Stephen King’s It Review
by Mike Holtz, WeWatchedAMovie
Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Fright Night 2)
Starring: Tim Curry, John Ritter, Annette O’ Toole, Tim Reid, Seth Green, and Richard Thomas
It’s almost that time of year again when the air gets crisper and things get creepy! Masks, candy, pumpkin flavored foods, candy and of-course horror movies! While eating candy. I’ve never been patient myself and I can’t wait for my favorite holiday so with that in mind we review “IT”
Based on a Stephen King book of-course IT is the story of a group of well-mannered and geeky kids that become friends while banding together to stop an evil clown that murders kids and has a Brooklyn accent (Excellently played by Tim Curry). You think that’s funny? This clown that sounds like Adrian’s sloppy brother in Rocky is freaky as hell and probably the reason some people go full on crazy nut bag if they see a clown in public. The film spans back and forth between when they were kids and adults as the clown they thought they once killed comes back when they are older.
IT was aired in two separate installments with a whopping running time of 192 minutes and hell, I still had to flip the DVD over just to watch the second half. Ah, Stephen King and his long windedness. You have to love it….King may not be the Director behind these films (For the most part) but they all seem to carry his slow rolling, cheesy-yet-creepy atmosphere that makes it okay to spend half your day watching one semi-terrible film. Don’t get me wrong some of his adaptations are great, but even the bad ones can be enjoyed. IT is a mixture of both. There are plenty of cheesy scenes and terrible special effects and there is no doubt any sane person could easily cut an hour out of this film and it wouldn’t miss a beat. Or would it?
The sneaky underrated part of IT brings back memories of a way better (but non-scary) film called Stand by Me. While we spend forever watching this group of kids become friends it becomes a decent coming of age film. Sure, the characters could be written better but you really end up caring for the kids and when they become adults? It’s some Place Beyond the Pines type effort. Now, I know that film was way deeper and more serious but the point I’m trying to make is that IT took a lot of effort to make and ends up being a great story even if it took way too long to tell.
The imagery is certainly there (did I mention that clown is scary as f****?) and the further you get into the film the more freaky stuff starts popping out. There are a few genuine scares in IT as well as laughable attempts to scare (like when a clowns head turns into a Rottweiler) but IT definitely has enough creepiness and depth to last as an underrated cult classic for years to come. The only real downside I see to this movie is the missed potential. The story is so deep and so good and the clown so damn freaky that it could have been seen as a legit horror heavyweight had it been handled differently. Instead it will remain as a charming, cheesy and sometimes scary generational Buttercream Gang meets Killer Clowns From Outer Space with just a touch of the Exorcist type scares the entire film could have been capable of.
Ultimately IT is a fun and eerie way to spend a rainy day but its ultimate cheesiness undermines its horror potential. Although, that may be part of its charm as well.
“We all float down here!!!!!!!!” ( B-)