Pennywise: The Story of IT
Pennywise: The Story of IT is a documentary exploring the production of the cult classic 1990 miniseries inspired by Stephen King’s novel IT, bringing the cast and crew – including Tim Curry himself, who played the iconic villain Pennywise the Clown – together to offer behind-the-scenes insights into the creation of the series, as well as thoughts on its enduring popularity and legacy more than 30 years after it first aired.
Owing to both the storied production history of the miniseries and the massive cultural impact it has had on audiences since 1990, Pennywise: The Story of IT is a fairly long documentary, clocking in at two hours. While there are a few parts that feel somewhat superfluous or repetitive, for the most part, the documentary uses its runtime well, covering IT’s development from initial pitches to casting calls, to filming and editing, as comprehensively as possible. There are a lot of fascinating details revealed throughout, which go a long way in keeping audiences engrossed.
The majority of the piece’s explorations are through interviews with most of the original cast, as well as director Tommy Lee Wallace and screenwriter Lawrence D Cohen, accompanied by archival footage to keep things visually interesting. There’s also a fair amount of analysis to break up the interviews, with cast, crew and even clowns weighing in on the finished product, and Pennywise in particular. Curry’s praises are deservingly sung throughout the documentary, although it does feel like the man’s own insights don’t get all the screentime they needed for an exploration of one of his most famous roles.
Overall, Pennywise: The Story of IT is a solid documentary, exploring the history of a cult horror classic in great detail and celebrating its lasting influence on both the horror genre and pop culture as a whole. While it does suffer from pacing and editing issues, the depth and breadth of the documentary’s coverage help to make the viewing experience feel more engaging. It might be a bit of a tougher watch for viewers with only a passing interest in IT, but for fans of Pennywise or horror aficionados in general there’s a lot to love here.
Pennywise: The Story of IT is available on digital download from 3rd October and Blu-ray and DVD from 24th October 2022.
Watch the trailer for Pennywise: The Story of IT here: