With an all-star cast including Finn Wolfhard from Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and Bill Skarsgård from “Allegiant,” the “It” movie remake was bound to be successful. The movie’s opening weekend raked in a grand total of almost $123.5 million. In the movie, a group of teenagers band together when a shapeshifter that takes the form of a clown comes to Derry, Maine to terrorize young children.
The novel, written by Stephen King, was released in September 1986. An “It” mini series began in 1990 with Tim Curry playing the now-famous Pennywise. Exactly 27 years after the original novel released, Warner Bros. Entertainment released a remake of the classic story “It” on Sept 8, 2017.
With every remake, there are inevitable questions that arise. Would the differences in the adaptations (book vs. mini series vs. movie) positively or negatively affect the overall vibe of the movie? While the original Pennywise from the mini series had a much more playful costume, the remake took on a much darker tone. Would this affect the audience’s overall feelings about Pennywise?
There is one main difference that “It” fans will be able to recognize pretty quickly in the movie. The original story began with all of the original children as adults forced to revisit their childhood while the remake opened with them as children presently living their experience with Pennywise the clown. The first half of the story where they are adults will be the setting of “It: Chapter Two,” the sequel recently confirmed by director Andy Muschietti.
As someone that has, for the most part, never engaged with the “It” franchise, I thought that almost all of the choices made by the director, writers and producers who worked on this movie were acceptable. It made sense to have the children’s story first, without the interference of their adult selves. It feels like it’s going to make for more linear timeline for moviegoers. With the sequel already confirmed, I’m looking forward to who is going to play the adult versions of our favorite Loser’s Club.
Clever dialogue increased the movie’s likability tenfold: moviegoers cracking up at Richie Tozier’s curse-riddled speeches, urging his friends to believe that Pennywise was no one to be afraid of (until he was locked in a room with him, of course). This iconic comedy breathed new life into the film, allowing it just the right amount of both scary and hilarious.
The true chemistry among not just the child actors but in their relationship with Pennywise is extraordinary and is one of the main reasons that this film succeeds. With the original book counting at 1,138 pages, the film does a great job of condensing a massive amount of the material. Even though we don’t get as detailed stories as we might like with a classic such as this, we definitely are able to understand the base of the characters’ backstories.
A huge topic that came up across multiple social media platforms was that Pennywise had a different, much darker costume. I don’t believe that this took away at all from the original story; actually, I think it added to it. One main thing that is so deceptive about clowns is that their colorful suit is supposed to invite you in and make you feel unafraid. But what if that is just the point of this new Pennywise? He doesn’t want you to feel unafraid because that’s what he feeds on: children’s fear. In honor of the 1986 horror flick “The Fly,” “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
While the $14 to get into the movie theater might not be so appealing to you, it will definitely be worth it if you’re looking for ingenious dialogue, great performance acting and a just good old-fashioned scare. Even Stephen King, the author of “It,” tweeted out that the movie had exceeded his expectations. Plus, you’ll float too!
Hannah Tollen is a fourth-year student majoring in English writings track with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at HT823371@wcupa.edu.