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118 out of 147 people found the following review useful:

First Half Good - Second Half Bad

6/10
Author: Gislef from Iowa City, IA
22 December 1998

That's what most of the other commentators say, and I can't disagree. Part 1 (or the first half, depending on which format you're seeing it in) is great: pitting some excellent child actors (including future star Seth Green of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) portraying some in-depth characters fighting against a demonic clown. The second half seems more like a "gee-wow - look who we got" self-indulgence at casting Anderson, Thomas, Reid and Ritter, with very little to make us care about these folks. The ending is also an incredible dumbed-down letdown, although in all fairness I don't think they could pull off King's ending, and most of the audience wouldn't understand it if they had tried. There are a few touching moments in the last half, and Tim Curry couldn't screw up no matter how bad the writing is, but generally the two mismatched halves make for a mediocre film when it could have been so much more.

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79 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

Solid adaptation of a great book

Author: Superunknovvn from Austria, Vienna
6 November 2004

This is a very entertaining made for TV mini-series. It does a good job at jamming a book with more than 1000 pages into 2x90 minutes movie running time. The most important parts have been adopted, unnecessary fat was thrown out, little amandments have been made, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. The writers really tried to remain faithful to the novel and even mentioned side characters or story lines in short sentences for those who have read the book. The coolest thing, however, is that director Tommy Lee Wallace somehow managed to transfer that unique spirit of nostalgia, friendship and fear into his movie. Of course, the incredible cast deserves a lot of credit for that, too. Amazingly the child actors of part 1 upstage their adult companion pieces of part 2. The greatest performance of all, however, is given by Tim Curry, who really gives "It" a face, and a very scary one. He makes this movie what it is. In my opinion, it's the role of Curry's career, even outshining his part in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".

Now for the bad sides of "It": as a made for TV project this movie obviously couldn't get too graphic and violent and that's a bit of a pity. Stephen King's book is awfully graphic and the movie would have been twice as scary if they had shown a bit more gore. Mostly Pennywise just appears and shows his sharp teeth and that gets lame after a while. The other big minus of this film is its ending. It has to be said that the ending in the book is so bizarre it's unlikely it could ever look good on celluloid. Still, those crappy special effects were just disappointing and made me (and everyone else I know) go: "Is that what I've been waiting for the last 3 hours? That is the big climax?"

Bottom line is that for a TV movie with such strict time limits "It" did a very good job at bringing this scary book to life. Nevertheless, I think the story should be retold properly and turned into a mini-series à la "Twin Peaks". The only problem is that it's going to be hard to find someone who can fill Tim Curry's giant clown shoes.

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87 out of 113 people found the following review useful:

Extremely long but worthwhile horror yarn.

Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnaby.rudge@hotmail.co.uk) from Todmorden, England
30 January 2003

Many critics have complained that Stephen King's It is an overlong film. However, considering that the book upon which it is based takes over 1,000 pages to tell its story, it is hardly surprising that the film version needs so much running time to cram in all the twists and turns. Besides, the three hour running time goes by quickly because the film is briskly paced and full of engaging incidents. Also, the depth of the story allows to us to really get into the minds of the characters, which is a rare thing indeed in a horror film, since usually the characters are hilariously shallow.

The story unfolds like a two part mini-series (which is, I believe, what the film was originally meangt to be). In the first half, a bunch of seven kids in a small town realise that recent child killings are not the work of a murderer, but are attributable to a monster which awakes every thirty years. They track it down and very nearly kill it, but it just manages to escape. Thirty years later, the seven are all grown up, but they re-unite to seek out the monster when it once more awakens for its regular killing spree.

The acting is very goood, especially John Ritter as a successful architect and Tim Curry as the terrifying Pennywise the Clown. There are some spooky moments, but nothing that I would describe as absolutely horrifying. This is an unusually deep and detailed horror film, well worth seeing.

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61 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

Who's David Graham if he's not the bloke scared of Pennywise the Clown?

7/10
Author: davideo-2 from United Kingdom
15 January 2004

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

Adapted from the epic novella by Stephen King,It is set in the town of Derry,Maine,in 1960.A series of gruesome child killings are going on,which seem to replicate similar events that happen every 30 years in the town,rounded off by a big disaster that causes similar confusion and devastation.Seven young kids are drawn together over the course of the summer to face off against a psychotic bully named Henry Bowers and his gang,as well as coming face to face with the perpetrator of the horrific killings,a monster which generally takes the shape of a clown named Pennywise (Tim Curry).One day,they decide to go down in to the sewers and confront and kill It once and for all.They believe they have done this,only to get a call 30 years later informing them that this is not the case and that they must now abide by a promise they made as kids to return once again to do battle with It if it ever returned.Now,as mature adults instead of naive kids (and therefore finding it harder to believe) can they be as successful?

Very rarely do adaptations of King novels translate well to the screen,with only a handful of exceptions,and the producers of this two parter certainly had an even harder job on their hands turning a book of over 1000 pages in to a film adaptation.Under the circumstances,one might say they haven't done too bad a job,but they've had to edit out a lot of key sequences (and even characters) from the book,and as a result,they've ended up with a script that's had to leave out a lot of the original source material,and so you don't get the full effect of the book,which was a real door stopper of a book that took forever to read but engrossed you right to the end all the same.So as you might expect this film adaptation isn't as good as that but it's still an impressive, scary enough effort all things considered that spreads out an epic story engrossingly enough.

On the acting front,the child actors (with the exception of the one who played Bowers) fare better than the adult actors,with the exception,of course,of Tim Curry in terrifying form as Pennywise (one of the scariest characters in the history of cinema,never mind the fact he only ever appeared in a TV movie) and possibly Harry Anderson.Some of them are laughably bad in parts(especially the one playing the adult Bill when he tries to stutter,so sad when young Johnathon Brandis played him so well).Pennywise always gave me the creeps,possibly in a way no other horror movie character could,and nothing else is scarier in the film.But maybe scares aren't the main aim of the game here,this being a Stand By Me style King fable of friendship over-coming great evil against all odds.

Overall,this is a decent enough effort taking on the challenging task of turning an 1000+ page book into a feature adaptation,where it's easy to see where the cracks are showing but easy to appreciate for the things it gets right.***

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48 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Did to me for clowns what "Jaws" did for swimming in the sea.

7/10
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
3 September 2005

People were terrified of swimming in the sea after the movie "Jaws". This movie did to me for clowns what "Jaws" did for swimming in the sea. After watching this, clowns will just never be the same to me again. The unrecognizable Tim Curry portrays a very scary and perhaps even somewhat classic horror character. Pennywise/It surely is one scary looking character!

To be honest without the character Pennywise/It this two parts TV-movie wouldn't had been very well watchable or recommendable. The movie has a typically awful looking TV-movie visual style and the actors and storytelling aren't much good either. I have quite some fantasy but I'm just no big fan of Stephen King's horror novels. The story and the moments in it are just always highly unlikely, silly and over-the-top. "It" is no exception on this. Another major disappointing aspect of the movie are the special effects and the awful ending that is just a major let down and just isn't fitting and doesn't seem to have an awful lot to do to the earlier scary moments and the character Pennywise/It.

Still for the fans of the horror-genre, there is plenty to enjoy. The movie has some good, original and well constructed scary moments and the character Pennywise/It should be reason enough for horror-fans to watch this two part made for TV movie.

The cast mainly consists out of TV actors and aren't much good or likable. Funny thing is that the children cast is possible better and more likable and believable than the adult cast members. It was especially fun to see an extremely young Seth Green, who already acted in the same manner as he still does today.

Silly, bad looking but still scary and recommendable.

7/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/

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61 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

Don't Skip the Book!

3/10
Author: Meg (ouija-5) from Vancouver, Canada
15 November 2001

While the acting in this version of Stephen King's It, is for the most past good, (who can argue with Tim Curry as the clown), it none the less was stripped of a lot of its themes to be put to television. It follows the general premise of the book but omits huge sections of the occurrences that happen to the children, some of which are vitally important to the character development and plot. We lose some of the most beautiful aspects to their relationships this way. Also, the structure of the novel, which although overwhelming, is supremely successful, and is again lost in the film. While they could have made it much worse, I must urge people to read the book first. It's scarier, deeper, more complex, and a far better story.

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27 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

This Thing is more horrible than It itself.

1/10
Author: Inon Shemi (Yoshi2501) from Timrat, Israel
13 August 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I couldn't believe someone has actually liked this movie. It's horrible by all senses. To say it's better than the book is a true atrocity. The book was wonderful, explaining the true nature of children and they're understanding of fear. The movie is more a stupid parody.

This may come as a spoiler, so be aware, and if you don't want to read it move to the next paragraph. I actually laughed at the end, when they exhibited that stupid spider-puppet as the final monster. if some thing like that would approach me, i'll just smack it right into the ground, although i'll probably need a bigger shoe. It was horrible, yes, but horrible not because it was scary, but because it was a huge joke at the author's intentions, i'm sure. a real amusement.

I'd be laughing if i hadn't known what a true master of horror Stephen King is, but i'm mostly sad that his best book never got to have a good movie. Sad, sad, sad. This movie shall get a minor 1, and never to be watched by me again. Nor anyone else, i hope. A true atrocity.

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29 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

The worst book-to-movie adaptation in existence

1/10
Author: Ellen (mintsharpie@hotmail.com) from Canada
16 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The majority of the people I know who have seen It all say the same things. "I saw this movie when I was a kid and I'm still scared," or "It's the best movie ever!" After finally seeing it myself, I have to disagree. It is by far the worst book-to-movie adaptation I've ever seen.

Why, oh why did they have to turn Eddie into a Mama's boy? In the book he's married. MARRIED. The "I've never been with a woman and now I'm going to die a virgin" line at the end of the movie didn't make sense. Eddie is a great character. Why did the movie have to ruin him?

So many important things were cut. What happened to the house on Neibolt Street, the underground clubhouse, various characters that were left out, Eddie's leper, or Bill dealing with Georgie's death, just to name a few? And I just HAVE to mention the ending. The spider was so fake it wasn't even funny (okay, kind of). It wasn't dramatic enough either. Nobody looked the least bit scared. It was just, "Oh golly, let's go down in the sewers and kill It once and for all." It wasn't turned into a climatic moment like in the books. The characters acted as if what they were down in the sewers was as natural as walking to the corner store and buying a loaf of bread. Wouldn't most people be terrified, thinking, "Oh my God, I'm going to die!"

This movie was terrible, don't waste your time on it. Read the book, and then wait for the remake. I'm hoping it will be a lot better than this piece of garbage.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

The Lucky Seven

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
28 August 2009

In 1990, when a mysterious serial-killer attacks children in Derry, Maine, the local librarian Mike Hanlan (Tim Reid) feels that something is wrong in his hometown and calls his childhood outcast friends that formed the loser club and that are presently successful professionals Bill Denbrough (Richard Thomas), who is a writer of horror novels that is working with his wife Audra (Olivia Hussey) in a movie in Hampstead, England; the awarded architect Ben Hanscom (John Ritter) in Houston, Texas; the designer Beverly Marsh (Annette O'Toole) in Chicago, Illinois; the entrepreneur Eddie Kaspbrack (Dennis Christopher) in Great Neck, New York; the comedian Ritchie Tozier (Harry Anderson) in Beverly Hills, California; and Stanley Uris (Richard Masur) in Atlanta, Georgia. Each one of them recalls when Bill's brother Georgie (Tony Dakota) was murdered by an evil entity with the appearance of a clown named Pennywise (Tim Curry) and how Bill had summoned them to defeat the creepy monster in the sewer of the town and their oath that they should reunite and fight against Pennywise in case of its return. In their reunion, Mike tells that every thirty years Pennywise returns Derry to kill children and they are capable of destroying the evil force with the power of their friendship.

In the early 90's, I saw "It" on VHS with about 160 minutes running time and in that occasion I loved the first part of the story and I found the conclusion very disappointing. At that time, I did not know that the movie was mutilated, limited by the storage capacity of a VHS. I have just watched "It" on DVD with 192 minutes running time and now the long story makes sense. The first part, with the tale of friendship of the six boys and the girl, is really creeping and engaging and better and better; however the pace in the second part, when they are adults and return to Derry, is slow and I was a little tired while watching the movie. Despite of the running time and the lower pace, I liked this movie a lot. Further, it is great to see the talented Seth Green and Emily "Ginger Snaps" Perkins in the beginning of their careers. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "It: Uma Obra-Prima do Medo" ("It: A Masterpiece of the Fear")

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24 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

What is your deepest secret fear?

7/10
Author: Henry Fields (kikecam@teleline.es) from Spain
28 August 2004

"It" it's possibly the best TV adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Ok, that does not mean anything, because TV adaptations from King's novel usually leave a lot to be desired (Langoliers, The Stand...); but it is the one I've enjoyed the most.

This is an story about the fear itself. Your fears as a child, and your fears as a grown man. It's kind of a parable: when you're an adult and you think everything is under control, that monsters and ghosts doesn't exist, that they can't scare you anymore... Well, you're wrong: as "It" clearly shows, adults are much weaker than children when it comes to face your fears. At least that's my interpretation of this story of seven friends who had to fight against some kind of evil pressence in their little town when they were kids, and have to do just the same 30 years later, when they had almost forgotten of each other and what it happened.

The first part of "It", in which the children are protagonist, is way much more exciting that the second one (with the adult characters). That first part has reminded me (in some way) of another Stephen King's adaptation: Stand By Me. Definitely it is much more entertaining. I haven't read the novel, so I don't know if they've made a good work adapting it (if it's exact enough), but I suppose that other reviewers will have talked about it.

And there's not much more to say. The special effects are a little better than in Langoliers (no big deal, anyway), and though there're lots of ups and downs in the script, "It" achieves it objective: to entertain.

PS: Pennywaise's character is the most histrionic and crazy performance of Tim Curry since Frank N'Further.

My rate: 6.5/10

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