27 years later Pennywise has returned to the small town of Derry to terrify children with the release of the movie “It.” Already the movie is already set to break box office records for the Highest-Grossing Rated-R horror movie, which is currently held by “The Exorcist” with $232.9 million. People flooded into 4,103 theaters on opening weekend to watch the horror movie of the year. On opening weekend alone the movie made $123.4 million. And with a rating of fresh on Rotten Tomatoes of 87%, “It” (2017) has passed the “It” miniseries by 30%. In 1990 Stephen King’s “It” hit television for the first time as a two-part miniseries that spanned over two days.
At the time the show was terrifying, but now with the release of the remake, the original seems comical and downright ridiculous at some points. The first and most blatant change that was made is the time changes between past and present. The 1990s miniseries changed between the 1960s and when the children are all grown up, and the remake has forgone the idea entirely. The change gave the Losers Club a chance to develop while giving the audience a view of each of their backstories without unnecessarily going back to the present.
The Losers Club includes seven children in Derry – Billy, Beverly, Ben, Mike, Eddie, Richie, and Stan. The removal of the time travel adds an element of story to the children’s characters. We get to see more of their families, whether good or bad and more of the growth of their friendship instead of a rushed meeting due to the school’s bullies. Speaking of the bullies in Derry, the TV movie bullies are nothing compared to the remake. The new Henry would beat the old Henry to a pulp and then skin him alive without even blinking while his buddies watched in terror.
Actually the entire town would just watch because they do absolutely nothing when things go wrong. The police are seen once in the remake and once in the TV movie, and the single action they do are scaring Henry away from the Losers Club at one point or dismissing an older Mike when he is trying to tell a detective what is actually happening in Derry. Adult either try to lock their kids in their homes, yell at them for trying to help, are just damn abusive or nonexistent. The one big parental change they made to the movie is Eddie’s mom.
The miniseries mom was loving and caring even though he son was still living with her well into his 30s, while the remake’s seemed like she should be diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Bev’s dad is still the worst father of the year and Billy’s parents seem to never want to talk to him because of their other dead son. Honestly I would rather deal with Pennywise than anyone who lived in that town. Although maybe Tim Curry’s Pennywise that had me laughing at him in the scenes instead of being scared to the bone. He was a fun, dancing clown that left the kids alone even when they were in perfect picking range until his ultimate downfall by an inhaler and a single piece of silver.
These kids were even lucky that the silver worked when even they didn’t know if it was what they needed to defeat the clown. The 1990 movie showed no research to Pennywise at all. They just kinda hoped that Pennywise lived in the creepy marsh house and hoped that he was actually the one killing the other kids and hoped that the silver would kill him. The remake’s research behind Pennywise worked. It made sense. They went to the library and used little maps and a projector and photo albums and old newspapers.
These children did more research to find this killer clown than I did all of high school. They found every piece of information that was needed even before stepping a foot inside the creepy crackhouse. And they eventually brought a real weapon instead of hoping that silver would work. Pennywise goes after every child at one point, using their fear against them, and eventually brought them together to fight their fear. Although Stan’s fear I still find strange; at least he was given one. In the end, 2017’s “It” is gruesome, chilling and truly terrifying with a creepy Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise and a comical, yet brave set of children brought together by the worst adults in Derry and a killer clown. And I cannot wait until “It” Chapter Two is released.