Review: ‘Pennywise: The Story of It’ is a fascinating deep dive into the 1990 miniseries

Pennywise the clown bares his teeth
Image via Loriman Television
Review of: Pennywise: The Story of It

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Rating:
4
On August 26, 2022
Last modified:August 31, 2022

Summary:

Pennywise: The Story of It is a fascinating and engrossing deep dive into the 1990 It miniseries and its impact upon a generation of horror fans.

Pennywise: The Story of It

The release of the It miniseries was a seminal moment in horror. Premiering on US TV screens in November of 1990 over the course of two nights, the Tommy Lee Wallace directed It took Stephen King’s sprawling novel and adapted it into three hours and 20 minutes of terror in which a demonic killer clown terrorizes a small town in Maine, until a group of outcast kids stands up to this eater of souls.

Viewers around the world felt the psychological scars of It, with Tim Curry’s now legendary portrayal of Pennywise the Clown, especially, searing itself into the minds of a generation of horror fans, young and old. Those who claim a fear of clowns often cite Pennywise as the reason why.

John Campopiano and Chris Griffiths, filmmakers who have made names for themselves with their own respective documentaries into horror classics such as Pet Semetary and Hellraiser, take their particular set of skills to create the ultimate deep dive into the making and legacy of It. The end result, Pennywise: The Story of It, is as informative, engrossing, and well-crafted a deep dive documentary you will watch.

Pennywise: The Story of It begins with Stephen King’s inspiration into the creation of 1986’s It novel and spirals out to topics such as coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) and the universally despised reaction to the series’ “giant spider” conclusion. The doc is a treasure trove of riches for fans not only of horror but the process of filmmaking and all its facets.

The real draw of Pennywise: The Story of It is the excellent behind-the-scenes archival footage coupled with new interviews with the series’ cast and crew, including the likes of Seth Green, Emily Perkins, and series director Tommy Lee Wallace.

Of most note is the presence of Pennywise himself, Tim Curry. Confined to a wheelchair and partially paralyzed as the result of a stroke suffered in 2012, Curry still cuts a magnetic presence who wows with his recollection of portraying Pennywise, such as the glee in terrorizing his young castmates, as well as the torture of an arduous make-up process that almost led to Curry quitting the role.

Pennywise: The Story of It is jam-packed with superbly researched and presented footage, trivia, and little-known-titbits from the mouths of those who made it. In an ever-increasing market of deep-dive documentaries into influential pop culture movies, Pennywise: The Story of It is one of the best yet.

Pennywise: The Story of It is available to stream on Screambox and Amazon Prime Video.

Pennywise: The Story of It
Great

Pennywise: The Story of It is a fascinating and engrossing deep dive into the 1990 It miniseries and its impact upon a generation of horror fans.