Pennywise: The Story of IT – Documentary Review
Follow Genre: Documentary
Director: John Campopiano, Chris Griffiths
Distributor: Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Duration: 123 minutes

Pennywise: The Story of IT – Documentary Review

Site Score
Good: Nicely made, A lot of interesting information
Bad: Feels like bonus content for a DVD
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Stephen King’s IT has always been a very popular story, be it because of the ’90s mini-series or the modernized movies that spawned in 2017 and 2019. Many fans will often debate which iteration is the best, but credit should be given where credit is due: the ’90s mini-series put the ghastly clown on the map, and it frightened more than enough (younger) viewers. This series, which was aired directly on TV, has gained a massive cult status over the years. Now, 22 years later, an interesting documentary has been made to revisit the creative process behind the iconic tale.

Truth be told, we could make this review extremely short and simply state that you’re getting a solid documentary about how the IT mini-series came to life. Nonetheless, the way it is presented is very interesting, and you’ll get roughly two hours worth of actual content. The documentary handles several topics in-depth, ranging from the typical hurdles the production team had to overcome to other aspects such as casting. We do have to say that the documentary sometimes felt a bit chaotic with how it went from one person to another before wrapping up certain aspects.

We were actually quite surprised to see how hard it was to take Stephen King’s original work and compress it into roughly three hours of television. The project was also quite unique for that time, as it was a proper horror series that would be aired on TV, and thus it would be accessible to young and old. It was interesting to see how much effort and time it took to compress the story and also who worked on the project.

Casting was also a very important aspect of the production, as the networks had approved cast members the team was allowed to work with, and thus they also needed to find children that had similarities with the older characters, as IT plays itself out during two different time periods. The first story arc will have the children fight the demonic clown, while in the second arc the adult versions of the earlier shown kids will have to face off once again. This also presented the casting directors with some hurdles they needed to overcome. We then also get opinions of said cast members and we get to see many of the children all grown up, and how they look now. The documentary also delves into the tragic loss of Jonathan Brandis and John Ritter. We do regret that Harry Anderson, who passed away more recently, didn’t get a similar tribute. That being said, we were extremely pleased to see Tim Curry also be a part of the documentary, especially after the stroke he suffered nearly a decade ago.

The documentary further delves into the outfits, the make-up of Pennywise, and some other practical effects, such as the massive spider they had to build. Most of this content was quite interesting to see. Perhaps our only regret here is that Stephen King himself did not make an appearance.


When being completely honest, even though we loved the content that was shown in the documentary, we couldn’t help shake that feeling that this was supposed to go in the extras section of a 4K rerelease of the original series. We constantly felt this was something to watch after watching the series, to then dive into this specific documentary. That being said, fans of the series will certainly get a kick out of this one. We did regret that Stephen King did not make an appearance himself.

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