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Heartland Community College Student Magazine

Movie Or Miniseries?

Movie Or Miniseries?

I’m sure a lot of comparisons between the It miniseries (1990) and the It movie (2017) will be about CGI graphics and the revamp of Pennywise the clown as well as the other modern updates of the movie, but there are a lot of other differences based on what was acceptable for filming at the time and what people wanted to see.

This modern version of It not only recreates some of those iconic scenes from the original miniseries from the 90’s that frightens people to this day but also makes specific references to the book that were lost in the made-for-TV version. Due to the miniseries being made for television, they had tons of filming limitations. They couldn’t show children in danger and not much gore was allowed. Most of that Hollywood magic that we love now, was “shown” off-screen. They couldn’t show a kid’s arm being ripped off and eaten, but they could certainly talk about it. They left a lot of the horrors to the imagination, which was a lot more terrifying than what they could have produced on TV back then.

There is also a controversial time change. Certain things they could talk about back then aren’t terribly acceptable to come right out and say now, but back then, it was a little different, and vice versa. Mike Hanlon, the quintessential black kid in the group was discriminated against in both versions for his race and living in a primarily white area. In the made-for-TV show, they delved right into this and called him some derogatory names. However, in the movie, they touch on this slightly, but not to the same effect.

Beverly Marsh is a young girl with a dark secret. We sense something fishy going on in her and her father’s relationship, but it wasn’t evident without a little assuming. In the newly released movie, it is much more obvious and spelled out what is really going on behind closed doors, not that any of us really wanted to know that.

No one wanted to touch It for fear that they couldn’t compete with the miniseries. It was difficult enough to get that much detail from Stephen King’s book into a three-hour miniseries, so the daunting task of condensing is even further into a two-hour movie seemed impossible. After the decision was made that a two-part movie was in order, script writing and filming began. Both the book and the miniseries depicts the children and their adult lives intertwined throughout the timeline. To divide the two and focus on them separately was a change indeed and anticipated to be a good switch.

The new film is based on 1980’s nostalgia to keep the timeline from the miniseries in order, however, it lost King’s affection for that 1950’s American culture. In the updated characters tug at my heartstrings. This group of kids is magical together. I believe they truly made the movie. These characters have more spunk and personality than their 1990 counterparts. Richie Tozier and Eddie Kaspbrak were the comic relief throughout the movie and kept us calm in between the scares. Beverly Marsh was fresh and full of life despite her unfortunate living situation. Ben Hanscom seemed warmer and more accepted in the group. The brotherly love between Bill and Georgie was clearer from the start of the movie and Eddie seemed healthier than his counterpart, making his mom seem even crazier for her hypochondriac ways.

I am interested to see what direction the second movie takes. It was my favorite childhood movie, but the 2017 version definitely takes a place in my heart, but can never be replaced by the nightmares Tim Curry (Pennywise) gave me as a kid. I would give the movie a 9/10 and would absolutely recommend it to horror-lovers. Overall, both of these were fantastic for their times.

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