Wednesday, October 30, 2019

31 Days of Halloween - Day 30 - Movie

A child killing terror, which most often appears in the form of a clown named Pennywise, fights a group of youngsters in 1960. Thirty years later, when new murders begin, the youngsters, now adults, reband to attempt defeating Pennywise once and for all.

When I read Stephen King's novel It back in 1986 when it was first published, I loved it, and could not put it down. It remains one of my favorite novels of his. When I saw It (1990), the two part miniseries, based on the novel, when it debuted I was really let down.  Coming across it in the $5.00 bin at Walmart around the time the new movie adaptation came out, I thought I'd give it another look, something I ended up putting off until now.

I still don't like it. The cast is fine, but this mini-series lacks any bite and because of its length and the way the book is broken down into vignettes focusing on each character as a child, and as and adult, not only does the plot feel simultaneously simple and disjointed, but the relationships between the characters lacks the depth and the strength that really powered the novel. Without it, I just didn't care about what happened to any of them. I had no stakes in their winning over this clown which was presented as something somewhere between Caesar Romero's Joker if he were a drunk, carnival clown with an unhealthy interest in children, and Krusty on the Simpsons. He wasn't scary like a monstrous cyclical, unstoppable evil. He was mildly disturbing in a drunken relative has invited himself into my house and I can't get him to leave kind of way. One of the big disappointments, too, was that when we get to see Pennywise in his true form it's as some sort of big spider. Yawn.

I know a lot of people love this mini-series, and I suspect those that do were significantly younger than I was when they first saw it, and I get that changes things. You are welcome to keep this version of It warm in your hearts. I'll stick with the book.