Reviewed by Alicia Glass
The Losers Club of Derry, Maine, after being terrorized as children by a sinister force in their hometown, return as adults to do battle with Pennywise the Clown!
Like a great many of King’s opuses, this is actually a miniseries that’s generally given another run every Halloween. The timeline is interspliced together, with memory flashes of the Losers Club as kids and their struggle against the demon trying to ruin their town and them in particular, wrapped together with scenes of them all as adults, being called back to Derry by the oath they swore, to face Pennywise one last time. Based on the simple power of a childs belief, the demon takes the form of Pennywise the Clown (Tim Curry, damn he is awesome) and proceeds to terrorize the crap out of the children. I would’ve thought he’d be more interested in preserving his food source, but never try to argue logic with a King villain. The kids being, well, children and all, use their own logic when it comes to fighting a psycho killer clown demon – silver bullets, a crackshot lady slingshot hero, and the power of their own belief against him. Which works fairly well while they’re children, but hey, returning to Derry as adults to fight Pennywise, that makes the power of belief a lot harder to dredge up.
You may recognize some of the child actors – Jonathon Brandis as young Bill in particular, but also Seth Green, Brandon Crane, and Emily Perkins. The adult versions of the characters were also popular round the time the miniseries was made (which happens to be 1990) – Harry Anderson as Richie, Dennis Christopher as Eddie, Richard Masur as poor Stan, Annette O’Toole as Beverly, Tim Reid as Mike Hanlon, John Ritter as Ben, and Richard Thomas as Bill Denbrough. While the special effects are dated and so are the characters, Tim Curry and the odd if not thorough story from Stephen King gives us a strange reason to seriously hate clowns!