The original made for TV It film (1990) brings me the ultimate feeling of nostalgia. Like a lot of kids, Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise made me terrified of sewers and bathrooms. But as I got older, I found myself still drawn to the movie, even though the fear of the clown had long since passed. Every time It was on TV I stopped what I was doing to sit through the entire 3 hours, my plans be damned. So the idea of a new Pennywise and a new group of ‘losers’ was something I wasn’t quite on board with (especially after The Mummy fiasco – and no, I will never let that go). But then I started to really look into this film and began to discover that it wasn’t a re-imaging of the 1990 version, but more a re-imaging of Stephen King’s novel. I began to realize the trailer showed dialogue and scenes that came directly from the book. I became increasingly more and more excited for the film as time went on.
This film was able to so beautifully capture the relationships between the kids. The kids felt like real, authentic kids. They cursed. They said things they didn’t quite understand (“they’re gazebos!” lol). The creepiest part to me is that these kids have to face this situation completely alone. There is a creature that they don’t quite understand literally hunting them down, with not a single adult in the town there to believe them. I’ve said in a previous review that the child actors in scary movies make or break them. These kids were such a vital part of the movie and they absolutely made it.
I loved that IT wasn’t exactly a focal point of the movie. Rather, he provided the dark overtones for the kids to be able to bond in the first place. The one difference between the original and this new interpretation that I ended up enjoying the most was Skarsgard’s version of what IT is. I read an article where he stated that he wanted to be clear that it wasn’t Pennywise the clown terrorizing the kids, but IT embodying the clown (or whatever that particular child happened to be the most afraid of) and it worked wonderfully. In every scene with Pennywise you could see this barely contained quality that wasn’t necessarily there with Tim Curry’s performance. I also am really happy the decision was made to stick to the original format and split the childhood from adulthood. I wasn’t quite sure how the film was going to play out – whether they were going to try to fit all that material into one film or not. But based on this film alone, I am extremely excited for the sequel. If you are fan of horror films or hold the same nostalgia in your heart for the original, I encourage you to go see this film.