Stephen King’s IT praised by horror fans
IT, the theatrical adaptation of Stephen King’s novel and spiritual successor to the 1990 two-part TV mini-series was recently released.
The horror movie set numerous box office records including highest September opening, highest horror movie opening and highest grossing horror movie.
The film will be compared to the TV mini-series no matter what. It really is an apples to oranges comparison between the 1990 two-part TV mini-series and the new original 2017 theatrical adaptation.
The story of IT revolves around a group of seven kids called “The Losers Club” who have encountered a shape shifting sinister entity that, for the most part, takes the form of a dancing clown named Pennywise.
Both adaptations are set in the fictional town of Derry, but while the events of the new IT movie take place in 1989, the original takes place in two timelines split between 1960 when the main casts are in their youths, and 1990 when they are fully grown adults.
This in itself makes the new IT movie stronger than its predecessor. The new movie’s focus on “The Losers Club” when the characters were kids, helped a lot. This is a well-casted, well-directed movie with very lovable and relatable characters. You look at these kids, and without-a-doubt, there will be at least one of them that will make you say, “Oh, I was that kid in grade school.”
The 1990 TV adaptation, on the other hand, was hurt by the two different timelines switching between the kids and the adults, during the course of the first part of the series. The kids themselves were as lovable as the new ones. However, the adults bogged down the mini-series, as they were stale and boring in comparison to their child-counterparts. It feels like watching two different shows at the same time, and you just want to see the parts with the kids.
The performances between Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård, whom both portrayed Pennywise, are also night and day. Curry’s portrayal is like a maniacal psycho in a clown costume. In contrast, Skarsgård’s is more of a dark, sinister demonic clown entity. Both did splendid in their part and are perfect for the era in which each version was released.
The new IT movie is a technical masterpiece. The set, tone of the scenes, aerial shots and colour grading were well thought-out. The first appearance of Pennywise at the start of the movie is particularly memorable due to the close-up and wide-angle aerial shots.
The cinematography in the 1990 mini-series is something to appreciate as well as the make-up and practical effects are nothing short of impressive and stand the test of time.
Although both have their merits, the new IT takes the cake as the better outing overall. The movie does not feel like it dragged on even though it is a two-hour plus movie. There is no dull moment as you get hooked on every scene with each well-developed and exciting character.