Review: ‘Pennywise – The Story of IT’ Documentary

Pennywise – The Story Of It is a new in-depth documentary about the 1990 cult hit mini-series, based on Stephen King’s iconic novel IT. The documentary tells a story heard by few and showcases a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage and photos seen by even fewer.
The film is co-directed by John Campopiano and Christopher Griffiths, this behind-the-scenes deep dive features interviews with many of the cult classic’s key players, including director Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III, Fright Night II) and cast members Tim Curry (Rocky Horror, Hunt For Red October, Congo, Home Alone II), triple Emmy Winner Seth Green (Family Guy, Robot Chicken, Austin Powers), and Emmy Winner Richard Thomas (The Waltons, The Americans, Wonder Boys).

From investigating the cultural phenomenon of coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) to Tim Curry’s magical portrayal of the notorious clown monster, this story promises to dig deeper into the Pennywise phenomenon than ever before.

This in-depth documentary takes us back to the start as IT begins it’s journey to the small screen even before the original novel is released. Once the novel is released and is a big hit the pressure is on even more for the team to adapt this story to screen within the limitations of Television at the time in an age before big budget fantasy shows like Game Of Thrones and Stranger Things. The documentary features in-depth interviews with writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace & writer Lawrence D. Cohen as well as fresh interviews with most of the cast including the legendary Tim Curry.

Stephen King himself however only appears via archive footage. It is interesting to learn how the young cast and adult cast were able to work together to bring cohesion to their performances of the same characters as well as some of the limitations and struggles the writers and film-makers went through with bringing this incredible story to the small screen.
On a secondary level the film provides a brief but fascinating look at Coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) and the impact of IT on how society views clowns as well as it’s lasting pop cultural impact. The film also contains excellent never before seen behind-the-scenes footage and sections dealing with the creation of the iconic Pennywise make-up and a look at the many practical and visual effects used in the series from the people that made them happen.

‘Pennywise: The Story of It’ is another fascinating and well made documentary from the team at Cult Screenings whose previous films include You’re So Cool Brewster – The Story of Fright Night and Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II. It is a must-watch for fans of the mini series but also has a wider appeal for those interested in the ‘behind-the-scenes’ and process of TV & Film. The film is accompanied by an excellent score from Sean Schafer Hennessy that pays homage to Emmy-award winning Richard Bellis score from the mini series.

5/5


The UK DVD and Blu-Ray release includes bonus material, with the Blu-Ray containing more than 45 minutes of special features and exclusive limited edition art poster

Pennywise: The Story of IT is available now on Digital Download and will be available on Blu-ray & DVD from 24th October from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.
The UK DVD and Blu-Ray release includes bonus material, with the Blu-Ray containing more than 45 minutes of special features and exclusive limited edition art poster

Pre-order the BluRay now from Amazon UK or Amazon US
Pre-order the DVD now from Amazon UK

Watch on Prime Video UK
Watch on Prime Video US/ScreamBox


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