My First Frights: Stephen King’s It and Facing Your Fears

Stephen King. His name conjures up many images: snarling rabid dogs, vampires feasting upon the citizens of a small Maine town, a walkin’ dude. For me, the name Stephen King makes me think of a creature in the guise of a killer clown and the seven children who fought against it. Let’s take a trip down to the sewers of Derry, Maine and relive the horrors of the miniseries of Stephen King’s It.

A bit of a preamble: I’ve been a Stephen King fan since before I was born. You may be asking yourself how that’s possible and I’ll gladly elaborate for you. The Christmas before I was born, my mother gave my father a copy of It and my father devoured that book in the span of one day, not too long after, my mother picked it up. Now I’m not sure entirely, but I feel she must have transferred my love of Stephen King directly to me in the womb and thus my devotion to the man and his works has been in my blood for as long as I’ve been alive.

In 1990, ABC released the miniseries of It and it was a ratings smash. My parents, being the fans that they were, taped both nights on to one VHS and it was that VHS tape that four year old me found among the slew of movies we had. I put the tape into our VCR and climbed into a chair to sit and watch, having no idea of the terror I was about to see. Seeing the brief glimpse of Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown, with his greasepainted face in terrifying scowl preparing to attack an innocent young victim, made me want to look away in fear, but it was like I was hypnotized to keep watching (the powerful sway that horror has over us all to a degree).

For the next three hours I felt like I had bonded with each of the members of The Losers Club and managed, like them, to find a way to overcome my fears. Was I still terrified of Pennywise the Clown? Without a doubt in my mind, but, I was able to enjoy the film overall and found myself rewatching this tape over and over until I bought it on VHS at some point. When the 2017 version of It was released, I took a stroll down memory lane and rewatched the miniseries and, while it didn’t hold up in some areas, it still managed to keep me entertained and enthralled and it still does when I feel the urge and put it on and to me, that’s the making of a great movie.

Submission by: Kevin Uhrich

About IT (1990)

The original IT movie, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, was released in 1990 as a two-part television miniseries. The story revolves around a group of friends who are terrorized by a shape-shifting entity that takes on the form of a clown named Pennywise.

The first part of the miniseries focuses on the childhood experiences of the group, known as the Losers’ Club, as they discover the presence of Pennywise and attempt to stop its reign of terror. The second part takes place twenty-seven years later when the Losers’ Club reunites as adults to confront Pennywise once again.

The total runtime of the original IT movie is approximately 192 minutes, divided into two parts with each part being approximately 96 minutes long.

If you’re interested in watching the original IT movie, you can find it on various streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu. Additionally, the movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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