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3.9 out of 5 stars291
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 June 2004
I vividly remember to this day the first time i watched Stephen King's IT. I was staying at my grandmother's house for a period of time and not unlike any other child of my age was immensely bored. It was in the evening, and so my nan realising my predicament decied to put a 'nice film on about clowns'. She truely did not know what she was allowing me to watch. I swear to this day i am PETRIFIED of clowns.
I watched IT again last year with a group of friends and was still scared. The opening scene with Pennywise shifting in and out of the sheets on the washing line has stuck in my memory ever since. Tim Curry is amazing as Pennywise, and without wanting to sound perverse, he acts the part so well that you the audience actually believe he enjoys scaring children!
As the other reviewers have stated, this film is about childhood. The good parts and the bad, and also on a deeper issue the fallability of parents.
Although this film will undoubtedly scare you witless and forever alter your perception of the circus; it is without doubt a superb romp.
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on 18 August 2006
The first thing I have to say about this DVD is that, like reviewer Mrs Green below, I was stumped by the film apparently finishing half-way through, until I realised that the rest of it was on the reverse side of the disk. This really might have been mentioned somewhere on the sleeve, it had me flummoxed for about thirty minutes ...

"IT" is a really scary story and is an extremelly well-written book. It's the story of a group of misfit children who team up together to fight a supernatural entity, and then in their adulthood find themselves having to reunite with half-forgotten friends and memories to return to their hometown and fight it again.

There were some elements of the film that reflected the horror of the book, but there was a lot lacking. Salem's Lot, Pet Semetary and the Shining managed to capture it; this one didn't for me. The bullies which were so evil in the book were a shadow of this in the film, and I find Ronald MacDonald a million times more scary that the depiction of Pennywise in the film. The fairground musical score was also a bit off-putting - bit to jolly - but the depictions of 1950s New England were well done, and the acting, particulary from the children, upstaged their adult counterparts.

It's a farly enjoyable horror film, but those that know the book might agree that Stephen King's ability to take you into another, darker place with his writing on this occasion isn't captured by the DVD.

And a note to Warner Home Video: If it's a double-sided DVD, for heaven's sake TELL people. Don't just leave an empty box with nothing on the disk, and nothing on the packaging to say so!
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on 30 June 2010
This is a classic Stephen King adaptation.

I remember watching this as a boy and i've never been right with clowns since...or storm drains.

This is a television...2 parter, many hours of film that mainly delve into the characters and how each of their lives are affected by an evil entity that lingers in the town of Derry, Maine.

Every thirty years or so, Pennywise the clown awakens to feed on the children of Derry. Feeding on their fear. One summer a group of outcast kids find themselves targets, victims of the pennywise (Tim Curry) and band together as friends for safety.

their childhoods are the first part of the film and Tim curry proves a terrifying character as the menacing Pennywise.

the second part is the gang at adulthood, after they have survived their ordeal and moved on to become actors and writers and all grownupie things. thirty years on however, pennywise is back...and hungry.

The film is dated now, but I have no doubt it will continue to terrify children everywhere.

There's just something about clowns!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 September 2010
IT gets one of the better televisual adaptations of a King novel, second only to the fearsome Misery. (The Shining is a special case.)

First a group of adults are brought together again after many years following a most unwelcome phone call. One is so scared, he immediately kills himself. We are drawn back in time to discover how some kids fought against an ancient evil, manifesting itself in the form of an insidious clown, as well as against its indirect manifestations, such as community silence, local bullies, phobias, etc.

Now the job has to be finished.

Nice scenery, creepy in a way reminiscent of David Lynch, a game cast that includes John Boy from The Waltons, and a rewarding plot structure, make IT a very satisfying feature which will scare you but may also inspire you to greater things.
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on 22 June 2008
I'm in pretty much the same position as everyone else-I loved the first part of this film but the second part I find much less engaging. I loved the book, but that was similar. The first part was excellent, but the adulthood section of the book was a lot weaker and a bit disappointing.

The plot briefly is this. Children in the town of Derry are being murdered by an entity whose primary form is a clown, played brilliantly by Tim Curry. If this film didn't give you a clown phobia as a child then nothing will have. A group of 7 kids meet each other one summer and confide in what forms of IT they have come across. The adults don't see IT as they don't believe these ghouls will exist. It's different for 11 year old kids though, to them IT is very real. They decide to fight IT in the hope that they can stop it's terrorising of the children of Derry.

The child actors do reasonably well in their parts. Keep an eye out for a very young Seth Green as Ritchie Tozier. Also starring is the late Jonathan Brandis as the young Bill Denbrough. Their stories are broken up and told in a scattered, very well written way, which mirrors King's notion that the adults have only broken memories of their childhood which return to them as they return to Derry.

The second part of the film is where it goes downhill. The adult actors are uninteresting and don't have any where near the chemistry their young counterparts have. This is also where the plot and writing loses some of it's flow and you have some pointless scenes (take the 20 or so minutes of montage of them having a chinese meal as an example). To be fair to the writers though, King's book does go downhill at this stage also. The true form of IT was also extremely disappointing, but again, this mirrors the book.

Tim Curry is by far the stand out in this film, for all the variety of his lines. He looks like he's absolutely relishing playing such an unpleasant (yet curiously funny) character. Make up wise, he's everything an evil clown would look like and after one of my friends watched this movie as a kid has a fear of clowns even to this day.

The movie misses out a massive amount of information and character development present the book.

I guess in summary what I liked about this film was that the first part captuered the essence of childhood. It captured being an outcast in some form, being a victim of bullying, finding those in a similar situation and finding strength through each other. It's really a pity that IT couldn't have been ended with the kids and more time spent on building their story. The adult part of the film was a let down. Despite this, it's still one of my favourite films.
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on 15 October 2012
This is a movie that scared the hell out of me in my childhood. I remember sneaking my TV back on after I had been sent to bed and watching this over two nights on TV. I was terrified but totally engrossed at the same time. This dvd is also split into two parts. Part one is mainly about a group of kids (The Lucky Seven) who have to face "IT" and work together to try and kill him. Part two is about The Lucky Seven finding out that "IT" is back, and having to return to their old town to finish what they started as children and kill "IT" once and for all.
One thing I have to say is that part one is much better than part two. The chemistry and performances of the children in part one are comparable to that of Stand By Me. You really get to see the strength of the group. Individually they are just children and are weak but together they are strong. The children (a young Seth Green, Emily Perkins, and the late Jonathan Brandis among them) in my opinion do a much better job than the adults. Although the adults do not do that bad. The adults include Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Annette O'Toole. The most impressive performance in the movie is of coarse Tim Curry as Pennywise The Clown (IT). This was a truly terrifying performance and the source of my fear as a child.

I would give 5* for part one, and 3* for part two.

I do have a slight moan about the picture aspect ratio. As this movie was made for TV the picture looks squashed and you can tell the makers must of had big issues trying to fit all of The Lucky Seven on screen at the same time. They seemed to have tried to get round this by making them stand or sit unnaturally close to each other.

The special features for this disc has a audio commentary from the director and some of the adult cast. My favourite part of this is when John Ritter is talking about Seth Green saying that he has not been in anything since this movie. (Everyone loves taking cheap shots at Seth Green it appears!).

Overall this is a very good and scary Tv movie.
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on 19 June 2015
I adore Stephen King as an author and have done since my teens. I also loved the film adaptations of Carrie, The Shining and Misery but It is dire. The acting (particularly Olivia Hussey) is cringeworthy and it's not scary at all. Admittedly, I'm not scared of clowns, balloons or spiders but there should have been something to give me the shivers, but no. I was planning on renting it on Lovefilm but that wasn't an option. Shame, as I've wasted my money but will sell it off at a loss.
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on 26 October 2008
I watched this film twice, and the first time I forward wound through the horror parts because I was on my own! This meant that it wasn't very effectively scary the second time I watched IT, but I still enjoyed the film... up to a point! The first half was great (people have said the acting was wooden but how old were all the actors? About 14! I thought it was pretty decent) but the second half...

The thing that bugged me was how the first half seemed to be the children, and the second half the adults. If the film knitted together the years much like the book does, then I would have liked it a lot more. I started to get fed up when the adults merely told stories about the past, rather than allowing us to view them.

Despite this, I really like this film. It differs dramatically from the book, but forget that - viewing is a fun ride anyway. The ending was abrupt, but considering it was 1990 the special effects weren't that bad.
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on 21 February 2013
I expected it to be more horror considering the amazing special effects of today's films, but I suppose it was a good horror in its day. The acting is very good which is what perhaps made it a good film for me. It's creative and quite humorous, so you would not be wasting your time if you were to watch it :)
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on 28 August 2013
Bought this mainly due to the hype surrounding the movie. It's OK, but seriously dated and plagued by terrible acting (except Curry's "Pennywise" which was great). Some parts were quite scary, but most of the film was just cheesy. One for the hard-core Stephen King fan really.
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