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Original vs. Remake

Stephen King's 'IT'

By S. K. GregoryPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

Stephen King's killer clown movie, IT, has had the remake treatment. Starring Bill Skarsgard as the malicious entity, the movie is closer to the source material than the original 1990 miniseries, but how does it compare to the three hour epic that gave a generation a severe case of coulrophobia?

For those unfamiliar with the tale, IT is the story of seven 'losers' who band together as children to take on a supernatural creature that feeds on fear. They return to the town years later, as adults, to finish what they started. While IT can take on many guises, it favors the guise of a clown called Pennywise. Every 27 years it awakens in the town of Derry and for one year it feeds on children before slumbering once more. IT is based on a novel by Stephen King.

The 2017 version relies mostly on jump-scare tactics whereas the miniseries left a lot more to the imagination. It is true that the current generation are a lot more visual, but when the main antagonist is a creature that feeds on fear, surely our imaginations should be better utilized?

The child actors of the remake are very good, a special mention to Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things fame, for his portrayal of Richie Tozier. But I didn't feel the bond between them like the one between the kids in the miniseries. The main focus of the book is the powerful friendship they have which helps them overcome Pennywise. The strongest relationship seemed to be between Bill and Bev and Ben and Bev, whereas characters like Stan seemed to stay on the sidelines. True, the character puts himself on the sidelines with his reluctance to go after Pennywise, but he still felt like part of the gang in the miniseries.

Henry Bowers, the playground bully from your nightmares was woefully miscast. The original, played by Jarred Blancard, had a presence about him. I believed him as a bully. The current actor playing Henry, Nicholas Hamilton, swings from being a sadistic psychopath to a victim of bullying himself from his own father. It was hard to get a feel for his character and I think he had less screen time than the original. The character of Patrick Hockstetter featured much more prominently in the books. Here he is reduced to a couple of scenes before meeting a horrific end in the sewer. You would almost need three hours just for the kids scenes before even delving into the adults scenes.

Tim Curry vs. Bill Skarsgard: There are few actors who could compare to the brilliance of Tim Curry. His Pennywise was both humorous and scary, where you weren't quite sure if he was going to crack a joke or crack your skull. A handy skill when it came to luring in the children.

Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise was frightening throughout, even when trying to appear friendly to Georgie in the beginning. His Pennywise was more manic, more crazed than Tim Curry's version – It's all in the eyes. It's not a subtle performance by any means, but it is effective. The other creatures that IT morphs into, including the leper and the creepy woman from the painting aren't nearly as scary.

The remake has its moments and works well as a horror movie thanks to Skarsgard's performance. Definitely worth a watch, but I don't believe that anything can beat the original miniseries. If you were a child of the eighties and nineties it was most likely a film you grew up with if you were a horror fan. Original certainly wins against the remake.


About the Creator

S. K. Gregory

I am an author, journalist and blogger. I love reading and offer reviews to authors

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    S. K. GregoryWritten by S. K. Gregory

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