It (1990)

On this day in 1990, I was four years old and slowly eating pizza with my parents, absolutely mesmerized by It, the first horror flick I had ever seen.

Instead of submitting to a debilitating fear of clowns and never eating pizza again, Stephen King’s It ignited something in me, and I became an instant horror fan. Striking the biggest nerve for me, I think, was that It wasn’t afraid to go there and make children the victims of the evil clown called Pennywise.

Originally a two-part television mini-series, It was adapted from Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. The film revolves around seven adults who were tortured by the supernatural force they referred to as “It” as children. When it seems that It has returned in the form of Pennywise, they come together to try to bring down the evil force that traumatized them throughout their childhood years. They have been trying to forget, but all of their lives have been affected by the trauma, and the mere suggestion that It might be back gives them flashbacks to the horrendous deeds that It bestowed upon them growing up, including killing other children in their lives.

Bringing people who were once seen as outcasts to light as heroes as they conquer It was an interesting notion, but the real reason that the film resonated with so many was that Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise was absolutely chilling. I will never, ever forget the way that I felt when I saw the scene where a small boy named George was looking for his paper sailboat in the street sewer drain but instead found Pennywise waiting for him.


It was a cultural phenomenon; you’d be hard up to find a person who hasn’t heard of the movie, and most people have seen it. The second part of the mini-series was not as scary or entertaining as the first, but when you watch the film in its entirety it isn’t bad. There have long been rumors of a remake, and it looks like it’s finally going to happen in 2016, but I don’t know how anyone could capture the pure essence of terror that Tim Curry and the original It film invoked. Director Tommy Lee Wallace’s It was memorable, one of a kind, and absolutely terrifying to not only a four year old kid but to everyone who watched it.

I give It partial credit for the love I’ve had for horror cinema throughout my life. Let’s all give thanks to the film that instilled a permanent fear of clowns in so many of our peers on this day 25 years ago.

Jessica Creator of The Nightmare Network