A malevolent force in a small New England town takes the shape of a clown,
but IT isn't clowning around. Instead, IT terrifies youngsters with their
innermost fears, bringing some to their untimely doom - until a group of
wily neighborhood kids fight back. Thirty years later the evil resurfaces:
meaner, angrier, deadlier. And the friends who vividly remember the terrors
of their youth reunite to make a desperate stand against IT.
thrusts his fists against the posts and
still insists he sees the ghosts."
- Bill Denbrough
This book, this film, is a masterpiece.
First, it works on the fears and frights all children have, but those fears
and frights are all dressed up as something they like, as a clown, so friendly-looking,
so attractive, and yet IT is a fiend. Here King multiplies those fears
so much, due to the fact that there are SEVEN children, six boys and one
girl, that we get lost in the real labyrinth this book builds.
Second, it analyzes those children in so many details, and it takes them
thirty years later, unrealized for most of them, successful but totally
unrealized, just empty shells, filled with oblivion and the impossibility
to really be full and happy. That is the worst thing fear produces in a
man or a woman, the impossibility to be happy and to fulfill his or her
perspective, plan, project or future. He or she can maybe reach a certain
level of fame, or art, or quality, but he or she cannot enjoy the happiness
any man or woman should endeavor and deserve to get. IT is the anchor that
forces us not to go all the way to the rising sun.
Third, intelligence, conquering energy and strength is in children because
they believe the world is not what they want it to be, they believe the
world is what it wants to be, IT wants it to be, that is to say a long
perspective of suffering and terror, interspersed with some moments of
light and life and communion. This communion is the power of humanity.
And grown-ups never get to that level of unity because they are afraid
of the others, of their neighbors, of death, of suspicion, of what other
people may think of them.
Fourth, King invests the monster once again in the ground, underground.
The monster is some kind of supernatural spider that needs to capture as
many preys as possible every thirty years to be able to hibernate and live
happily in its lair for the next thirty years. But then it has to come
out again to feed and to replenish its cupboard with fresh meat and flesh.
The most interesting aspect of this book or this film is the distance in
time between the children and the grown-ups they become. The distance enables
us to measure time and change, and yet to recognize that change is only
on the surface whereas the depth of humanity, the depth of society, the
depth of human nature remains the same. Yet a simple thing, like a bicycle,
is able to bring infancy and childhood back and to enlighten the present
with the past, to refill our heads with memories, and memories are the
fodder of our minds, the force that is driving us to the sun and success.
We can only get somewhere if we can solve the problems of our past, if
we can get over the blocking stones of our engines, if we can put aside
the narrow blinders education has put on our eyes and if we finally can
see the whole picture all around and not be reduced to the tunnel vision
most of us only have.
Check out these great behind-the-scene photos Ben Heller sent us!
- Jonathan Brandis, who played William 'Stuttering Bill' Denbrough
(age 12), committed suicide by hanging himself on November 12, 2003. He
- The biggest fear of young Richie Tozier (Seth Green) is a werewolf.
On Buffy the Vampire Slayer Seth Green plays Oz, becomes a werewolf.
- Bill is the author of a horror novel titled The Glowing. This refers to Steven King's The Shining.
- IT was released on November 18, 1990.
- Jonathan Brandis was on SeaQuest, where Seth Green made a few
guest appearances. Seth Green's nickname was 'Wolfman.'
- The night guard in the asylum is called Koontz, named after Stephen
King's rival author Dean Koontz.
- When Beverly is listening to the voices in the drain, one boy
identifies himself as Matthew O'Conner. That is also the name of the Supervising
Producer of the film. A girl in the drain identifies herself as Vicky Burrows.
Victoria Burrows did casting for the movie.
- On the DVD commentary track, the actors note that Tim Curry's
characterization of Pennywise was so creepy and realistic that everyone
avoided him during the filming.