Stephen King's It
NR (Not Rated)
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Tim Curry, Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Olivia Hussey, Richard Masur
Stephen King's It! (DVD)
It can be anything. A fanged monster that won't stay on the movie screen. Something ominous lurking in the basement. No matter what your biggest fear is, no one knows It better than Stephen King. Based on the King Of Horror's 1986 bestseller, It is a jittery, jolting excursion into personal fear. A malevolent force in a small New England town takes the shape of a clown, but he's not clowning around. Instead, he terrifies youngsters and brings some to their untimely doom - until some wily kids fight back. The evil resurfaces 30 years later: meaner, angrier, deadlier. And friends who vividly remember youthful terrors reunite to fight It.
Is there anything scarier than clowns? Of course not. And who knows scary better than Stephen King? You see where we're going. It
puts a malevolent clown (given demented life by a powdered, red-nosed Tim Curry) front and center, as King's fat novel gets the TV-movie treatment. Even at three hours plus, the action is condensed, but an engaging Stand by Me
vibe prevails for much of the running time. The seven main characters, as adolescents, conquered a force of pure evil in their Maine hometown. Now, the cackling Pennywise is back, and they must come home to fight him--or, should we say, It--again. Admitting the TV-movie trappings and sometimes hysterical performances, this is a genuinely gripping thriller. As so often with King, the basic idea (the bond formed during a childhood trauma) is clean and powerful, a lifeline anchored in reality that leads us to the supernatural. --Robert Horton