Derry, Maine – 1990
A young girl, Laurie Anne, rides up to her home on a tricycle. Her mother, Mrs. Winterbarger, is bringing in the sheets and sees her daughter, and calls her in. When she goes inside, Laurie Anne hears a man giggling and calling to her from between the remaining sheets. The girl sees the man and starts to approach him... A minute later, Mrs. Winterbarger comes out, sees what's left of her daughter, and screams.
The police arrive and secure the murder scene, and the local librarian, Mike Hanlon, comes by. He talks to the deputy, Sam, who warns him that Chief Andrew Rademacher doesn't want him poking around in the recent spate of murders and disappearances among Derry's children. Unimpressed, Mike asks Sam what he has, and the deputy says that Laurie Anne's body was torn up and no one saw what happened. Rademacher and comes over and says that the other six children could have simply wandered away, but Mike notes that at least two of them were too young to leave home. The librarian insists that something is terribly wrong in Derry, but Rademacher tells him to stick to running the library. As Mike goes, he sees a photo laying on the yard and picks it up. It's an old photo of a young boy that Mike recognizes.
At his office that night, Mike makes a journal entry talking about how the photo couldn't have been there. He considers calling the "others," but worries that he may be overreacting. Finally Mike takes out a small black book and starts dialing numbers.
Strong>Hampstead Heath, England
Horror writer Bill Denbrough is working on the screenplay for the movie based on his novel. His wife, Audra, is starring in the movie that is being filmed nearby. She calls him to supper and Bill finally breaks himself away from his work. Audra argues that even in England he's still working, but Bill insists that he has to keep the producers from ruining his work. The phone ring and Bill takes the call: it's Mike. Bill has no idea for a moment, but then remembers that they were childhood friends. As he concentrates, Bill remembers himself, Mike, and five other children standing at the side of the lake, vowing to return and kill It if it isn't dead. Mike isn't surprised at Bill's amnesia, and tells him that It is back and left the photo of Bill's younger brother Georgie at the new murder scene. Bill hangs up and goes back to his study, telling Audra that it was a wrong number. Once he's alone, Bill starts to remember what happened in 1960.
Bill is home sick with the flu during a storm and his brother Georgie comes in and asks him for a story. Bill starts to tell him to get lost, but then gives his brother a newspaper boat. Stuttering, he tells Georgie to go to the basement and get some paraffin so they can waterproof it. Georgie does so, running quickly down the steps and up again out of fear of whatever is lurking in the darkness. Once Bill waterproofs it, Georgie kisses him on the cheek and starts to run out. Bill tell him to be careful.
Outside, Georgie chases the boat down as it floats on the rainwater streaming down the gutter. Before he can stop it, the newspaper is swept down a gutter. Georgie starts to go, but someone in the sewer calls to him. It's a clown, who offers Georgie a balloon. When Georgie says he can't accept gifts from strangers, the clown introduces himself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Georgie starts to go but Pennywise offers him the boat. When Georgie reaches for it, Pennywise bares fangs, promises Georgie that he'll float in the sewers, and grabs his arm.
A few days later, Bill and his parents attend Georgie's funeral. Also present are Bill's six friends. Afterward, Bill goes to his brother's room and looks at Georgie's collection of old photos. He finally comes to a photo of Georgie, which comes to life to him, smiles, and winks. Terrified, Bill throws the photo album into a corner, but the pages flip open on their own and turn to the photo of Georgie. Blood oozes out from beneath the photo and covers the floor. When Bill screams, his parents hear him and enter the room. However, they can't see or feel the blood, and Mr. Denbrough tells Bill never to enter Georgie's room again.
Bill realizes that he forgot Georgie's murder and the blood. He goes out and tells Audra that he has to go Derry and that the producer, Greco, will have to finish the script on his own. Bill explains that his friend Mike called, and that Georgie didn't just die as a child but was murdered. Audra wonders why he didn't mention it, and Bill explains that he didn't remember it himself until Mike called. Stuttering for the first time in years, Bill explains that he has to go back and keep his promise. Audra says that she's going with him, and an increasingly desperate Bill makes her promise that she'll stay far away from Derry before he leaves for the airport.
New York, New York
Architect Ben Hanscomb returns from an award ceremony with his newest girlfriend Cyndi on his arm. They go into his warehouse apartment and start to kiss, and Ben explains that he was incredibly fat as a boy. The phone rings and Ben answers it and realizes that it's Mike, who he just now remembers. Mike calls him "Haystack," and Ben immediately sobers up. He has a memory flash of an older boy, Henry Bowers, pulling a knife on him in Derry. Mike tells him that It has come back and asks if Ben will come back, and Ben says that he will. He hangs up and pours himself a drink. When Cyndi wonders if he's going to kill himself, Ben says it might be better if he did. He walks out on Cyndi and drives to one of his buildings under construction, and takes the elevator to the top floor to remember.
Ben and his mother Arlene arrive in Derry from Texas and Ben talks about himself during his first day in class. With some prodding from the teacher, Mrs. Douglas, Ben says that he likes reading books about ancient civilizations. Henry Bower and his friends Patrick and Belch mock Ben from the back of the class. As Ben goes to his desk, he notices a young girl, Beverly Marsh, looking at him. He smiles at her and she smiles back. Henry keeps insulting Ben until Mrs. Douglas puts him in detention for a week. Henry complains that his father will beat him because he can't do chores after school, but Mrs. Douglas points out he should have thought of that before. As Henry goes to the principal's office, he tells Ben that he's dead. As class ends, Mrs. Douglas tells the students to remember the curfew. Outside, Ben looks around nervously for Henry and his friends, and Beverly sneaks up on him. They talk briefly and two girls and make snide remarks about Beverly and the fact her father is the school janitor. Beverly says goodbye to Ben and goes.
As Ben walks home, muttering Beverly's name over and over, Henry, Belch, and Patrick ambush him on a bridge going over the Barrens, an overgrown piece of forest on the outskirts of Derry. Patrick and Belch hold Ben, figuring that henry just plans to beat him up. However, Henry draws a switchblade and prepares to carve his name into ben's stomach. Yanking free, Ben kicks Henry in the groin and falls backward down a slope and into the Barrens. Running, he finally takes refuge in a drain pipe. The three bullies spot two boys, Bill and Eddie Kaspbrak, building a dam over the stream. They kick it apart and ask if the boys have seen Ben. When Bill and Eddie refuse to answer, Henry yanks away Eddie's asthma inhaler, giving Eddie a stress-induced asthma attack. After they leave, Eddie discovers that his inhaler is empty. Ben comes out from hiding and introduces himself, and offers to stay with Eddie while Bill rides to the drugstore on his huge silver Schwinn, nicknamed "Silver."
As Ben and Eddie wait, they talk about their fathers. Ben's died in the war while Eddie's passed away from cancer. As Bill returns, Eddie tells Ben not to make fun of Bill's stuttering, which has grown worse since Georgie was murdered. Once Eddie is better, he and Bill invite Ben to come back the next day and help with the dam. Ben instinctively knows how to build an effective dam and says that he'll show them how, and they say that he can do it with them.
Later at his Aunt Jean's house, Ben writes a haiku to Beverly on a postcard. His cousin Bradley comes in and yanks it away, teasing him, and Ben hits him. Aunt Jean see them fighting and blames Ben, and tells him that he and his mother are only living there because she won't see her sister living in poverty. Jean complains to Arlene, who tells Ben that they have no choice but to stay with her. Ben insists that they wouldn't be living like poor relatives if his father was alive, and runs off rather than apologizes. He goes back to the Barrens and a lake next to a sewer plant. His father, still wearing his Air Force uniform, appears while standing on the top of the water. He tells Ben that he lives in the sewers and offers him a balloon from a batch that suddenly appear in his hand. Orange pompoms appear on his jacket and he tells Ben that he can come to the sewers and never have to grow up, and that he'll float like all the other. Ben's father transforms into Pennywise, laughs, and disappears, and a skeleton crawls out of the lake toward Ben. He runs away as it tells him that he'll float.
Ben can't remember anything at all for the moment. He drops his bottle of booze to the sidewalk far below and pleads for the memories to stop.
Fashion designer Beverly Marsh is working with her boyfriend and partner, Tom Rogan, when her secretary tells her that she has a call. Tom tells the secretary that they're not to be interrupted and overrides Beverly when she considers taking the call. He then assures his girlfriend that everything will be fine and she needs to get control of herself for their imminent meeting with the Japanese investors. As they go to meet them, Tom tells Beverly never to contradict him again or else.
That night, Beverly and Tom return to their apartment to celebrate the successful deal. After sex, Tom goes to get more champagne from the refrigerator. The phone rings and Beverly answers it. It's Mike, who tells her to brace herself. When Tom comes back, he discovers that Beverly is packing for a trip. She tells him that she has to go to Maine and he slaps her, telling her that she's forgotten her "lessons." He gets a belt from the closet and prepares to beat her, but Beverly insists that she has to go to Maine. When he comes after her, Beverly throws her cosmetic jars at him until she hits him in the head and knocks him down. She tells Tom that she'll kill him if she ever sees him again and then hails a taxi to the airport to catch a flight to Maine.
Beverly is at home when the doorbell rings. She answers it but only finds a postcard with a haiku on it. Unaware that Ben is hiding in the bushes nearby, Beverly takes it inside and starts to read it. Her father, Al Marsh, yanks it away from her, reads it, and wonders if she's messing around with boys. He slaps her and she runs out of the house, ignoring his screams to come back. Ben follows her and offers to take her to the Barrens. Beverly accepts and Ben introduces her to Eddie and Bill. She's smitten with Bill and vice versa, upsetting Ben. Their other two friends, Richie Tozier and Stan Uris, join them. Richie talks constantly and makes jokes, and Stan is quiet and clean. Ben directs them in building a proper dam and they soon have the stream backed up and flooding the Barrens.
Afterward, Ben and Bill walk Beverly home. Bill rides off on his bicycle and Beverly looks after him. After Ben goes, Beverly goes inside and prepares for bed, washing her face. A child's voice calls up to her from the drain, asking for help. The girl says that the clown has them in the sewers and she and all of the others float. The other children cry out, and a balloon comes up out of the drain. It pops, showering Beverly and the room with blood. She runs out of the room, screaming, and her father wonders if a boy was peering in the window. Beverly takes him into the bathroom to show him the blood, but she quickly realizes that her father can't see or feel it. She tells him that she saw a spider and was scared, and he dismisses her concern. Once he leaves, Pennywise calls from the drain and tells her and her friends to stop give up or they'll die.
Great Neck, New York
After receiving Mike's call, Eddie Kaspbrak packs all of his numerous medications. His mother demands to know where he's going and he insists that he has to go back to Derry. Mrs. Kaspbrak says that there's nothing there for him, but he ignores her and goes out to meet one of his limo company's rides. The chauffeur, Joey, assures him that they have enough drivers lined up to cover business. Eddie thanks him and they head to Penn Station.
The six friends are at the Paramount Theater in Derry, watching I Was a Teenage Werewolf. They notice that Henry, Patrick, and Belch are sitting below, but the bullies haven't noticed them. Beverly buries her head in Ben's arm at the scary parts, much to his satisfaction. Eddie jerks at a scary part and knocks his popcorn off the balcony rail onto to the bullies, who start to come after them. Richie pours his pop on them and they all run out, laughing. At the Barrens, they pass by the lake and the sewer plant, and then go by Eddie's home. He admits that he doesn't want the summer to end because it's been the best time of his life. Mrs. Kaspbrak comes out and tells him that he won't be playing with them anymore, and that Eddie doesn't friends when he has a caring mother. As she takes him inside, Mrs. Kaspbrak tells her son that he won't be participating in gym at school or taking any showers, to make sure that he doesn't catch anything.
The next day at school, the coach insists that Eddie take a shower after gym. The boy goes into the showers alone and turns on the water, but the shower heads come to life and surround him, spraying hot water. Pennywise calls out from the drain and then pulls the opening wide and climbs out. He tells Eddie that he'll see him in his dreams.
Eddie arrives at Penn Station and takes the train to Derry.
Beverly Hills, California
Richie Tozier is finishing a standup routine on a TV talk show. Backstage he celebrates with his friends and gets the call from Mike. Once he's done, he tells his agent, Nat, that he's cancelling all of his engagements for the foreseeable future and heading to Maine. Nat objects and warns that Richie is writing off his career if he backs out of his commitments, but the comedian doesn't care. Richie insists that he has to keep his promise. After Nat leaves, Richie has a brief flash of a werewolf from his childhood and vomits into the toilet. Once he finishes, he remembers the rest of the encounter.
Bill tells one of his fictional stories to his friends and they talk about what they want to do when they grow up. Bill starts to tell them about what happened with Georgie's photo album, but Officer Nell of the Derry Police arrives to investigate reports that the sewers are backed up. Each of the six friends tries to take the blame, but Nell tells them that there's been another death and that if they play in the Barrens, they're to come together as a group and never be caught alone.
The next day at school, Richie and Stan are getting food when Henry and his friends corner them and demand to know who spilled the pop on them. Richie refuses to talk, and Henry smears mashed potatoes on his glasses. Richie upsets his tray on Henry and runs, and Henry slips on some of the mashed potatoes chasing him. As the other students laugh at Henry, Richie runs into a teacher, Mr. Gedreau. Gedreau sends him to find the janitor, Al Marsh, to come mop up the mess. Richie goes to the boiler room to find Mr. Marsh but gets no response. He finally sees someone moving behind the boilers, but the figure emerges and reveals that it's the werewolf from the movie Richie was watching. It grabs Richie, who yanks away and starts running. When he turns back, he sees that it is Pennywise, who waves and bares his fangs and tells Richie to come back anytime he wants. Richie runs up to the cafeteria and tries to tell the students what happened, but the only ones who believe him are his five friends.
At his office at the Derry Library, Mike looks at a photo of himself and the other six, and hopes that whatever protected the "Lucky Seven" that summer is still present.
Mike gives a presentation to the class on the disasters which have occurred in Derry over the centuries. Among them are the explosion at the Ironworks in 1930 during an Easter egg hunt, the destruction of the standpoint in 1900, and the disappearance of the original 253 settlers shortly after the town's first founding. Mike has a book of photos which he shows to the class. As he goes home afterward, Henry and his gang ambush Mike and yank the album away. Henry reminds Mike that he and his father have done everything they can to ruin the Bowers farm, and prepares to put a lit firecracker in Mike's pants. When a shopkeeper yells at Henry to stop, Mike takes advantage of the distraction, grabs his album and his camera, and runs away.
The six friends are at the junkyard and have finally decided to tell each other about their separate encounters with Pennywise. They realize that it takes on the image of whatever they fear, and that once one of them sees it a certain way, the others can see it that way as well. Stan hasn't had an encounter with Pennywise, and insists that it's impossible for it to function as it does. They hear Henry and the others chasing Mike, and Bill tells them to pick up rocks as ammo. Mike climbs over a fence and gets inside the junkyard. Henry and his friends arrive, and Henry tells the six friends that they can walk away for now because Mike is the one he wants. He calls them the "Losers Club" and goes for Mike, but Bill throws a rock at him. The other Losers open fire, hitting Henry repeatedly. He throws rocks back and hits Beverly, and Ben goes berserk, knocking the bully to the ground. Henry's friends run away and Bill tells Henry that the six of them will put him in the hospital if he doesn't go. Mike steps forward and says that there are seven of them now. Henry runs off, promising to kill them the next time they meet. Mike thanks them for their help and they invite him to join their Losers Club. When he accepts, Mike takes the photo of the seven of them together.
Afterward, Mike shows them his collection of historical photos and posters. Pennywise is in all of them, never changing. The album suddenly comes to life like Georgie's, and it stops at a photo of a turn-of-the-century carnival. Pennywise is among the circus performers, and runs up into the foreground of the photo. Climbing up a lamp pole, he tells the Losers that he'll kill them all. His hand emerges from the photo and Stan knocks the album to the ground. Hysterical, he can't bring himself to accept what he saw is real. The others assure him that he's not going insane, and Stan reluctantly accepts it because they want him to. When he wonders who they can turn to, Bill warns that the adults can't see Pennywise because they grew up. Crying, Bill begs his friends to help and the others hug him and promise that they will.
Mike wakes up from a doze and sees muddy clown shoe prints on the floor of the library. Turning, he sees a balloon floating right next to him. It pops and Pennywise's laughter echoes out.
Stan and his wife Patti are watching TV, and she mentions that her grandmother is wondering when they're going to make her a grandmother. Stan sits down next to her and they kiss, but the phone rings and Stan answers it. It's Mike, who tells him that It has come back and asks if Stan will keep his promise. Stan will only say that he'll consider it. After Mike hangs up, Stan says that he's going to take an early bath. Stunned, he walks upstairs and remembers the past.
Stan and the others are at the Barrens. While he recites his Boy Scout oath to hold onto his slipping sanity, the others take turns shooting at bottles with Bill's slingshot. Beverly is clearly the best shot, hitting ten out of ten, and they realize that it was meant to be. Richie has stolen a pair of his mother's silver earrings and they plan to use them as ammunition. The seven Losers go to the sewer plant and promise that they'll go in together and face It. Each of them takes a shot of Eddie's inhaler, Stan last, and they go inside. Henry, Belch, and Patrick watch from the bushes, and Henry vows that the Losers won't come out alive.
The Losers find a tunnel leading down into the sewer and descend. Once they're out of site, Henry tells a reluctant Patrick to go on ahead and scare the kids back toward him and Belch. When Patrick tries to back out rather than go alone, Henry calls him chicken until he gives in.
Once they're in the tunnels, Ben finds an orange pompom and they wonder who is tracking who. Eddie, who has an unfailing internal compass, leads them to the center and Beverly takes point so she'll have a clear shot.
Patrick is looking for the Losers when a glowing light beneath the floor comes toward him. It emerges, glowing with light, and Patrick screams in terror as it attacks him.
Stan trails behind the others and Henry and Belch grab him and haul him off to a side tunnel. Henry starts flicking off shirt buttons with his switchblade and then prepares to kill Stan. Before he can, a glowing white light comes toward them through a wall pipe. It smashes through the pipe and lifts Belch up into the air, pulling him backward into the much-too-narrow pipe. Stan runs away while Henry stares in horror, his hair turning white.
The other Losers have found the central juncture of the sewers, and realize that Stan is missing. He manages to find them and they join hands, forming a circle. It soars over them in some vast indescribable form and then continues into the sewers. Mist pours into the central chamber and the seven friends join hands to avoid being separated and cut off. Bill tells the others to resist, but hesitates when he hears Georgie call to him. Before he can run off, the others tell him that it's another of Its illusions. Georgie disappears, but Al Marsh calls out to his daughter. Richie insists that there's no one there, but has to face his own horrors when were wolf claws grab his shoulders. He tells the werewolf to get lost and the claws disappear.
Stan is still trying to hold onto his sanity in the face of the impossible, reciting his Boy Scout's oath. He looks down and realizes that he's holding Pennywise's hand. The clown slams Stan into the wall and demands that he give into his fear, making his flesh that much sweeter. Beverly tries to shoot but drops the earrings, and Pennywise bears Its fangs. Stepping forward, Eddie says that his asthma medicine tastes like battery acid and sprays it into Pennywise's face. Screaming, It falls back, Its face melting from the 'acid" that Eddie believes exists. Beverly finds the earring and shoots, cracking open a hole in Pennywise's head. A bright white light shoots out, and a badly wounded Pennywise leaps over them and slithers down a drain before Beverly can shoot the second earring. Bill grabs the clown's hand and tries to keep it from escaping, but the hand transforms into a tentacle and slithers free. As It shrieks in agony, fleeing into the pipes, Bill says that they have to follow and make sure that it's dying, but the others say that it has to be mortally wounded. Bill finally gives in and leaves with the others. Before they go, Bill insists that they all must swear that if It survives and comes back, that they'll all return to Derry and finish the job. One by one, each of the others swears, Stan going last.
When Stan doesn't come back, Patti goes upstairs with a beer to check on her husband. She opens the door and finds Stan naked in the bathtub, his clothes neatly folded on the chair. He has cut his wrists and written a single word on the wall: "It."