but I believe he did an amazing job with this mini series. The music was a big part of what made this movie so good this time around. The thought of believing in something that can’t be proven or shown to any adult. That isolating feeling of not belonging, the lost of a family member, living in a town where people have no hope, abusive parents, bullies, racism. A child having to deal with all of that while struggling with a supernatural entity preying on kids.
I do want to focus on the friendships that were developed in this film. 7 kids who are all different in their own way coming together to form a bond so strong that even a 30 year time period couldn’t break the promise these 7 best friends made when they were kids to come back to their home town, no matter how scared they were, they came back. That type of bond carries through to audiences who watch this. To some, they may even feel like an outcast and feel that they are carrying out the mission to defeat the monster along with them. The first half is still my favorite. We learn how each member of the club interacted with Pennywise in their own way while putting together each part it led to the final flashback of their attempt to take the monster down once and for all. The second half however falls just a little. It is not as strong as the first half. I’ve notice this with Stephen King movies and mini series, he has a tendency to kill people off that are random and don’t really have much of a push in the story. Especially when things are wrapping up. Some of his deaths are just taken for shock value. Not all deaths but just some and IT is an example of that. Some of these deaths just don’t make sense. Also, the solution to this long-awaited battle is taken care of so quick and easy that you wonder why it took so long to execute. When you finally see IT in its original form, you may feel a little disappointed but i don’t think it’s about the monster. It’s not a monster movie in my opinion. The monster is a metaphor for all of the trails we go through growing up and dealing with our fears head on that are holding us back from becoming the best that we can be. That may sound cheesy but it makes sense. As adults, they may have forgotten what happened to them during their encounter with IT but all of their childhood fears subconsciously carried on with them as adults. Confronting IT meant confronting what was holding them back from excepting who they are, what they wanted, and moving on.
My opinion still hasn’t changed from my take on it as a kid. This is a great film, even though the special effects are outdated, Tim Curry gives a great performance and a reminder that he is immortal in film through the characters he brought to life during his career. This is at a time now where clowns are becoming more of a horrific figure than most. Stories of people dressing up as clowns to lure kids in the woods or clowns being used as plot points for horror films. A reboot of this classic has been made right now for the big screen this time. It is clear this movie is evidence that the horror benefited having this movie under its genre.
4 1/2 out of 5