The Meaning Of The Film It It (TV Mini Series 1990): A Classic Of The Genre Or A Movie About The Eternal?
The classic of American horror films, Stephen King, the cult adaptation of the novel of the same name: how interesting is this work of filmmaker Tommy Lee Wallace today? The dramatic thriller It (1990) still has many fans, although today’s viewer can hardly be frightened by such horror. Perhaps it is not necessary – in fact, a film about something else, its psychological meaning will be relevant at any time.
The plot is about the strength of the weak
Seven schoolchildren from the small town of Derry team up and form the Losers’ Club. The children have a hard time in the classroom, they are persecuted by local bullies led by Henry Bowers.
Some of the children stutter, wear glasses, have asthma, be black, fat, red-haired or Jewish – there will always be reasons for bullying by cruel, narrow-minded teenagers. The guys can’t stand it one by one, they are too weak. But together, the “lucky seven” not only copes with the Bowers gang, but is also ready to stop the terrible Evil raging in their city.
The fear that lives in each of us attracts Evil, and only those who believe can see it. The terrible clown Pennywise is one of the incarnations of a terrible entity that has settled in Derry since time immemorial. About once every 30 years, It wakes up and needs food. To eat, It must take some kind of physical form. Together, the teenagers were able to defeat the creepy clown. After the decisive battle with Pennywise, the guys take an oath to return if It has not died.
After 30 years, everything repeats itself: the murders of children began again in the town. 40-year-old heroes have long gone to different cities, only one of them still lives in Derry. Librarian Mike Hanlon calls friends to fulfill an old oath. Will the matured bunch of losers be able to stop the forces of darkness again?
TV version by Tommy Lee Wallace
The picture has a number of advantages and some disadvantages, which are explained rather by the format of the shooting. The film was originally shot as a mini-series for television. A limited budget, a time frame, a large amount of material – all these factors influenced the final result. In addition, Stephen King’s works have always been difficult enough to adapt to film.
I think director Tommy Lee Wallace did his job well enough. Even today the film looks good. The story as a whole evokes rather positive emotions, despite the tense atmosphere and nightmarish events.
There are no recognized stars on the cast list. Probably, this is what played a plus: a very good ensemble was formed. Children did a great job with their characters. Thanks to the work of the children, the first part of the film looks even better.
The role of Pennywise was superbly played by Tim Curry – one hundred percent hit in the character. Throughout the filming of the evil clown, the entire film crew was afraid.
Some scenes have an increased semantic load, impress and remain in the memory. Some of them are very successful.
Georgie, Bill Denbrough’s little brother, goes for a walk on a rainy day. The paper boat ends up in the sewers, from where Pennywise’s ominous face appears. The clown lures the child with a boat, grabs the hand. The kid dies a terrible death. After the tragic death of his brother, Bill finds an album of photographs. Blood is pouring from the album that adults cannot see.
Georgie’s terrible death becomes the starting point for further events. It is Bill who asks his friends for help: the goal is to take revenge on the clown for the death of his brother, to destroy the bloodthirsty monster.
Help and support is the key to victory
The film shows many situations where the guys support each other, and this makes them a single team.
Beverly washed the blood in the bathroom repeatedly and unsuccessfully. Finally, desperately, she called the boys to make sure she hadn’t gone mad. After friends helped to clean everything up again, no more blood appeared.
In the scenes of the decisive battles, each of the heroes at some point becomes unbearably scared. Then friends come to the rescue, pull out, do not give up. It is cohesion that ultimately helps to expel Evil.
Indifference is scary
An adult Beverly Marsh told friends about an incident from her childhood: once Henry Bowers and his henchmen were waiting for her outside the house. They began to pester Bev. A neighbor from the house across the street saw that the girl needed help. However, he turned away and simply walked away, closing the door.
Unfortunately, all horrors are created with the complete indifference of those who could do something. Not only in Derry. Why did none of the adult townspeople fight the Evil?
None of them wanted to know.
Back in the city of childhood, Bill goes to visit his brother’s grave. At the cemetery, Pennywise appears to him and offers to choose a place in a row of empty graves. 7 prepared, one is already taken.
Friends do not yet know that there are already six of them left – Stan committed suicide. Perhaps it turned out to be a payback for breaking an oath.
Boarded up house
The scene is one of the best in the film. Beverly arrives at the doorstep of her childhood home and sees the name Marsh on the doorbell. The door is opened by the dear old lady Mrs. Kersh, inviting her to come in for some tea. The house is very cozy, the hostess is very friendly.
At some point, the picture crumbles before our eyes. There is blood in the cup, and the ugly old woman is the werewolf Pennywise. Beverly runs, the clown laugh chasing her. Almost hitting the car, the heroine turns around.
It’s all just a haze, the house has long been empty and boarded up.
Bicycle as a symbol of salvation
The bicycle in the movie serves as a symbol of salvation, freedom, overcoming. Once in childhood, an iron friend saved the lives of boys. Many years later, the matured Mike accidentally saw him again and could not pass by.
In the film’s finale, the old bicycle will again play an important role.
By far the weakest point of the motion picture. An unconvincing evil in the form of a strange spider is not capable of evoking strong emotions, I would like to see a more impressive ending. One way or another, It is defeated in the form of a spider, but is it finally?
When this thing comes back, I will be only 70.
Conclusions and eternal meaning
In fact, Stephen King (despite the title of “King of Horror”) is not so much horror as psychology: childhood traumas and complexes, their impact on later life. In fact, “It” (1990) is a movie about the eternal: a film about loyalty and true friendship, which will help to withstand the most impossible situations.
Conclusions inspired by watching Tommy Lee Wallace’s movie:
- The fears that live inside us are the evil that affects our destiny.
- Evil attacks people where indifference reigns.
- Devilish forces can only be defeated by solidarity.
And in the meantime … Since 1990, 27 years have passed – It has returned.