Mike Matei / October 25th, 2014
This 3 hour made-for-television movie was aired in two parts. Based on the Stephen King novel, it popularized the idea of the scary clown.
October 25, 2014 at 3:14 am
October 25, 2014 at 3:16 am
October 30, 2014 at 11:05 am
can you make subtitles ?
October 25, 2014 at 3:18 am
Mediocre movie. Great review. Pennywise was never scary to me either. He looks far too silly to be scary.
October 25, 2014 at 11:46 am
I couldn’t have said it any better.
I remember wanting to see it so bad when it came on t.v. but my mother took me over to her friends house and her son was too afraid for us to watch it. ruined my childhood I tell ya.
February 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm
True, but I’d still consider it a cult classic…
October 25, 2014 at 3:20 am
Jonathon Brandis wouldn’t be good reprising his role as an adult. He’s dead. There’s no such thing as a scary clown. The spider is less scary than the clown.
October 25, 2014 at 4:29 am
lol, NC fan in the house. I dont see how you or him could say the spider sucks so much.
Also great it proves james doesnt watch that hack frauds videos since he didnt know sidekicks kid killed himself
February 15, 2015 at 9:26 am
I know your comment is from awhile ago, but James IS friends with Doug Walker AKA Nostalgia Critic.
October 25, 2014 at 3:36 am
The book is 1000+ pages, so a ton of stuff is left out of the movie.
Like the explanation for the giant spider. It’s actually not really a spider. Human beings cannot comprehend It’s true form, and the spider is the closest it can get.
October 25, 2014 at 3:42 am
In fact, the entire final battle with It is different in the book. It’s this big metaphysical battle of wills kind of deal.
October 25, 2014 at 4:32 am
the turtle, the enemy of IT is also explained further in the dark tower. dunno if the movie even mentions him
October 25, 2014 at 3:51 am
The nightmare clown in “The Brave Little Toaster” was far more terrifying than “IT”.
October 25, 2014 at 4:01 am
In Italy “It” was broadcasted in 1992, when I was 5 yers old: it scared the shit out of me!
I tried to re-watch it in 2000, but I couldn’t: still too scared!
But, I can just laugh of the cheap SFX and for the amazing performance of Curry; “It” is nothing special for an adult, but I think must be senn as a child, for some sort of “growing rite” to confront the inner fears of childhood.
October 25, 2014 at 4:15 am
Fair and honest review unlike the Nostalgia Critic
October 25, 2014 at 4:37 am
I agree, James isn’t afraid to speak his mind and doesn’t just jump on the bandwagon of like so many others.
October 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm
The Nostalgia Critic character isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. Doug has said it himself the big humorous thing about the Nostalgia Critic character is the character is an idiot. He thinks he knows things about movies but he doesn’t. The guy is a loser. So yeah he has points here and there, but most of it is just saying what he thinks is funny.
October 29, 2014 at 3:41 pm
I agree as well. NC focused only on the negatives and then made those criticisms overblown. James did a more honest and entertaining review.
October 25, 2014 at 4:34 am
Another interesting fact: Tim Curry nearly played The Joker twice, once in the 1989 Batman, and again in the Animated Series. Both times, he was deemed as being too creepy.
October 25, 2014 at 4:39 am
Woah, could you imagine? that would have been pretty awesome! Funny how he could sound “too creepy’ voicing a character like the Joker. (:
October 25, 2014 at 5:03 am
I have been a fan for a very long time, but i Can absolutely say.. James you absolutely missed the mark. This review is garbage. You glanced over this. I’m embarrassed
October 25, 2014 at 11:57 am
gr8 b8 m8 i r8 8/8
October 25, 2014 at 5:15 am
This was one of the scariest movies of my childhood along with “Nightmare on Elm street”, “Candyman”, “The Gate” etc. I was always afraid the most of thing that are unexplainable and irrational. I saw the movie several times later and I can say IT holds up pretty well even today. Acting is great, effects are great for the time, and the imagery is iconic. Tim Curry’s IT will always be one of the legendary movie monsters.
October 25, 2014 at 5:29 am
A remake with the original kids as adults? That would be something. Too bad Jonathan Brandis is no longer among us 🙁
October 25, 2014 at 6:32 am
Clowns still fucking scare me. Its an irrational fear, and there’s no good reason for it. But because they terrify me, this mediocre movie ends up scaring me every time.
October 25, 2014 at 7:43 am
Tim Curry is amazing in this
October 25, 2014 at 7:44 am
A double sided DVD??? That’s a stupid idea, why not either have 2 disks or put both parts on a normal disk?
October 25, 2014 at 7:55 am
Yep, average at best and the ending sucks balls. But I agree, the King movies you mentioned, were the only good ones.
October 25, 2014 at 7:57 am
The book is much better then the film
October 25, 2014 at 8:14 am
“please slow down, you are posting too fast!” – what´s that supposed to mean? Is my comment too long or what´s the matter? Mike, any suggestion?
October 25, 2014 at 8:15 am
Spiders are a recurring theme in Stephen King books, it is alluded to in The Dark Tower that Pennywise may be a form of the Crimson King or one of his servants’ such as the vampire Dandelo, the demon Tak or Randal Flag. Randal Flag/Walter O Dim appears in many different forms throughout Kings novels and is described as an immortal shape changing sorcerer or demon. The Crimson Kings true form is also a giant spider.
Pennywise is a great character and agree is much more funny than scary. I usually don’t like horror remakes but this is one example where I think it would be justified, a truly scary version of Pennywise taking on the form of more abstract phobias and more of the metaphysical stuff that’s in the novel would be awesome, difficult one to translate to screen though and I imagine would even harder with a shorter run time but I would like to see it attempted.
Other King novels I would like to see adapted are ‘The girl who loved Tom Gordon’ because its such a simple concept with a great villain and obviously The Dark Tower series as I’m a huge fan. I have heard that it is being done as a sort of HBO series interspersed with movies and Russell Crowe as Roland/Gunslinger which I think would suck monkey fuck tbh. Russell Crowe doesn’t fit the character in my mind and the whole series/movie crossover thing just sounds messy. Just adapt each novel into a feature length movie like they did with Harry Potter and it would be rad.
October 25, 2014 at 8:16 am
You reviews are always great and sophisticated. I agree that it has a very nostalgic ring to it and that it also gives me a “stand by me”-feeling. To me the ending ruined the whole movie – aside from the neat stop motion I as a teenager thought: “What the fuck ?! It´s just a giant spider … really? What a lame-ass conlusion is this?”
And having big spiders is a weird concept that totally blows my mind, how are BIG spiders scary? i find spiders to be a lot more scary the smaller an the faster they are. When you can´t tell whether they ran under the rug or crawling over your back.
I´d call that advantage by smallness. Having a giant spider means you can run around it in circles and probably stick a spear up its ass before the damn spider even knows whats going on.
October 25, 2014 at 8:17 am
Btw, Id like to see a sort of IT vs Stand by movie, where the teenager kids battle it out death match style. But that would probably be too weird …
October 25, 2014 at 8:19 am
Ever since I saw the Nostalgia Critic review, I always wanted to see you review this.
October 25, 2014 at 8:20 am
It would be cool to see them reprise their roles, except one of them committed suicide. Also, one of them is Seth Green
October 25, 2014 at 8:22 am
One Stephen King movie you didn’t mention which IS good is ‘The Mist’ it has some great practical effects and pays a lot of respect to Romero and John Carpenter. Very Oldskool style for a modern horror.
October 25, 2014 at 9:05 am
I remember watching this on tv when I was 14. Yeah, the ending where they beat the spider to death and then all pick up “something” out of its body and hold it up together (never know what it is since it’s only shown in shadows) totally took me out of the serious drama the film had had up until that point. The last minute plot addition of the main guy’s wife becoming comatose and him riding her on a bike downhill to wake her from it was ridiculous to.
October 25, 2014 at 9:37 am
THEY FLOAT. THEY ALL FLOAT.
October 25, 2014 at 9:40 am
I’ve been waiting years for you to do this James and I must say I’m very impressed and thankful for it. The movie is not great, but not bad either. I hear New Line Cinema is planning to do a 2 part remake for the big screen which would be awesome if done right (the novel has over 1000 pages to work with.) There are truly frightening parts in the book that the movie never covered. Ones like the death of Patrick Hockstetter, the house on Neibolt St, the dead boys, plus Pennywise’s history and others… too many to name. It’s one of my favorite SK novels and chock full of different classic monsters which (I must be the one trillionth person to say) are better utilized in the novel and more plentiful. There’s no excuse for the remake to be bad b/c the problems with the TV version are fixable and the fan base is there for it to be a success financially. Anyways, keep up the great work J&M!
October 25, 2014 at 10:02 am
RIP Jonathan Brandis
October 25, 2014 at 10:35 am
This turned into an episode of “You know what’s bullshit” at the end.
October 25, 2014 at 10:53 am
Man this movie terrified me as a kid, and I didn’t even watch it! The commercials I saw on tv were too much for me to handle. I did have reoccurring nightmares about an evil clown called Mr. Tickles, so that might have something to do with my crippling fear of IT. Anyway, I did end up watching it years later as an adult. It does have it’s creepy moments, but it’s not nearly as scary as what my fertile childlike imagination had envisioned. Funny how that works.
October 25, 2014 at 11:08 am
Ever notice James pronounces “Wolf” like “Woof”? He’ll be like the “woofman” or “he turns into a woof”.
October 25, 2014 at 11:17 am
This is just… awful. Maybe the book was good, but the movie is just plain boring.
October 25, 2014 at 11:23 am
I own the UK release of that DVD, on my disk the one side that has the black ring on it has a red A so I have always liked it to that the printed side is side B; meaning that then the printed side is facing up then your watching part one, and when the printed side faces down then your playing part 2, if you read this comment James, then look for a red capital A on the printed side of your disk.
Nice video b.t.w, you know they are working on a two part cinematic remake of it.
October 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm
I heard about the remake idea too, apparently Guillermo Del Toro is interested in directing which is a huge plus for me.
I do think Tim Curry is to IT what Boris Karloff is to Frankenstein but it’ll be interesting to see who they get to play IT if they do decide to go ahead with it.
October 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm
totally agree with this analogy ^
October 25, 2014 at 11:44 am
I think it’s fair to say The Joker also played a part in the scary clown genre, he was a scary murdering clown going back to 1940.
Anyway, this review approaches the movie in a objective way but I hope James understands the book this is based on is a lot creepier and fleshed out. The story is better told in the book and Its final form doesn’t just come out of nowhere. The book is honestly one of my favorite books of all time and I would take it to a desert island with me. It’s an awesome and epic horror story about a powerful evil entity, but also a story about the transitions from childhood to adulthood. It’s brilliantly written. A lot of the problems James sites here work better in the book, and there is even a Giant Claw moment that I think James would really appreciate. In the review James did not mention if he read this book so I am going to assume he hasn’t, but I really recommend it. I would kill for a long graphic novel adaptation or maybe animated adaptation. There are tons of surreal imagery that would be well suited for either of those formats. The novel is brilliant, check it out
October 25, 2014 at 11:47 am
The book is 1000+ pages, so a ton of stuff is left out of the movie.
Like the explanation for the giant spider. It’s actually not really a spider. Human beings cannot comprehend It’s true form, and the spider is the closest it can get.
October 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm
It is amazing how they concentrate on those who saw this film, quit frankly the aspect of others rules the kings line of other heroes. learn more from the sufferies of there other films
October 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm
The whole thing about It being a spider isn’t such a surprise in the book. For one thing, the book really plays up on the fact that It takes a different form for everybody (in one scene, one of the kids shouts out its form, causing It to appear to everyone in that guise). But I believe there are at least hints at its spider-y form prior to the last scene.
It’s big failure, to me, is that as a TV-movie from the 1990s, it had to be relatively toothless. In the book, you have a homosexual encounter between two teenage bullies, child molestation, and blood and gore. In addition, the true nature of It as described in the Ritual of Chüd would have been nearly impossible to do well in any film at the time, much less a 1990 TV movie. So in the end, everything was dumbed down (even the cycle went from 37 years to the nice, round 40 years), and we got an OK, but not great, movie. And, to truly appreciate the movie, you had to be a little familiar with the book, which is never a great sign.
Another two sided DVD again.
October 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Tim Curry is one of the best actors of all time.
Do I hear any disagreements?
October 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm
To this day this is the ONLY horror film to ever successfully scare me. Of course I was 11 at the time. Clowns creep me the hell out… you are working at a carnival and kids birthday parties… why the fuck are you so happy?
Also John Boy comes off the mountain to fight a giant spider… epic!
October 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm
the devil in I!
October 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm
My teacher played this when I was in elementary school. We were scared shitless.
October 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm
I had the same DVD and while trying to show it to my GF, we watched it backwards….
It was dumb.
October 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm
NO FUCKIN WAY! This to me is most effective movie of all time. That goes back to my childhood and the fact I have regular nightmares about Pennywise to this day. It’s one of the few movies that the fear I felt back then sticks with me now. That’s a true horror masterpiece. An unsettling feeling that can’t go away. As a kid this scarred me, I was afraid to take a shower for weeks! Just the idea of a clown joking with you giving out balloons and becoming dangerous on a dime. It plays on the fear of false identity. I kinda disagree on a major point James made, I think it’s his humor that makes him scary. Like he’s fuckin out of his mind. The character and actors playing them do a great job of making you care about their story. I love it and james (even though we don’t agree) reviewing it is awesome!
October 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm
It Conquered the World…
October 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm
Very good movie, Tim Curry made a great ob as IT. But the book is 1000 times better.
Let’s not forget “It came from the desert” 🙂
October 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm
It’s funny you say that, The Shining is a good Stephen King adaptation of the book, James. Because Stephen King hates it with a passion. I’m sure you know already, he made his own TV version. Which I thought was shit. I think Kubrick made the book better.
October 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm
October 27, 2014 at 2:16 am
Stephen King later admitted his tv adaptation sucked. I only have met one person and they were on youtube, that loved the tv adaptation. Just simply because it followed the book more. What an idiot.
October 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm
I think the clown doll that comes to life in the movie, POLTERGEIST started the whole being afraid of clowns thing.
October 25, 2014 at 3:28 pm
I always thought the ending was so lame. I mean, a spider? For a movie about a killer clown, it should have been something circus or clown related.
October 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm
I actually returned the DVD to the store after only watching the “A” side. I was a bit puzzled as to the credits (none) but the movie stood OK. It was months later I discussed the movie with a friend and he mentioned the adults’ return. Damn! I re-rented the film and finally saw…IT.
October 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm
I hope James reviews American Horror Story. It’s a great and scary show.
October 25, 2014 at 4:19 pm
Movie sucked. Review great
October 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm
Have you ever noticed? The werewolf-encounter happens after that kid sees a werewolf-movie in the cinema… The kid is scared of werewolves because of the movie and IT uses that fear.
October 25, 2014 at 4:44 pm
Not scary? OK tough guys.
If Tim Curry showed up to your house in a clown outfit, you would be scared shitless, I guarantee it.
October 25, 2014 at 4:57 pm
This movie scared the hell outta me as a young kid
October 26, 2014 at 1:23 am
Nah I’d just beat him to death lol
October 25, 2014 at 4:56 pm
This movie could have been much better if they didn’t tame it down for TV.
October 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm
I remember reading that the cast did not lunch with Tim Curry when he was in full clown gear, that good he was at this role!
October 27, 2014 at 2:18 am
That means the makeup artist was good, not Tim necessarily. Not saying he wasn’t good but that isn’t a good example of how good he was in the role.
October 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm
Shining as a great movie? Yes, yes it is. Shining as a good adaptation of the Stephen King novel? No, not so much.
October 27, 2014 at 2:19 am
Their was a tv mini series in the mid to late 90’s that was a closer adaptation of the Shining. And it was really bad.
October 25, 2014 at 6:13 pm
He’s laughable today, but when I was a kid he made me recheck looking under my bed before sleeping..lol.
October 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm
October 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm
The movie doesn’t tell the same story as the book, especially since the spider that It is is an enemy to a spiritual Great Turtle.
October 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm
I do think clowns are kind of scary, but Pennywise in the TV series still seemed genuinely entertaining and funny rather than scary- Tim Curry apparently plays a clown TOO well.
However, I think the book really IS terrifying, and not just because of the infamous child sex scene! It’s my favorite Stephen King book by far.
October 25, 2014 at 8:53 pm
Why dont just love”IT” that scary clown 🙂
October 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm
October 25, 2014 at 10:33 pm
Dont forget It Came From Toilet haha
and doble side DVDs are Bullshit.
October 25, 2014 at 10:42 pm
when i was a kid, i loved this movie but later as an adult i read th book, now i hate this movie
October 25, 2014 at 10:43 pm
Favorite horror movie of all time. It helps that I read the book also. Holds up very well in my eyes.
October 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm
The case for my DVD is different. It has the flap on the right side that acts as a latch for the front. The dvd menu however is identical to the one you have.
October 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm
I loved the little DVD rant at the end. As for the movie, I really liked it when I saw it as a kid. I identified with the characters when they were kids. The actors were very good. I didn’t really care for the adult parts and the romance subplot. Pennywise was never really scary to me, it was some of the other things, like the abusive father and the bullies that freaked me out.
October 26, 2014 at 12:22 am
Have you heard news about the new shaq fu game?
October 26, 2014 at 1:22 am
The white ring on the top of the dvd near the hole should say Which side has what part on it. (lol, it). the side with the white ring is side A or 1. I do however agree, that is some bullshit and it’s very easy to overlook the tiny white strip that has 5 point text on it
October 26, 2014 at 1:33 am
What is a ‘scary clown’ ? …Clowns, in general, are scary yo~
October 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Actually I found the movie quite good except the end. I get the idea of a clown being scary: the funny looks and all is deceiving, and the sudden changes of mood — the way how suddenly something “good” turns into something evil. But OMG the end of the film? Just a big monster spider? That fucked up the movie for me. But the visuals of the movie: the random spawnig of this colourful clown worked for me at least 🙂
October 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm
I don’t really care for the movie IT. I read the novel too and didn’t think it was anything special either.
October 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm
Tim Curry as Gomez Addams is scary
October 27, 2014 at 2:35 am
I watched IT when I was a kid and it didn’t really leave a huge impression on me. Sure I remembered a couple of parts, but it wasn’t like a mind blowing movie I wanted to watch over and over. And I wasn’t freaked out by it. I watched a lot of horror movies and I never had nightmares or was freaked out by a horror movie. I watched Dead Alive when I was about 10 with no problems. And the Child’s play movies earlier then that. And misc. others.
When I rewatched this movie as an adult I thought it was lame. You don’t see Pennywise that much and it’s not a building tension mysterious sort of way. It feels like a lifetime movie in some parts. The one guy becomes an alcoholic and goes to therapy and things like that because of his shitty childhood. They talk about stuff like that most of the film. It just doesn’t feel like a horror movie to me.
October 27, 2014 at 11:20 am
John Boy Walton!
October 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm
Did you know that in the book all the kids have sex with the one girl because they realize that they can only defeat IT with the power of love? How that would have been in a tv-movie…
October 28, 2014 at 12:27 am
Sadly the leader of the group played by Johnathon Brandis killed himself in 2003.
October 28, 2014 at 8:39 am
Haha, I’m glad you mentioned the double sided dvd Bull crap. I actually let a friend of mine borrow this after he finished reading the book and forgot to mention anything about it being double sided. He watched only part 2 of the movie and was very confused until I later explained to him what happened lol. Is there any reason that couldn’t have all been on one side???!!!
October 29, 2014 at 4:05 am
Actually the Spider is not It’s True Form. It’s as close to the true form the human mind can allow, he pretty much warned them of that prior to the confrontation. But the book explained it better. There’s more than one universe. Ergo more than one It. However unlike other Multiverse counterparts, It is the same in every universe. So when you Kill It, you only Kill one part of It. It’s a lot like how Gozer can exist in multiple worlds, but is locked into a certain form of the world he’s in now.
October 29, 2014 at 9:13 am
You bought a new PS3?
October 29, 2014 at 5:32 pm
Uhm James, I just wanted you to know that Jonathan Brandis(Bill Denbrough in the movie) could not reprise his role in a new IT. He actually killed himself 11 years ago. Very sad, but true. 🙁
October 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm
IT is just… yeah, it’s bad. Like, really bad.
Tim Curry, however, is awesome. Much like this year’s Monster Madness. 🙂
October 30, 2014 at 6:01 am
Man, I hate it when DVDs pull this crap, too! There’s no excuse for that lame ass menu! Cool observations about Dracula and It. I’d probably try to use holy relics to fight evil as well, like in Castlevania! Anyway, thanks for the video!
October 30, 2014 at 11:04 am
Please, make subtitles for Monster Madness 2014!!!
October 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm
Luv the book …. but the TV movie was confusing and did not recreate the atmosphere very well…Pennywise is scarier in the book to me ! Great review by the way!
October 31, 2014 at 5:03 pm
They all float down here….
November 10, 2014 at 8:03 am
The film IT doesn’t want to show something like a true monster that the kids fights in the end,it mostly shows that those kids fought their fears in the end with the simple stuff they were playing.Thats why they used methods like those,the meaning of the film is mostly an allegory trying to show us how a kid can beat its fears thats all.Now some can think that in the end of the films they beat a maniac clown to death with their toys or some poor bastard that he misunderstood as a pervert while the only thing he wanted was kids to entertain.But that would show that the real vilains were the kids,and this movie is not about that it talks about fear and how you must find the way to deal with it.
February 12, 2015 at 4:17 pm
“Wouldn’t it be an interesting idea to reshoot the scenes with the adults to have the actual same kids, now that they’re grown up? That would be awesome.”
Yes, it would, but sadly Jonathan Brandis suffered terribly from depression and alcoholism and took his life in 2003. It really hit me hard because I always loved him in everything he did. From The Neverending Story II, to Sidekicks, to Seaquest DSV, to IT, and even Ladybugs.
For this and others, I say we need to destigmatize mental illness, depression, and talk more about shame and feelings of low self-worth. Jonathan even made comments to friends saying that he would kill himself but he was not stopped. This happens too much. It is such a tragedy.
March 16, 2015 at 11:25 pm
I FUCKING SHIT MY PANTS WACHTING THAT SCARY MOVIES BUT I LOVE STEPHN KING MOVIE LIKE COJO
April 9, 2015 at 1:53 am
I remember I was watching a nostalgia critic review of this movie and that did get me scared and that also made me laugh
August 18, 2015 at 10:22 pm
I do agree Warner Brothers butchered the DVD edition when they “Widescreened” it and cut the ending from part 1 and the beginning from part 2. Makes me wish I still had the 2 volume VHS edition but that damn VCR ate one of the cassettes and the single cassette version’s sound and vision was of lesser quality than the 2 volume set. I guess when Warner Brothers gets their planned R-Rated theatrical version green-lit we will see a definitive edition of the mini-series. Thanks James.
September 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm
CINEMASSACRE IS AWESOME!