What’s more creepy than an evil clown? An evil clown holding a fistful of balloons, with fangs and a cackling, maniacal laugh (portrayed by the genius Tim Curry no less), who can take the shape of the thing you are most afraid of. A clown who lures and murders the children of a town (Derry, Maine) every 30 years, for hundreds of years, and who only the children can see and hear. A clown called Pennywise by name, but IT by a group of misfit 11 year-old friends who have formed The Losers Club, and who are being targeted and hunted not only by a group of bullies from their school, but by this evil entity in clown form as well. A clown that claims, “I’ll drive you crazy and I’ll kill you all…I’m your worst dream come true. I’m everything you ever were afraid of!”
Based on the pulse-pounding book by horror master Stephen King, IT is set in two main time periods, thirty years apart, and follows the same group of seven friends (six boys and one girl) as they realize they must stick together to survive. As children, Bill’s younger brother Georgie is one of IT’s victims. He is visited by Pennywise first, then one by one the others are too. Finally, each one admits that the clown has visited and threatened him or her, and they form a plan to kill IT. But they do not succeed, and all but one move away, losing all memory of what happened thirty years ago.
Flash forward thirty years and children are once again dying. Mike, though, has stayed as librarian in Derry, and he calls each one back to fulfill a promise they have made to kill IT if it ever returns, and put an end to the evil once and for all. As each receives the call, the memories start to return, and they merge on Derry to face Pennywise. But IT has other plans for them…
My take: all in all, a great premise, likable characters (and a fabulous cast) and lots of scares, even if some of the ending does feature some B-movie type hijinks. Plus I guarantee you’ll think twice before attending the carnival again!
- Top Scare: All with Pennywise
- Heartbeats: 3 1/2 out of 5
- Gore factor: 2 out of 5
- Suspense factor: 3 out of 5
- Recommended for: 14 and up