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The 1990 miniseries of Stephen King's IT is not as bad as I remember and may even be scarier than the newer adaptions

Camillia has BA in University Studies with a minor in English. Has enjoyed writing reviews since her sci fi/fantasy class in high school.


The plot

According to Wikipedia:

It is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The story follows the experiences of seven children as they are terrorized by an evil entity that exploits the fears of its victims to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown to attract its preferred prey of young children.

Each film version of It follows the same premise of Stephen's best seller book. It is the style of how they protray the plot and characters that make each adaptation of the book different.

The characters

It(Pennywise the clown)

Pennywise the clown was protrayed by Tim Curry(1990) and Bill Skarsgård(2017 and 2019). The question is who played this famous horror character better. I think both actors provided a different perspective of how Pennywise would create mischief and horror. Tim Curry protrays Pennywise as a more realistic idea of a clown while Bill is more fantastical. Tim is a tad better at providing a scare as he uses less special effects and more realistic forms of horror.


Bill Denbrough

Bill is considered the leader of the losers club and the main protagonist of the It franchise. The actors that play Bill did not stand out within both the 1990s miniseries and 2017/2019 film adaptions. Bill is an interesting character especially when it comes to his relationship with his brother, Georgie. Even though it was not his fault that George was killed by Pennywise, Bill still feels guilty about his brother's death. Pennywise is found to use this guilt against Bill.Something that stands out about Bill is his speech impediment which he has to deal with as a child and which ends up coming back when he faces Pennywise as an adult. Bill has the characteristics of a leader with courage and determination. It is sad to say that the actors were not stand outs within the film adaptions because Bill's character seemed like it could have been the strongest character development in the franchise.


Beverly Marsh

Beverly was played by various actresses in the film and miniseries. The best version of her character was played by Sophie Lillis who played Beverly as a child in the 2017 and 2019 films. Sophie really embodied who Beverly was and her character was fleshed out very well. She played a more sexual Beverly while the 1990 portrayal by Emily Perkins is a more innocent version of Beverly. One thing that stood out to me about the new movies is that Beverly is made out to be a girl who sleeps around and she is preyed on by men. Some of the boys in the loser's club kissed Beverly without her consent and she is shown to be sexually abused by her father. The second best would be actress Annette O'Toole who plays Beverly as an adult in the 1990 version. She did a great job at portraying a strong connection with the other loser club members.


Ben Hanscom

In the 1990s miniseries, Bill was protrayed by Brandon Crane and John Ritter. They did the best job at portraying Ben's personality and character. In the 2017 and 2019 films, Bill seemed awkward and overbearing compared to his 1990's counterparts. Bill can be considered romantic and he is the overweight member of the loser's club. He is self conscious about his weight and ends up losing a bunch of weight when he is an adult. The way Ben goes about his feelings for Beverly in the 2017/2019 films rubbed the audience the wrong way because he was pushy and overbearing towards Beverly. In the 1990 miniseries, he seemed to have a slight crush and did not push his feelings onto Beverly.

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Richie Tozier

Richie is considered the class clown and seems to spew out jokes all the time. In the 1990 version Seth Green plays Richie as a child but he lacks character development and is not funny at all. We see some banter between him and the other members of the losers club but that is it. Harry Anderson plays him as an adult and we can see more character growth and obvious anxiety when Richie's character comes back to face Pennywise. In the newer 2017 and 2019 versions, Richie is played by Fin Wolfhord. He has more of a foul mouth and he repeatedly makes sex jokes. He was the worst version as Richie just because it felt like his jokes were forced and that he lacked a lot of character development. Bill Hader plays Richie as an adult and honestly does the best job at portraying the comedic character.


Eddie kaspbrak

Overall each of the actors who protrayed Eddie did a good job at showing his quirks and anxiety. None of the actors stood out to me regarding Eddie's personality and development. Eddie is the germphobe and hypochondriac. He is also a momma's boy and has an unhealthy relationship with his mother. Eddie has the most interesting backstory compared to the other members of the loser's club.


Mike Hanlon

Sadly Mike's character stood out the least when it comes to the loser's club members. In the 1990 adaption he was introduced late so the audience lacked any connection with his character. In the later adaptations, Mike has a more interesting backstory were his parents were killed in a building fire. This added to the depth of his character.


Stanley Uris

Stanley is the upright member of the losers club. In the 1990 miniseries, he has a stronger presence within the film. He seems more of a second thought when it comes to the newer films. Honestly, his and Eddie's character were mistaken for each other because of how similarly they seemed in the newer films. There was a big difference in stature and looks in the 1990s version that help distinguish between the two characters. All that we really know about Stanley is that he is Jewish and does scouts. Sadly, we are not able to see Stanley as much when he grows up.


Special effects

1990 Miniseries

The use of special effects were less prevalent in the early 1990s. So the miniseries used less effects to show the various forms of horror.The last part of the movie had probably the worst use of special effects and it showed the age of the media. Honestly the movie felt more real because it relied less on effects.

2017/2019 Films

In the newer films, it seems almost every scene a special effect was used. It made the films less scary because some of the effects were poorly constructed. Some of the effects made the scene comical instead of scary.

Horror: Which media is the scariest version of IT?

The 1990s version because...

  • Scary scenes that can happen in real life
  • Pennywise looked like a real clown
  • Less special effects
  • Pennywise has razor sharp teeth that seemed real
  • The miniseries did not try too hard to be horror

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