Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It (1990)

Oh. My. Goodness. I forgot how great this mini-series was. I ordered the Blu-Ray and I must say, I was not disappointed. Although it did not contain any extras (boo, hiss), the picture quality is excellent and it's clear they took some time to get this digital transfer right.

It is, perhaps, one of the most successful adaptations of a Stephen King novel. I would add Carrie (1976), Children of the Corn (1984), and Pet Sematary (1989) to that list. The only thing that does not work in this film is the monster reveal toward the end of the movie. It's a cheesy effect that lacks any sense of terror to it. In fact, it only elicited a chuckle from me. Pennywise the clown, however, is another matter altogether. Tim Curry gives the second iconic performance of his career with this character. The first being Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). The voice he uses for his character is perfect with a touch of gravel and lots of sinister behind it.

Director and co-writer Tommy Lee Wallace [Fright Night 2, Halloween 3] hits everything out of the ballpark except for the aforementioned monster. The pacing is great and he captures wonderful performances from his actors. Furthermore, the movie's transitions between scenes of when the characters were kids and when they are adults is seamless. It always makes sense and is never jarring or out of pace.

Speaking of characters, It is jam packed with A-list actors. The adults include Richard Thomas [The Waltons], John Ritter [Three's Company], Harry Lee Anderson [Night Court], Annette O'Toole [Smallville] and Dennis Christopher [Deadwood]. All of them have numerous TV credits attached to their names and know how to take full advantage of the small screen.  The kids include Jonathan Brandis [The Never-ending Story 2], Emily Perkins [Ginger Snaps series], and the one and only Seth Green [Buffy the Vampire Slayer]. No one is a weak link and everyone gives a solid performance.

I saw the remake this summer, and I must say I thought it was as good as the original if not better. I know some will argue back and forth as to who does Pennywise better [Bill Skarsgard is uber-creepy in the remake] but what's the point? Both do an amazing job with the character. The thing the remake has going for it is that they divide the material into two movies. The first is when they were kids and the second, which comes out in 2019, is when they are adults with flashbacks. This was a brilliant choice because they gave each of the kids a backstory in the remake. You understand their motivation for doing what they do and care deeply about what happens to them.

So, go see both. They are a joy to watch from start to finish.

RATING: Excellent.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.