You’ll float too


The Mirror reporter

The horror genre is a popular movie style many take great interest in. These films are fairly easy and cheap to make and appeal to a wide variety of people which makes a large profit.

The master of horror otherwise known as Stephen King has written many memorable and terrifying chiller favorites over the years like Cujo, Carrie, Children of the Corn, Misery, Pet Semetary, and many more. However one stands out, the recent adaptation of King’s book It, which hit theatres back in September. Many wonder which is better, the miniseries or the film.

The 1990 adaptation of “It” was made as a miniseries and the 2017 adaptation was made as a movie.

“It” takes place in the small town of Derry where a group of children is being terrorized by Pennywise, the dancing clown which shifts between manifesting as their worst fears or a humorous clown with razor-sharp teeth. The clown not only terrorizes them as children but once again calls them back to Derry as grown adults.

Both incorporate elements from the book and interpret it in a similar yet original way with. Some iconic scenes are cut from both adaptations largely because the book is over 1,000 pages.

The plot of the miniseries switches between the point of view of the children, also known as the Loser’s Club, and their successful adult lives. The children’s point of view provides background about how they came to be terrorized by Pennywise and how they come together to defeat it.

As adults they seem to forget that any of it ever happened, in fact, they have a hard time remembering each other which demonstrates Pennywise’s powers. Each adult has a flashback explaining how Pennywise came to them be it through the sink, a shower drain, or as a werewolf. After the flashback, the adults make an emergency trip back to Derry to stop the murderous Pennywise.

This way of storytelling is often rather slow and drags on for a really long amount of time. Going through each character’s flashback is very time consuming and exceedingly boring and you watch through a total of seven flashbacks.

In comparison, the movie does a good job keeping the viewer’s attention as there is never a dull or confusing moment.

The effects of the miniseries are interesting as “It” is shot on film so it has a classic grainy look that I personally prefer over recording, however it is very lackluster in its gore scenes. You never see the classic arm bitten off scene, blood that gurgles looks soupy, and blood that sprays is awkward for the fact that there is a pause between takes of an actor sitting and then being sprayed.

The movie has very realistic looking blood and even shows Georgie getting his arm bitten off in its entirety, maybe even for a few too many seconds long. My one quarrel with the movie’s effects would be why they chose to computer generate the red balloons. It’s fairly obvious it isn’t a real balloon compared to the miniseries colorful balloons that follow characters around.

The miniseries is notorious for having scared an entire generation of kids. My uncle even remarked that for the longest time my mother refused to take a shower because of “It.” Rewatching the miniseries, however, I think it’s one of the biggest let downs I’ve ever experienced.

The story is slow and awkward and most of the horror can be written off as cheesy. Pennywise is practically non-existent in the first half of the series, and when he is present he follows the exact same routine of taking on the form of someone’s fear, turning back into Pennywise, telling a joke, etc.

There’s never any real sense of fear from Pennywise alone because he doesn’t do anything besides mess with the kids. I would say the real horror of the miniseries comes from Pennywise creating things that aren’t really there that only the kids can see such as dead relatives or blood that doesn’t wash off.

In contrast, the movie was dead on with creating a more tense and thrilling horror movie. Pennywise has more of a presence this time around and is tall, lanky, and ominous. He not only grossly contorts himself but jerks and lunges at the kids creating a real sense of terror and chance of death or fatal injury for the kids.

It’s very riveting to watch and creates a sense of unease with the viewer.

Lastly, it all comes down to who really made the best Pennywise. The miniseries featured Tim Curry as Pennywise who is perhaps best known for his role as the mad scientist and transvestite Dr. Frank-n-Furter in the cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Curry’s representation of Pennywise is iconic as Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, or Leatherface with the long red hair and white gloves and pointed teeth all in smudged clown makeup.

The movie’s Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård, takes on the role and really makes an impression and is all around more terrifying with his more alien/monster persona.

In my opinion, I think the movie “It” does a way better job telling the story and providing more scares. The “It” miniseries wasn’t particularly good rewatching years later but I appreciate it for being a classic that many people are still enthralled with. And I’ll always consider Tim Curry to be my Pennywise. It hasn’t aged well what horror movie honestly has?