Yes. There. Right up there is the reason most people cant sleep at night. Pennywise The Dancing Clown, from Stephen King's terrifying book 'IT'. Now I know, technically it's not a movie, its a mini-series, but fuck it for all intents and purposes i'm calling it a movie.
The movie was originally broadcast on ABC in 1990. It was a two night event, and i'm willing to bet thousands upon thousands of people lost sleep for far more than two nights. The movie starts off with a little girl singing the itsy bitsy spider in her back yard where her mother has hung the laundry out to dry. This my friends is where we get our very first glimpse of the premium nightmare fuel that is Pennywise.
Yup. Prepare yourself for a lot of that face. Pennywise is played BEAUTIFULLY by Tim Curry. And honestly, can you think of any one else who could have done it so wonderfully psychotically well? Can you imagine this being your motivation: Ok, you're an entity who takes several forms but you're mostly a clown. A clown who kills children and devours their souls.
Fuck me. That couldn't have been portrayed by anyone else other than Tim Curry. Not that Tim Curry is the only great actor in this film. John Ritter, Tim Reid, Richard Thomas and making his first acting debut as the young Richie Tozier is Seth Green. So there is a great deal of talent in this cast.
The grown up Loser's Club
The Loser's Club as children
The film does a wonderful job of playing on your fears. IT takes several forms depending on his victim. Everything from the clown, a werewolf, abusive father, dead brother, and a crazy fucking spider thing. Yes. IT is truly your worst nightmare come to life.
The first part of the film takes place, for the most part, in the 1960's in the haunted town of Derry in the state of Maine. This half of the film Focuses on the group of children, who dubbed the selves 'The Loser's Club', Bill Denbrough, Ben Hanscom, Beverly Marsh, Eddie Kaspbrak, Richie Tozier, Mike Hanlon, and Stanley Uris, as they all become friends and first encounter Pennywise. They each have different encounters with IT but are bound together because they all know something is wrong in the town of Derry. The first part of the film does a fantastic job of making you care for the small band of misfits. They are just your average everyday children just like we all were at one time and you can really identify with at least one character. Be it the over weight shy kid, the girl from the poor part of town, the new kid of a different race, the kid with the stutter, the sickly boy, the class clown (no pun intended) or the brainiac. One of the kids you will be able to identify with and grow attached to through out the entire movie.
The first part of the movie also introduces us to Pennywise in all his horrifying splendor. The thing toys with you and feeds off your fears. This monster is fucking ruthless. I mean he pulls a child's arm off through a sewer grate for fucks sake. Pennywise also has some of the most memorable lines in the movie.
'We all float down here.'
'Beep Beep Ritchie'
'Want a balloon?'
And several more. And since they all are delivered from the mouth of a child murdering clown, they're just that much more scary. He could say, "Please pick up your socks." And it would be creeeeeeeeeeeepy as shit!
The second part of the film focus on the Loser's Club all grown up and their coming back to Derry to finish off IT. The second part of the film is a lot less interesting and creepy as the first. Most likely because their no longer children going through their first encounters with the creature. It is also I feel slightly goofy. The scene with Ritchie and Pennywise in the library for instance.
This isn't to say that the second half isn't good because it is. It just draws more on the events that happened in their childhoods as opposed to new things that may have happened in their lives.
Stephen King's IT is a classic horror movie. If you're afraid of clowns you'll have a heart attack. If you're not afraid of clowns, by fucking god you will be by the time the credits roll on this.