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IT (1990) Miniseries - A Movie Review

I believe that the miniseries of IT (1990) deserves more appreciation.

By Marielle SabbagPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

Better watch out for all those balloons. Pennywise is lurking in every corner.

IT was the first adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel released to television screens in 1990. After 27 years, a group of friends known as The Losers Club return to Derry after Pennywise the Dancing Clown has returned. Flashing back to the memories of their childhoods, the friends must stick together to fight.

The IT miniseries has always been criticized since its release for its story, acting, and special effects. Stephen King’s novel of IT is over one thousand pages, so of course not every detail is explained upon, leaving some of the contexts for scenes confusing to viewers. In my opinion, I believe that the IT miniseries is an impressive adaptation of King’s novel for its time and deserves more appreciation.

The miniseries stars an impressive cast of young actors starring as The Losers Club when they were kids. Jonathan Brandis, Brandon Crane, Adam Fairazl, Seth Green, Ben Heller, Emily Perkins, and Marlon Taylor were all remarkable as the seven young losers bonding and fighting the horrors together.

Then adult actors played their counterparts of the young Losers years later from the events, returning to the horrors that they forgot about. Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Dennis Christopher, Harry Anderson, Annette O’Toole, and Richard Masur were all great as the adult Losers. I enjoyed watching their interactions.

On my first watch years ago, I was surprised to learn that the adult actors weren’t praised. Viewers, and even the director, believed their performances were boring and didn’t carry out the story as the child actors did in the first half. The late Harry Anderson stole the show with his witty humor and improvisations as Richie Tozier.

I have always enjoyed the adult actors and I thought they were very convincing. More convincing than the child actors, honestly. I am not saying that the young actors were bad, they could have had better direction. Sure, the adults didn’t physically look like their child counterparts, but they were able to match their personalities.

Viewers also criticized that the adult Losers didn’t create a genuine friendship. I disagree with that argument entirely. Their interactions were heartwarming and I liked the segments where they were sitting around talking in the hotel room. That’s an aspect that I felt was missing from the most recent adaptation of IT Chapter 2 released in 2019.

Every actor involved brought out their remarkable talents. Other talents include Olivia Hussey, Jarred Blancard, Tony Dakota, Florence Paterson, Michael Cole, and Frank C. Turner.

Starring as the creepy clown, Pennywise, Tim Curry was startling in his performance even genuinely frightening members of the cast and crew. Nobody wanted to sit next to him when they were on break for lunch! Curry stole the show, losing himself to the part, and creating his own vision of the terrifying clown, taunting the Losers, and cracking jokes.

I will admit that in the first half, the story and pacing for the miniseries were choppy and drawn out. Choosing to tell the tale from present to constant flashbacks throughout the first half, the director and writers were working with a lengthy novel.

I give credit to director Tommy Lee Wallace for creating one of the first IT adaptations. I think that the miniseries of IT deserves more attention instead of being derailed for its cringe-worthy moments of acting, weak special effects, and complaints about the set-up of the story.

I would not recommend the IT miniseries if you have a fear of clowns. There are frightening moments. Otherwise, I suggest that you take a look at this series and enjoy one of Stephen King’s most frightening stories.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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