It has been a mere two weeks since IT has hit box offices, in that short time some major discussion has raised. The most heated being: Which is better- the “original” or the “remake”?
To properly begin the discussion, it’s important to recognize that this is not a true remake. The first visual representation of the iconic Stephan King character was a TV mini series that constricted by audience rating and special effects. The 2017 version is more true to source material, has a bigger budget, and no true rating restriction.
That being said, the violence is one major difference. In the 1990 mini series, as it was shown on tv, most of the violence was watered down or cut away from- leaving what happened up to the viewer. In the newest incarnation of the Loser’s Club and iconic clown, very little is left to the imagination. Director Andrés Muschietti had no issue depicting the brutal nature of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, allowing him to show off his arm-ripping nature.
Another major difference are the characters motivations and development. TV has a specific time slot and therefore forced the series to be very fast paced. All emotional connection to the characters was lacking, as there simply was not enough time to develop any kind of true link to the seven main protagonists. But in a two hour and fifteen minute theatrical film, the audience was able to form a bond, to relate and see themselves in the young teens. By understanding their feelings and motivations, one felt something, and not just because they should, but because of the unconscious emotional connection to the main characters. Motivations were not assumed, but told, adding depth and emotions to the story’s characters.
Pennywise- Tim Curry or Bill Skarsgård. Tim Curry, in 1990, had been in many well known productions ranging from Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Clue (1985), and The Hunt for Red October (1990). He was know around Hollywood for some pretty outlandish characters- people could trust him with the role. Bill Skarsgård, son of famous actor Stellan Skarsgård, and brother to quite a few other known Skarsgård’s. To his fanbase, he was known from Hemlock Grove (2013-2015) and a role in Allegiant (2016). To many, Curry IS Pennywise and nothing could change that. And then they saw Skarsgård’s performance. From the lazy eye’s, to the drooling, to the voice, people were quick to pick on the dramatic difference. Curry had a more calm nature. Creepy because he was meant to be.
In theory, it’s almost unfair to compare the two versions as they are completely different films. They represent different tones, different issues, and even a different time period (1950’s in the first, 1980’s-1990’s in the second). In IT (1990) the superior movie was part one, the second part lacking in excitement and chemistry between the leads. But if IT (2017) brings the same passion to the table for the second one as much as they did in the first, a new classic may just be born in this generation.
By: Hannah Baird