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Why We Should Enjoy ‘IT’ 2017 Without Comparing to ‘IT’ 1990

“When it comes to IT and Pennywise the Clown, there’s enough room in our cinematic universe for both adaptations and interpretations to coexist.”

As we approach the much anticipated opening night of IT on the silver screen, I ask you to consider this question: is it really worth your time to compare the miniseries and this new version, to position one film against the other?

For me, the answer is no.

Before jumping in (the sewer) I think it’s worth noting that I’ve been a superfan of the book and ABC miniseries since the mid-1990s. In recent years, I’ve also become a sort-of collector of memorabilia from said miniseries (production swag, a screen-used costume, pins, fanny packs, autographed laserdiscs, and…you get the idea). It’s also worth noting that I’m one of the filmmakers behind the new documentary film, Pennywise: The Story of IT (starring Tim Curry), currently in production. So, clearly, my appreciation for IT—both book and miniseries–is well documented.

Let me also say that I’m so glad Andy Muschietti’s version of IT exists and will be unleashed upon moviegoers starting tonight. In fact, I just returned from Hollywood where I attended the world premiere, with cast and crew in attendance. Wild horses wouldn’t have been able to drag me away from the theatre this past Tuesday night.

Pennywise IT

All that said, I’m well aware of the flaws that exist in the 90s miniseries. Those flaws—as well as the successes—have been discussed at great length across the Interwebs and beyond, so they won’t get much airtime here. I’m not here to convince you why I think the miniseries is great and why I feel it sometimes gets a bad rap. Instead, I’d rather challenge you to try and appreciate both as two distinct bodies of work entirely because I think, if you can, you might get more out of them.

Andy Muschietti’s upcoming adaptation of IT is not a remake of the 1990 miniseries. Calling it a remake (or reboot or redo) suggests that his version is utilizing the miniseries as its source material. But as many of us know, the real source material is the 1986 tome penned by The Master himself, Stephen King. And while the end results of both Tommy Lee Wallace’s vision and that of Andy Muschietti’s are no doubt unified in that they are filmic adaptations of King’s written work, they are inherently different.

They were created in different eras, under different circumstances, with drastically distinct resources, for a different medium, and ultimately experienced (at least initially in 1990) by a different kind of audience.

Those last two differences (medium and audience) are worth looking at more closely. The expectations imposed on a film destined for network television (in this case ABC) will always differ from those imposed on one destined for the theater—particularly if it’s given an R-rating. Also, keep in mind TV audiences of the late 1980s/early 1990s were not yet conditioned to the intensity, sexuality, and on-screen violence we now accept as commonplace thanks to the likes of “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones.” Even in 1989, the AIDS epidemic was still very much in the headlines, so the sharing of blood in the Lucky 7’s blood oath from the book, for example, was obviously not going to fly on network television. Tommy Lee Wallace skirted some of these obstacles by harnessing the horror in other ways, oftentimes by relying less on jump scares and more on creating an unsettling atmosphere to contrast against the kids and their stories. Some of this spooky subtlety is one of the reasons I think the miniseries works.

Yet even by today’s standards, direct violence on and oppression towards children is considered somewhat taboo. Thankfully for Muschietti & Co., one of the gifts of having a theatrical project with an R-rating is having that broader, artistic license to create something darker and more sinister—to push the boundaries even further. And I think it’s that amount and variety of terror in a film that can dictate who the audience ends up being.

If you’re of a certain vintage, you either first saw the miniseries when it aired over two nights in November 1990 or—if you were slightly too young to stay up and catch the broadcast, like me—you experienced it with the help of your local video rental store. In either scenario, our small screen relationship with the miniseries was an important part of that initial viewing experience as well as our nostalgia for it looking back.

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion and it can come into play when a film we cherish from our younger years is interpreted in a new way. But instead of succumbing to the half-true notion that “nostalgia” is a dirty word or retrogressive emotion, I accept that for many of us it’s one of the many reasons we cherish the miniseries. It’s the genesis behind comments like, “Yeah, but he’s not Tim Curry.” Some can’t get past the idea of anyone but Curry playing Pennywise the Clown. It’s our nostalgia for certain films and characters that can allow us to accept their flaws (maybe even sympathize and enjoy them) while focusing on their strengths—sometimes to the point of romanticizing them. It’s all just part of our personal histories with films and how our opinions of them evolve as the years go by.

While nostalgia plays a role in keeping fans loyal to the miniseries, it’s clear to those who have read the book that the film strays from King’s story. For some of us our very first experience with the Losers’ Club was in the miniseries—not the book. It’s clear to those who’ve read the book that plenty was left out and changed in order to accommodate myriad things (runtime, the audience, etc.). King’s work is so extensive, it’s inevitable that there would be deviations. Though our sneak peaks of the new version suggest certain elements will be truer to the book, we’re going to see other kinds of deviations. But it’s another reason why I won’t compare 1990 and 2017: each represent a unique interpretation of a book of enormous size and depth. Much like the miniseries, Muschietti’s version may overlook or change certain things, but I have confidence that these decisions were made for good reasons and with pure intentions. At the end of the day, it’s just the nature of the beast.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t dig a little deeper into the portrayal of Pennywise. Much like the films themselves, I don’t believe it does a service to either Tim Curry or Bill Skarsgård to stack their portrayals of Pennywise against each other. The innate brilliance and versatility of both Curry and Skarsgård as actors is surely one of the reasons why both were cast in the first place. Curry brought his own flavor to Pennywise, transcending the even-then legendary role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and allowed audiences to get lost in his dead lights. From what we’ve seen by way of trailers and sneak peaks, Skarsgård is bound to do the same—but with his own flavors. Because King’s source material is so robust and rich, there’s plenty of room to explore and play with how Pennywise is interpreted and realized on-screen. Again, like the films themselves, both performances should (and will) stand on their own.

Whether it’s to satisfy a tamer TV audience within the confines of 192 minute miniseries, or a diehard horror community with two highly anticipated theatrical films, both attempts to bring King’s story to life are nothing short of heroic—by filmmaking standards. It’s a challenging book with challenging characters and themes. That the writers and filmmakers involved in both have given it a go is good enough for me. As a fan, it’s all I’ve ever wanted.

So, when it comes to IT and Pennywise the Clown, there’s enough room in our cinematic universe for both adaptations and interpretations to coexist. If we can adopt that mindset, we’ll all be able to appreciate both—independently—for what they are and what they aren’t.



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COMMENTS

82 Comments
  • Graham

    Very thoughtful article. I’m not a huge fan of the original miniseries, but I definitely respect its efforts, and there are elements of it that I think work incredibly well. These two films really will be very distinct in many ways, and comparing the two as if they were cut from the same cloth would be to completely lose sight of that.

  • Aslinn McIntyre

    Excellent article. To be perfectly honest, I was hugely disappointed in the TV miniseries, but loved the performance of Tim Curry. There were a few good moments, especially with the kids, but the adult actors just weren’t right for the movie. I don’t judge the miniseries based on constraints of TV back in the day, TV limitations are what they are from decade to decade. Still there is a fondness for the TV miniseries and I even bought to make it a part of my movie collection. I am excited for the new version and I will give it an honest go. Frankly, I was not sure I liked the looks of Pennywise for the movie. He looked too European, but then, I read It again and remembered the scene with grown Bev and Mrs. Kersh and how she spoke in that weird German/Bavarian accent and I thought differently of it. Thanks for the article and I will be excited to see the documentary about the making of Pennywise the Clown. I love Tim Curry.

  • The miniseries is a joke, it’s terribly campy and low quality.

  • Jay Bennett

    Such a well written piece. This is exactly the type of material hollywood should remake, properties that have a following likely to draw big crowds that have not been handled incredibly well in the past, (unlike ‘perfect’ 80/90s movies that still hold there own *cough* Robocop and Ghostbusters *cough*). This is a remake I’ll be seeing on the opening night (when it eventually opens in my closest cinema).

  • Tibor Molenaar

    The miniseries is a joke, it’s terribly campy and low quality.

  • Pete

    Couldn’t agree more! Exactly my thoughts! You nailed it. Saw the movie yesterday in Germany
    and I love it. I’m not a big fan of Mama except from Javier Botet’s performance so I was a bit worried what Andy Muschietti will bring to the table but man he delivered. In my opinion only the jump scares were pushed to the limit and some were a bit to obvious. Everything fits perfectly together actors performance, atmosphere and camera view. So as John said it’s a unique thing and I can’t wait for chapter two! Enjoy IT

  • BreeBennett

    I wanted to watch the 1990 version again before seeing the new one, but I decided not to do it. I would be comparing both and it would compromise my enjoyment of the new movie.

  • There’s nothing wrong with comparing and discussing the differences of the two, and how each adapted the story differently. But yeah, getting mad because the new Pennywise isn’t like Tim Curry is dumb IMO. If we are going to hold up any previous version of the character as standard, it should be the original Stephen King version that they are both based on.

    • John Campopiano

      I never said there was anything ‘wrong’ with comparing. My point was that given how drastically different the circumstances surrounding both were, it feels slightly pointless to spend the energy comparing and contrasting. Cheers and thanks for checking out the piece.

  • Demetra

    The mini series is overrated. Only reason people praised it so much was because it was the only It adaptation out there.

  • Eddie Anguiano

    Anybody notice the significance of the 27 years between the mini-series and the new movie? Just like ‘It’ itself…

    • Yep, noticed that few weeks ago, it’s an amazing coincidence

    • Necro

      Yeah I did. Hmmm……………… Coincidence or Planned?

    • Rake

      IT is actually a brain dead studio who didn’t realize they owned the rights to Stephen King’s most easily adaptable horror story until the remake wave had plowed through every other title.

  • macguffin54

    The only reason I can think someone would post this editorial is they realize the original series was awful and how much it will pale in comparison to what has to be a superior work, and are trying to get people to soften their blows. The original may hold a nostalgic place in people’s hearts, and others can like it all they want, but the series was awful in every respect (yes, Tim Curry was good, but came off more as a sexual predator than monster, IMO). Looking back it may have all stemmed from its cheap production values/budget. Maybe more time to plan and reshoot and put it together would have yielded the work some people think they see. But, much like the adults of Derry, fans of the original are only seeing what they choose to, not what is really there (sorry, the comparison was apt so I went with it.)That is all…

    • John Campopiano

      You’re wrong about my reasons for writing this editorial, but I respect your opinion.

      • Jack Nause

        I thought this is a thoughtfully written opinion. Enjoyed reading it an agree with much. And look at all the discussion….a good thing.

    • Josh_the_Jawa

      Yeah, it’s pretty terrible upon re-watching it.

  • Bloodspatta

    It is worth comparing. The TV movie hasn’t aged well at all. Besides Tim Curry, there’s nothing really good about it. The movie on the other hand is great. Everything about it is better. It’s a lot more closer to the source material for starters.

    • Bla Blah

      Very few films really “age well” and the only pull that remains is the nostalgia factor. Even look at a great film like the wizard of oz.
      it’s very, very crappy. It hasn’t aged well either. But we still love it.
      And I disagree. This remake is good but it’s not the greatest thing ever. The CGI was really wonky at times (in particular when the clown bites Georgie’s arm, when he speaks to Eddie at the house on neinolt street, etc) and the film just sort of flounders aboutbfrom one scare to the other. It’s VERY good but it’s not world changing and hardly something that will make people afraid of clowns as the other one did.

      • DoopGremlin

        You’re painting in broad strokes. Dated doesn’t just mean effects or visuals. Its acting, music, tone, editing…

        The mini has many shortcomings due to it being a TV production filmed in the late 80s and released in 1990.

        Its filmed rather flatly and looms drab and boring. Most of the special effects are cheap and stiff looking, there’s no real sense of narrative pacing or build up, it lacks atmosphere, some of the line delivery is cringey as hell, some of the editing is awkward and unintentionally funny, the fade to blacks after scares are abrupt and utterly break the mood. And overall, it just stagnates due to being too ambitious for its own good.

        Oh, and its not scary. At all.

        So yes…its dated.

        • Bla Blah

          Oh I understand all the aspects of what makes something dated, I just disagree that this film is dated due to any of those things more so than any other film of the time. The music for me is incredibly creepy and slow, the clown costume is so generic that it works, the acting from the kids is fantastic but from the adults it kind of drag and I disagree that it’s not scary. I think this film is what caused a fear of clowns for A LOT of people. Shit, even I walk past storm drains and recall this movie. It’s not perfect but I think its a highly effective peice of work.
          The new remake COULD have been something great but when it comes to effects I think that’s where it fails as well. The clown becoming gigantic and popping out of the screen was scary but Jesus Christ it looked so cartoony and fake. A lot of the scares here are ruined because they look like shit. Georgie being killed literally had the person I was with say “Wow. Really? That sucked” because it literally look goofy. And The transformations were pretty much all 90% “I’m turning into a zombie be afraid” and would have been better if they were practical effects and not cgi. Seriously. How many times do they think rotting walking dead person will be scary. The acting was amazing sure but the child actors were great too in the last one. And again this movie also seems to lack direction. It’s just a bunch one stuff happening for awhile until it ends.
          I’m not saying the original is better, I’m just saying the remake isn’t gods gift or earth either. It’s nothing special and more than likely will not be a cultural icon like the original was at all.
          If we must compare them, I think that is the central question we have to ask. Will this movie scare kids for generations to come? Will this movie make people fear clowns and storm drains like the last. Will this movie last? My answer is no. This movie has no greater of an impact on me than Annabelle creation which was just a decent horror movie. It’s great. But not game changing. I feel like the other it movie will still continue to last way after this.

    • DoopGremlin

      The film is better, easily…but its not more accurate. The mini actually adheres far more closely to the book in many ways. The 50s setting, the building of the dam, Bill riding to get Eddie’s inhaler, the silver bullets, the werewolf, Bev and the slingshot, the bullies in the sewer hunting the kids during the climax…and probably more I’m missing. None of this is in the film.

      I’m not saying strict adherence=quality. I’m just saying, objectively, the mini actually adapts the book closer from a scene to scene basis.

  • I Am Colossus

    Probly should’ve read the article but, I hated the old made for TV movie….but I’m definitely going to be watching the theatrical release this weekend!!!! I’ve been waiting all damn summer

  • Meisha’s Taint

    I was just reading Slate.com they had Stephen King’s TOP 40 best films. It’s a long ass list check it out if you care:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/09/07/stephen_king_movies_ranked.html

    King on himself directing Maximum Overdrive: “I was coked out of my mind all through its production, and I really didn’t know what I was doing.” 🙂

  • David

    I actually cast Rainn Wilson in my head years ago. I wish I coulda seen what he would do with the role.

  • Phantom Lord

    1990 version was beyond awful. It was cheap, it was cheesy, it was poorly acted, and probably the best example of how corny King’s work can be when acted out by actors. But for some odd reason, it’s gets this undeserved, legendary gushing by horror fans. It remains to be seen if the new version is the same. Some so-so movies are getting steroid induced praise simply for tipping their hat to the PC culture so who knows. But one thing that bothers me is the black kid looks more like a senior in high school than a ten year old kid.

    • DoopGremlin

      I don’t think its all that good either…but I think the acting is one of its saving graces. Most give props to the kids but I think the adults share great chemistry.

      • Phantom Lord

        An 18 year old Seth Green playing ten year old was kind of stretching it. As for the adults, all I saw was John-Boy Walton, Jack Tripper, Lana Lang, Judge Harry Stone, Venus Fly Trap, and that kid from Breaking Away in hard core tv acting mode.

  • DoopGremlin

    Good write-up. But I have to disagree on one crucial point. You say the miniseries uses an eerie tone and atmosphere. I don’t agree. In fact, as an adult, the lack of any real atmosphere is one of the biggest detriments to the miniseries. It plays like a more competently made episode of Goosebumps than a genuine horror film. In short…it feels like a made for TV movie.

    I’m not trying to rag on the mini, I have great affection for it. But it has aged terribly. In a way, its ambition is its main fault. It ends up feeling repetitive and stagnant many times because it tries to recreate the flow of the novel.

    The mini is actually a more accurate adaptation as far as recreating actual events, scenes and even characterstics of the novel. But I feel the new film cuts deeper into the subtext and themes of the novel and portrays the Losers far more intimately than the mini, which didn’t give the kids a chance to have an arc of their own due to basically being about the adults remembering. The novel masterfully makes both time periods feel like seperate arcs despite being interwoven. The mini, in its ambition, just kinda relagates the kid portion to extended flashbacks instead of a story in and of itself-thus robbing it of power. The new films hyper-focus on The Losers gives it a sense of closure despite knowing its not over.

    I will always enjoy the mini…but as a film its very weak. As an adaptation its mostly reverant ( as much as its allowed) and ambitious…but it crumbles under all the ambition.

    The new film isn’t an all that accurate adaptation as far as just recreating scenes from the novel, but it keeps the themes, tone and heart of the novel more close to the chest imo and functions better as a film. Its also far more scary in that there is an ever constant sense of dread in the air. It really nails the unpredictability of Pennywise…which is another thing the mini lacked. I love Curry as Pennywise. Its one HELL of a fun performance…but he’s more comedic (intentionally and unintentionally) and sadly, not scary at all 90% of the time. He just kinda shows up, fucks with kids, and leaves.
    The Bill version is the predator from the novel-in for the kill.

    I’m not going to play the game of “oh the new one is better”, but Skarsgard’s clown felt far more dangerous and otherworldy-thus more accurate. Two great turns to be enjoyed side by side imo.

    • Jack Nause

      absolutely agree…well said.

  • Alex Harbie

    Never. A classic is a classic for a reason. Flame me if you want, but this movie is cash grabbing garbage. The beauty of the original was in it’s simplicity, from it’s lack of CGI, to actually popularizing the fear clowns, and finally in it’s acting. This movie would have never have been made if weren’t for the success and cult status of the original. Furthermore I’m hesitant to trust nearly any positive review here or on Rotten Tomatoes when it comes down to it.

    • Chance LeBoeuf

      Is the original miniseries a classic, or is just a bunch of people who have that initial disdain for ANY new version of something just saying it is now?

      The attitude that all remakes are and will be shit is hackneyed at this point. The original It sucks ass. Love Tim Curry, but the miniseries fails to be a good horror flick, and fails to adapt It properly. (And while fear is subjective, if you truly ever were terrified by the miniseries, you’re just a huge chickenshit)

      This new movie actually is the adaptation people who dig the book have been waiting for, and is simply better made. You don’t get It. It doesn’t work as a cheap, made for television adaptation.

      • Alex Harbie

        No, it’s a classic, just because you don’t want it to be, doesn’t make it so. Any remake will compared to the original, that just not an opinion I hold. If your trying to conclude I hate remakes for the sake of it, then you don’t understand, or much less get my statement. See your opinion is entirely without merit, because your attacking with no facts, just saying it’s not scary and it’s a terrible series. It doesn’t work? Of course it did, would you be judging it if didn’t, 27 years later? Mark my words, the series will out live the movie. I think you may be the one who doesn’t get. Chickenshit? Arrogance suits you, keep it going.

        • Tetra-Gramaton-Cleric

          The only thing that is a classic about the TV series is Curry’s performance, which frankly Skarsgard obliterates.

          The “original” has aged terribly and the ending was garbage even back when it first aired. I have fond memories of the movie when I was a kid but the veneration it receives from people like you is asinine.

          Next you’ll try and tell me The Stand miniseries was a masterpiece.

          • Alex Harbie

            Your just like that other poster who replied to me. You start off by saying there’s nothing of merit, but Curry and now you say Skarsgard’s performance, which in and of itself is asinine. You didn’t destroy my argument, you merely cherry picked, and said it sucked and aged terribly, that’s your whole argument. The veneration it receives is justified, it’s been around for 27 years. If the series bombed or didn’t become a cult classic, then the 2017 film would otherwise never have been made, had it not been for the success of the 1990 miniseries. The Stand was good, not great, but it’s still worthy of multiple viewings, and it holds it’s own. Now let me flip this on you, now your going to tell me that Silence of the Lambs sucked and that the Hannibal Series with Mads Mikkelsen was better. See how your argument holds no water. All style and flash with no substance, you definitely fit this era. Mark my words, the 1990 series will out live the 2017 film.

          • Dylan Gutierrez

            Curry’s performance destroy this new take in a heartbeat. All Pennywise does aside from saying the iconic lines is charging and laughing most of the time. Curry mind fucked with his prey and taunted, mocked and tortured them rather than killing them off easy. Kidnapping Bev was a total WTF moment for me in the film.

          • Alex Harbie

            Yes indeed. You see it. It’s as you say anyone can don the face paint and costume, say some lines and do a different laugh, but it takes more to truly embody a character like that.

          • Jack Nause

            Curry showed none of Pennywise’s ferociousness, or other worldness. Probably because of tv constraints. When I read the book, Pennywise did not sound like Buddy Hackett in my imagination. he sounded like the new version

          • Jack Nause

            you are arguing in circles. You like the mini series. I get that. I hated it as a fan of the book 1st. I think many people you love the series were fans of that before reading the book.

          • Alex Harbie

            Arguing in circles? No child I’m not. Nobody has refuted it, so it stands. You don’t get it. If you did, you refute it, but you don’t. You and two other posters posted the same thing. Here’s one for you then, I get you like the movie, but your wrong.

        • Chance LeBoeuf

          You want to talk about being objective, but all your spouting is your stubborn personal connection to a disappointing miniseries you keep looking through rose tinted glasses at.

          The series doesn’t hold up as well as you think it does, and I’ve always cared more about the book. IT is not my favorite of King’s work as it has issues, but it is a rather bizarre experience I’ve been waiting to see adapted by a film properly. This new film actually delivers what the miniseries didn’t.

          Also, you can’t decide what makes a classic. And at this point, for the people who have actually seen it, you’re stubbornly in the minority.

          It’s not an impeccable film, but we can talk about how well made it was just from a filmmaking standpoint. And the biggest thing people appreciate again, is how it does justice to the novel it’s based on while even improving on things.

    • Cure4Humanity

      Cash grabbing garbage? 27 years later? That’s all I needed to read of your comment to know you have nothing noteworthy to say.

      • Alex Harbie

        Of course if that’s your argument, then obviously turning to insults is the best way for you to reply., but I’ll stoop to your level, just this once. I’m sure that your kid will learn a lot from that type of approach, don’t worry son, just dismiss him/her, and you’ve won the argument. Keep going, i’m sure in your mind, you’ve already won.

        • Cure4Humanity

          I didn’t insult you. I’m dismissing your comment because it’s foolish and has no merit. There’s a difference here, and I can’t really do anything to help you understand it. There’s never been an IT film, only a mini-series. So a studio deciding to invest heavily into a film to adapt a property that hasn’t been particularly relevant for over two decades is hardly a cash grab. Getting the picture yet?
          Also, don’t bring my son into this. You know nothing about me or how I guide my child through his development. If I were to teach my son anything in regards to this it would be don’t waste your time getting into arguments with faceless clowns on the internet who spend all their time being negative and pissing on everything to seek gratification for their opinions.

    • Jack Nause

      that mini series is not a classic. I saw it as a 35 year old adult who loved the novel…..and hated most of it. This movie….I liked….a lot. Most of you saw it as kids, so you remember it as better than it was. And the acting in the mini series was laughably bad….as was wallace’s direction……no mood…..no build…..nothing

      • Alex Harbie

        You don’t really understand nuance and character. I’m not arguing whether you liked or hated it, your opinion is like shit everyone produces it. You present no facts to my argument, just the same tired it was bad, it sucked, try again. All style and no substance. no wonder people don’t speak to each other. I never saw it as a kid, either, so there goes your unwarranted assumption of me, thanks again for playing . Again, mark my words, the 1990 series will outlive the movie.

  • Well you can only really compare the acting, and alternative scenes. Because the story is pretty much the same, as it originates from a book. We know what happens in the beginning and end. Only this time they’ll be able to do more with the whole CGI, which will make it better. The 90s version is iconic, because when people thought of IT before the new film was announced and previewed who did people think of? Tim Curry! That’s who. I’m not dissing the new film, because I have heard it is really good and I am going to see it. People always compare stuff. It is like the 90s Sailor Moon, people loved that, and what they do when Sailor Moon Crystal was released? Most of them jumped ship, forgetting that half of the characters hardly interact like they did in the 90s version. Just because the new film, is better in every way shape or form, doesn’t mean I am going to sass the old film release. That old version scared me to death when I was little, I’ll never forget the nightmares I had. Although when I got older… that faded. Now I am scared of… other things… real… life… things…

  • llcc1103

    I don’t know where to start. The commercial cheesy scares? The non stop
    corny generic horror music in literally ever scene? The lack of
    character development? The complete lack of subtlety? The over the top
    use of CGI? I guess I could go on and on and on. Muschetti is a
    hack!!!!!

    • Tetra-Gramaton-Cleric

      Lack of character development? This was a character-driven narrative.

      Lack of subtlety? There’s nothing subtle about the novel either. Actually, the novel is damn near bombastic at times.

      As to Muschetti being a hack, I’d love to read your novels or watch your films to gauge and understand what artistic peaks you have achieved to so definitively declare somebody else artless.

  • It wasn’t the least bit scary, there was not tension in it at all. The kids were great, but Pennywise wasn’t scary at all. Ironically the attempt to make him look more intimidating backfired in the most spectacular way and made him not scary at all. Same with the pack of bullies who became more like occasional canon-fodder than the secondary main antagonists – they ended up not being scary or intimidating either.

    They changed relationships and character traits for no good reason, as for the incredibly cheesy ending which was nothing like the book at all… *sigh*.

    They did include more characters from the book than the TV series did, but then they didn’t use them effectively. Then they invented several characters but didn’t really add any value doing it. Somehow they managed to include more yet end up with less!

    If you’re looking for something that is more like the book, stick with the TV movie. If you’re looking for a cheesy, popcorn eating, killer clown movie to kill a couple of hours, then you’ll probably like this version more.

    I had such high hopes. Oh well.

    • Tetra-Gramaton-Cleric

      “If you’re looking for something that is more like the book, stick with the TV movie.”

      Uh, the film is far closer to the book than a PG-rated mini-series from the 1990’s.

      Also, the miniseries omitted much of the original ending as well because when King wrote the novel, he was doing coke continuously and it directly affected his writing. To act as if the TV series is a more accurate adaptation is grossly disingenuous.

      • Cory Smith

        I think you should read the book again because both adaptations are actually accurate in their own ways but not everything completely with the novel itself.

        • Tetra-Gramaton-Cleric

          That’s reasonable but the person I was responding to was claiming the film abandons the novel, which is nonsense.

          • It has as many differences as the TV show does. Some of them make even less sense than the TV show changes.

          • Cory Smith

            The changes shouldn’t be taken that seriously even though they’ve pretty much got the right tones such as the children swearing, seeing Pennywise literally eat children, and how psychopathic Henry Bowers has become.

          • Cory Smith

            I think you judged it a bit too hard and wasn’t into it all the way by the time it started.

          • No. I think you just have a chip on both shoulders.

          • Cory Smith

            Has that for “Intellectual prowess” you misjudging ignorant dunce cap.

          • Has that? Did you mean “How’s that?”. You’re also missing a comma in that sentence. Unless you’re trying to use ‘dunce’ ironically…

          • Cory Smith

            Oh ok, but it’s that ignorant idiot Andy.Roo who is “claiming the film abandons the novel.”

          • No. You guys used the term “abandoned the novel”, I said it was as inaccurate to the novel as the TV series was. In some ways more so. And I explained why. You just started moaning about it… it must be horrible to have an ego that fragile.

      • Uh, no it isn’t. I’d say they were both equally botched. This new movie includes more characters than the book does – but it doesn’t use them effectively or accurately. Except when we talk about the ‘monsters’ in which case they have made as many changes in this movie as the TV show did…

        It’s even changed the dynamic of the main characters: Eddie is no longer the complete hypochondriac wimp he was – he kind of is, but not in the way he should be; Mike is for some reason no longer the one with all the information on Derry, it all comes from Ben, so his role is massively reduced – not to mention that they killed off his parents for no apparent reason; Bill barely stutters; Georgie’s body completely vanishes for no apparent reason, and so on and so forth… the list goes on and on.

      • Kyle Pittman

        I hate this, “It’s gory so it’s closer to the book”. They didn’t even retain the gory scenes, 90% of the new film is from the mind of Muschietti, not King. They include Patrick Hockstetter but then don’t adapt his death scene? Probably the most creative death in the novel? The leper scene is so abbreviated and exchanges the creep factor for a cheap jump scare. Pennywise is way overused and so overtly diabolical that he’s not at all scary. The kids LITERALLY float? Because I guess audiences are so dumbed down they need to have that thrown right in your face. It’s a good horror film, but it’s not the Lord of the Rings of horror that it deserves to be. I hope in my lifetime I see a more faithful adaptation.

    • Cory Smith

      Go to back to dreamland then.

      • Mature. Your intellectual prowess must be truly something to behold.

    • Jack Nause

      Have to disagree here. I found the new movie to be closer in tone to the book. And much better than the mini series. Of course it is not scary…..you know what is going to happen. I was a big fan if the book, and was disapointed in the mini series. I thought Pennywise in the new movie was much closer to the book. Curry’s was one note…..a clown imitating Buddy Hackett.

      • I thought the TV series was actually scary because they made Pennywise manically. It was Curry’s ability to flip between comical and sinister with the click of his fingers which made Pennywise sinister. In this version he’s just creepy from the off and the end result was you just weren’t scared of him.

        I think it was more accurate to the book in the sense that it included more characters from the book – but that was about it. Unfortunately that was countered by them then completely changing character traits of main characters, or changing their relationships. And the ending was a hot mess!

        The movie remake in terms of accuracy was not really any better or worse than the TV series… although I actually think the mini-series in some ways was more faithful to the book.

        Based on the people I’ve been speaking with it seems to me that most of the really big fans of the book have been disappointed because they were promised an adaptation that was like the book and got a scary clown movie. The people who aren’t such big fans of the book or haven’t read it are lapping it up.

        I don’t think it was a bad movie, but like the TV show before it, it just wasn’t It the book…

    • kreddyfrueger

      I agree with some of what you say, but you can’t say that Skarsgard didnt kill it on the creep factor. Maybe not terrifying, but man, he had an edge that was truly unnerving…albeit ruined by the CGI that kind of killed the character for me.

      • I can say he didn’t, and ‘he didn’t’. I think Curry’s performance was much better. Like I said: I think it’s the fact that they tried deliberately to make Pennywise scary that backfired. In an attempt to make him creepy, they made him less creepy. I maintain the thing that made Curry’s Pennywise creepy is the fact that – for the most part – he was just maniacally goofy and would then flip at the flick of a switch.

        If this had just been a ‘generic’, stand alone, creepy clown movie, it would have been great – but this was just another “meh” attempt at It. As with the Carrie remake where we were promised a movie which was much more like the book, we again ended up with a version that was really no more or less like the book than it predecessor.

        The movie version looks a lot better than the TV show did, obviously, but that’s what you’d expect from a high budget movie.

        I know it wasn’t just me that felt this way because as we left the cinema you could tell the fans of the book from those who had never read it because the fans were saying pretty much what I had said, whereas everyone else said they thought it was great.

    • Daniel CM

      I recognize that the new movie is overall superior to the 90’s one but it didn’t catch up some importants details that in the ending made me not praise it like everyone is doing. I’ll be comparing the new film with the 90’s and the book (though I haven’t read the book since January 2013)
      – The new movie lacks of some what atmosphere that the first one had. I’m talking about a condition that makes the viewer feel like one of the Loser’s Club. Don’t get me wrong, the first time I watched the 90’s film was in December of 2012 when I was 18 years old, so I’m not being blind for nostalgia effect. The first movie did a great job of ambientacion.
      -The cast crew in the first film was most beleaveble in terms of childhood. I’m not talking about acting precisely. It’s just that the older one’s are more natural in doing children stuff. Beside, Beverly’s actress and Mike’s actor are somewhat older to the character
      -Beverly is a damsel in distress in the new movie. WTF. That doesn’t make any sense as the role point of fighting IT is doing this all the 7 children together.
      -The kids doesn’t hang out in the Berrens as much, the Berrens doesn’t get so much attencion.The scenes of them around the Berrens is important for setting and atmosphere
      -The exploration throught Derry’s sewer in new movie is bland and rushed. On the other hand, in the 90’s it takes some minutes of the film showing then going throw the sewer. Again, this creates a good atmosphere on the movie
      -Despite not remembering how low Stan and Mike’s appearance when all kinds gather together is in the book, the new movie doesn’t help highlightin them, specially in the action scene. Ben who searches all information about Derry’s past and Stan’s encounter with Henry Bowers doesn’t happens
      -Henry attack on the kids in the ending are, again rushed. In the original movie shows Vic, Belch and him stalking the kids, going in the sewer and so on. Where’s Vic and Belch now? And how could Henry Bowers fall from the well that way like he’s gonna die? What about adult Henry?

      -I hope that some more details, especially about Patrick’s fridge, the statue who attacks Richie etc tn the next movie

      Again, I enjoyed the 2017’s film, it did a great job updating the history especially and (the terror) of the 90’s film. But these are some questions that I made after watching IT.

      Sorry for any typo or wrong word. I’m not fluent in English

  • Um, why has my comment been pending for like two day now?

  • Jack Nause

    I think some of the problem is that most here were introduced to IT through the mini series, not the novel. Tim Curry was fun to watch and constrained by the medium. In the novel, IT shows up as Pennywise some times, but more often as something else. IT wasn’t a killer clown. I liked the new movie much better, and it was much closer in tone to the book.

    • Kyle Pittman

      The new movie is NOTHING like the book. Have you READ the book? They changed almost every single tiny detail. I’m surprised even the names are the same.

  • Jack Nause

    by they way….the film is opening to over 100 million…..and audiences are loving it as are most reviewers. I thought it was very good.

  • Cory Smith
  • Mark Hughes

    I watched It last night, then went back and watched the miniseries version this morning with my kids. I found the new version lacked flow and felt a bit disjointed with all the scenes of each kids encounter with Pennywise. Then I realised after watching the miniseries why that is. In the book, all the kid scenes are written as flashbacks from the adults, and it flows better when presented as such. The new movie essentially had to string together flashbacks into a continuous story which I think didn’t work quiet so well. If they had included the short scenes of the adults getting the call, then flashback, as they did in the miniseries, it might have flowed better. Perhaps after the second film they can redo a super cut for a special release?

    Pennywise in the new one also lacked the comedic manic sinister feel, and did too many jump scares which I find pretty bland and epidemic of horror movies these days. Not so much a horror movie, more a scare movie. And the cgi was off putting, practical effects always look better.

    Aside from that though, It is a pretty good adaptation and horror movie when compared to others post 2010 horror movies. But miniseries, with all its flaws, still seems better and more unsettling to me.

  • Johnny Lambros

    I watched IT last night, and I found it very interesting and thought the performances were great on both Skarsgard’s and the children. On the fear factor, I found that the endless amount of trailers, billboards, commercials, and images of Pennywise desensitized me to his look, and thus diminished the scares. Whereas in the TV film, the marketing wasn’t as intensive, and therefore the scares seemed more authentic and shocking. All in all though, I found the movie to be very engaging and something I would indeed watch again.

    • James B.

      I know. I just avoided looking at his face until the movie got close to the release date.

  • I’m Neagan

    I liked the new one better, I seen it Saturday and loved it. I watched the old one a long time ago but could remember all that happened do I watched it again after seeing the new one and the new one was better by far. I enjoy the classics but the new is great. I think the new flatliners will be better than the classic one.

  • Daniel CM

    I recognize that the new movie is overall superior to the 90’s one but it didn’t catch up some importants details that in the ending made me not praise it like everyone is doing. I’ll be comparing the new film with the 90’s and the book (though I haven’t read the book since January 2013)
    – The new movie lacks of some what atmosphere that the first one had. I’m talking about a condition that makes the viewer feel like one of the Loser’s Club. Don’t get me wrong, the first time I watched the 90’s film was in December of 2012 when I was 18 years old, so I’m not being blind for nostalgia effect. The first movie did a great job of ambientacion.
    -The cast crew in the first film was most beleaveble in terms of childhood. I’m not talking about acting precisely. It’s just that the older one’s are more natural in doing children stuff. Beside, Beverly’s actress and Mike’s actor are somewhat older to the character
    -Beverly is a damsel in distress in the new movie. WTF. That doesn’t make any sense as the role point of fighting IT is doing this all the 7 children together.
    -The kids doesn’t hang out in the Berrens as much, the Berrens doesn’t get so much attencion.The scenes of them around the Berrens is important for setting and atmosphere
    -The exploration throught Derry’s sewer in new movie is bland and rushed. On the other hand, in the 90’s it takes some minutes of the film showing then going throw the sewer. Again, this creates a good atmosphere on the movie
    -Despite not remembering how low Stan and Mike’s appearance when all kinds gather together is in the book, the new movie doesn’t help highlightin them, specially in the action scene. Ben who searches all information about Derry’s past and Stan’s encounter with Henry Bowers doesn’t happens
    -Henry attack on the kids in the ending are, again rushed. In the original movie shows Vic, Belch and him stalking the kids, going in the sewer and so on. Where’s Vic and Belch now? And how could Henry Bowers fall from the well that way like he’s gonna die? What about adult Henry?

    -I hope that some more details, especially about Patrick’s fridge, the statue who attacks Richie etc tn the next movie

    Again, I enjoyed the 2017’s film, it did a great job updating the history especially and (the terror) of the 90’s film. But these are some questions that I made after watching IT.

    Sorry for any typo or wrong word. I’m not fluent in English

    • James B.

      Hi please use the spoiler tags. I skipped over your post when I noticed your post contained spoilers. You would be banned on the forums for this. I’m a moderator, but I’m going to allow you to edit your post.

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