IT//photo courtesy of IT movie

By: Juliana Oleksy, Writer

It is the movie that everyone has been buzzing about and referencing since the original film. The remake of the 1980s Stephen King novel adds a modern twist to the infamous horror antagonist, Pennywise.

The original Pennywise, played by Tim Curry, offers a juvenile take on the killer clown, while the modern Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, presents a darker clown. This difference in Pennywise is contributed by modern technology, which plays the biggest part in the modern film.

The use of modern technology allows the director and writer to add horror around each corner that appeals to our generation. The original movie was absolutely terrifying to the generation that first watched It.

However, rewatching the film after all of the modern technology now available, takes away from the initial horror of the 1990s mini series for the same generation that first watched It.

Technology has affected our ability to be scared by horror movies, and could be the reason why there are so many changes in the new movie with character backstories, characterization and small plot changes.

In the modern movie of It, some of the characters’ backstories are different from those in the book and original mini series. These changes are calculated to go along with the other minor changes made along the way.

The most significant change would have to be the setting from the original being set in the 1950s and the modern movie being fully set in the 1980s. Some differences in backstories include the deaths of both parents of a protagonist, the change of Henry’s dad’s occupation, and the historian role being taken away from Mike.

The characters of Beverly, Mike and Stan undergo some major characterization changes. Beverly is given a reputation of being “easy” and plays a damsel in distress role towards the end of the movie.

Mike lives with his grandfather,  is homeschooled and works in the meat industry. Stan goes from being a devoted boy scout in the original to preparing for his bar mitzva as the Orthodox Rabbi’s son in the modern film.

The love triangle between Ben, Beverly and Bill is still prominently underlying throughout the film. However, the change that I like is that the relationship between Georgie and Bill is featured more in-depth, which creates the main framework for the film.

You are able to feel Bill’s pain and see more of the brotherly love between the two siblings. Going along with the relationship theme of the movie, the Losers Club’s friendship is more defined in the modern film.

Pennywise is most known for his different forms that shift throughout the film, especially the spider-form. Well, you might as well throw out any expectations you have on what forms Pennywise will take because all of the original forms are replaced with CGI created forms to scare a modern audience.

I’m not going to complain about the CGI because I feel that the modern technological effects adds to the horror aspect of the movie, but these minor differences change the plot of the movie. Other small differences include kidnappings of one of the protagonists and added deaths of some minor characters.

Although the novel and mini series’ most significant scenes may be portrayed differently, the motif of the red balloon and the phrase “They all float down here” still stay in tact.  

However, the changes throughout the film still made me question what will happen with the It franchise in the future because the new movie creates some unknowns compared to the original film and book.

I would have to say that although all of the kids played their characters phenomenally, Finn Wolfhard steals the show with his quick wit and humor as Richie Tozier. Even though the modern Pennywise is significantly different from the 1990s version, the horror element was still present to the extent that Pennywise is uncomfortable to watch.

I also like how the underlying theme of the difference between adults and children is present throughout the film with the adults seeming useless when it comes to helping. This could be a set up for the next movie, where the Loser’s Club are adults in our modern world.

Yes, the very end of the movie hints to us another It movie by flashing “Chapter 1” in addition to the title It.

The movie critics at Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a rating of eighty-five percent, which is significantly high for their rating system, and the audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is eighty-eight percent.

I would recommend this movie if you like horror that keeps you on the edge of your seat. On the other hand, please don’t watch this movie if you’re expecting the original It movie and book because your expectations will not be fulfilled.