Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stephen King's It (1990) review


I previously read the novel before I watched this TV-movie adaptation of this intricate horror, and I have to admit that I am fairly disappointed at the resulats. It makes a fair attempt, but leaves out so much substance!

PLOT:In 1950s Derry, Maine, a group of seven friends bullied by the general crowd meet and join together for protection. However, there are strange things happening in this small town involving a lot of other children disappearing or getting killed. After a few scary incidents, the seven come to the conclusion that there IS a monster haunting Derry that sometimes takes the form of a clown named Pennywise (Tim Curry). However, the monster can really take any shape it wants to. They band together and "defeat" it in the sewers one day and swear to come back if it starts again. Now, in the 80s, Mike Hanlon (Tim Reid) calls up his friends to come back and face it, which include: Bill Denbrough, the novelist with a stutter (Richard Thomas), Ben Hanscom, the architect who lost some weight (John Ritter), Beverly Marsh, the woman with a good shot (Annette O'Toole), Richie Tozier, the smart-mouthed comedian (Harry Anderson), Eddie Kaspbrak, the asthmatic weakling (Dennis Christopher), and Stan Uris, the Jewish wonder (Richard Masur). They must now re-unite to kill the monster once and for all. It's an excellent plot executed poorly.

ACTING:The acting in here wasn't all that good, but it got the job done. It was alright. Tim Curry is the one who really stood at as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a form of It. He played the monster well and showed the creature a good bit of honor. The lucky seven were played fairly good, in order from best-to-worst, by Richard Thomas as Bill Denbrough, Tim Reid as Mike Hanlon, Dennis Christopher as Eddie Kaspbrak, John Ritter as Ben Hanscom, Annette O'Toole as Beverly Marsh, Harry Anderson as Richie Tozier, and Richard Masur as Stan Uris. The child actors weren't so bad either, in particular Johnathan Brandis, Seth Green, and Emily Perkins as child Bill, Richie, and Beverly. The other shiner would be Olivia Hussey as Audra Denbrough.

SCORE:The score, being a TV-movie, was not very good overall. It was generic and tried too hard to fit the mood it was trying to convey.

EFFECTS:The effects are pretty good. The blood is bright, the claymation effects are interesting, and the creature effects are more than decent. The effects aren't the best, and a lot more could have been done if this were a theatrical film, but they were interesting.

OTHER CONTENT:This really disappointed me in terms of matching the novel. I knew that this, being a movie, wouldn't be exactly the same. You can tell this was made for TV because of the cheap quality of it. This cut out a whole lot of dialogue, important situations, and emotion that the novel had and switched several things around. If this had been released in a theatrical form, I believe this would have had more potential! Alas, it suffers from being a TV movie. However, there are still some good aspects about it. Aside from Tim Curry's acting and the good effects, this movie still had a good bit of scare and fright in it, along with the feeling of youth during the flashbacks. It used to keep me up at night when I was a kid, and now it still creeps me out. I never thought I could find a movie to make me scared of clowsn and spiders both at the same time! I appreciate what substance this did keep to the book and am proud of it for that. I also liked how the TV writers added some of their own flair to it that actually stuck and made it better, as did Kubrick to King's The Shining. Overall, it's a pretty okay horror movie.

OVERALL,an ok horror movie with an excellent plot, accomplishing acting, pretty good effects, a good bit of scare, a feeling of youth, some substance related to the novel, and some flair the writers added to the story that stuck, but the plot had execution problems, the score was generic, a whole chunk of the story was cut out, and it has an overall cheap feeling to it.

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