How does IT (2017) Compare to the Original
When the trailer for the 2017 movie IT was released millions of viewers had feeling of excitement, nostalgia, and terror. It brought back memories of the 1990s when children stayed up to read or watch the original story of Pennywise's terrorizing reign over the children in a small Maine town, as well as a new audience who heard of the tales and were ready to experience the story for themselves. But many like myself wondered, how would the remake of this classic horror story that made a generation terrified of clowns hold up to the original? Lets take a look (I'll make some sections small so I don't risk slipping any spoilers).
The original story about seven young kids in the "Losers Club" experiencing an evil in the town of Derry in the form of child eating clown named Pennywise essentially remains the same. However the new 2017 version focuses only on the kids at their young age, where as the original shows them both as children and as adults. This should mean that the new movie should provide more of a backstory for the children since it has two hours to focus on them as opposed to telling the entire story in three hours as the original did. However, I found that the original actually had a better and more in depth story overall; each kid had a section of the film devoted to them and telling their backstory and how it relates to the overall story. Also, how Beverley and Mike join the Losers seemed more pronounced and like they were actually accepted as a part of the club, whereas in the new version they kind of just start hanging out together with little events that actually brings them into the club. The new version also fails to prove that IT has been happening in Derry for as long as the town has existed. A brief piece of that backstory is mentioned here or there, but the missing children seem to be isolated events whereas in the original the entire town know that something was happening and everything was somehow connected. That being said the new version does have its merits with its own story. While some aspects differ from the original and like the previously mentioned lack of individual back stories, it does a good job on building the atmosphere and overall premise for the movie. For example, Mike has a more prominent back story that explains his fears and actions later in the movie, and the overall movie has a good flow and doesn't feel the first half is just an intro (the original can get pretty tedious waiting for some action).
With the original winning a point with the story, the 2017 version ties the score with horror. While some will argue that there is nothing like old school horror flicks or that you can't compare old horror movies to new ones, this new version is definitely scarier and has better horror scenes. Aside from Pennywise's new and scarier look (which we will get to in a minute) there are numerous scenes that actually have some pretty good scare material. Yes, some are simple jump scares, but I felt like this movie took a step further, and a step back to original horror tactics, and tried to build the suspense and overall atmosphere. To do this they had to add some gore. Specifically the opening scene with little Georgie losing his boat. In the original you are left to your imagination and the police report to figure out what happened to him, but the new version leaves nothing to the imagination and shows exactly what happens. As the movie progresses and starts to deviate from the original story they took this opportunity to add some pretty terrifying scenes; when the original mentioned kids went missing, they left it at that whereas now you can see pretty clearly what happened to them. But it is not all gore, there are some genuine scares that don't involve blood at all. I don't want to spoil anything but there are some moments that will give you the chills.
Pennywise the Dancing Clown
Pennywise, the iconic clown nicknamed "IT" that made a generation terrified of clowns, is back and ... different. He got a makeover that makes him scarier just by looks, but his new looks had to be accommodated by a new, scary, mean, attitude. There was sometime about the original Pennywise that although he didn't exactly look scary at first glance he just sent chills down your spine. He didn't have to have an attitude to be creepy and when he did show his scary side you knew something bad was about to happen. Also, in the original it didn't seem like IT was actively and personally going after the kids. Yes he made them see their fears but he wasn't physically attacking them as much as IT does in the new version. But the new Pennywise gets a point for actually explaining what the heck he meant whenever he said "they all float", whereas in the original I was left trying to piece it together even during the credits.
The End (Or is IT)
I'll try not to let any spoiler's slip but just for the record *SPOILER ALERT?* the 2017 IT is only the first chapter. Where the original was a miniseries that in total took about three hours to tell the story both as adults and as kids through flashbacks, the new version broke the story into two parts: first when the Losers Club were kids, and second, more than likely, when they are adults as their own films. That being said, I think the new 2017 film does a very good job in ending the children's story and setting the stage for the next installment. While there are certain aspects that can only be done through flashbacks, as in the original, the new version does better, in my opinion, to bring closure to the kid's story and explain why IT will have such an impact on them once they grow up. You get a better understanding of what IT is than the entire original (yes, the new story did lack a little in overall explanation but as a general horror movie it did a good job in closing the story it began). While some events from the original were changed it seemed like they were not changed too much so that the audience can decide which version of that event they liked better. Overall nothing changed to the point where the movie or story would be ruined, but personally I think the ending does a good job in finishing what the movie started and setting up the next installment.