GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By VINCENT CORTES
He’s back and even scarier than before. He has forever changed the horror industry, and has been featured in one novel, a movie and a two part mini series. His name is Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
In 1986, the It franchise began when acclaimed horror writer, Stephen King, wrote the story of an entity who would feast on the fears of children. This being could take a multitude of forms, however it is primarily represented by Pennywise the clown. Since the novel’s publication, It has been converted into both a film and television series, gaining a large following.
Despite being directed by the same person, the 2017 adaption proves its superiority because of its serious atmosphere, sharp storyline and better developed characters.
One feature that differentiates the two is that the 1990 motion picture was separated into two parts and aired on television, while the 2017 version was made for theaters. In the novel, the overall tone was sinister and solemn. Considering the 1990 movie was aired on the television, they had to make it open to a family audience, causing the seriousness of the novel intended to be absent. On the other hand, the R-rated 2017 movie was released in theaters, restricting it to a more mature audience, allowing the grievous manner the novel emphasized to be explored.
For instance, the film showed graphic scenes which underlined the intense and grim tone. Whereas, the television series was prohibited from including the gruesome scenes. As an example, in the novel and the recent film, they portrayed Georgie’s death in a horrific manner, while the 1990 counterpart was so poorly shot that the scene became almost laughable. With its clear understanding of the atmosphere portrayed in the novel, the 2017 version displays a stronger and more accurate portrayal.
Due to the novel’s extreme length and detail, a movie cannot realistically depict all of the events that occur in the book; however, the 1990 titles had a major lack of content, due to the restrictions placed by television. Originally, the series was planned to be a four-parter with a total length of eight hours, but because of the publisher’s decision to narrow it down to a two part series spanning three hours, there was a severe lack of content, hurting the overall plotline.
Ultimately, the 2017 movie kept some of the major ideas from the novel while tweaking less important components. In addition, the directors were not restricted in terms of content in addition to a strong script, the version of 2017 portrayed characters like Pennywise the clown much more profoundly. Since It is the embodiment of horror, their depiction of Pennywise illustrates the immense terror children associate clowns with.
Overall, the 2017 movie is superior in almost every way compared to the 1990 counterpart. By following the novel more closely, It (2017) is able to do justice to the people who watched the original growing up. With that in mind, it is safe to say that the 2017 adaption brings more attention to the world of Pennywise, and the It franchise.