Comparing and Contrasting Stephen King's "It"
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Stephen King's "It": Comparing And Contrasting The Characters In The 1990 Miniseries And The 2017 Film

"We all float down here, and you will, too."


"It" is one of Stephen King's most popular novels to date. The book follows seven misfit friends who must take action to defeat an evil entity terrorizing their town. The monster exploits the fears of its victims to disguise itself. It mostly takes the form of a clown in order to lure children into its grasp, as kids are its favorite prey.

The novel was adapted into a miniseries that was released in 1990 on ABC as a two-part, three hour TV movie. In 2017, a film adaption hit theaters. There has been a lot of mixed reception between both works. A lot of people believe one is better than the other, while others think both are equally matched.

Who was the better clown?

Let's take a look at Pennywise The Clown himself. Tim Curry took on the role in the miniseries while Bill Skarsgard played Pennywise in the film. When it comes to their costumes, makeup, and personalities, both are obviously creepy, but there are still a few glaring differences.

Curry's version looks like a typical circus clown with the white face, colorful baggy suit, and messy red hair. It doesn't look threatening, which makes it all the easier to attract children into its mitts. This clown is evil, no doubt, but it is also a wisecracker and can actually be a little bit funny. Tim's performance earned a lot of praise, and it's easy to see why.

Skarsgard's version was excellent as well, but different. His appearance was a lot more frightening and sinister. Instead of a colorful suit, it has a silver one (just like in the book) that looks like what Italian opera clowns wore, a red nose that is painted on, and a red line etched in its white makeup. It seems a lot more evil than its 1990 counterpart, barely able to pass off as being human.

What about the kids?

There are also a few differences between both versions of The Losers' Club as far as the actors and the characters they portray.

The 1990 Losers' Club was played by some decent child actors. The casting of the roles was on point and the kids were ten times more talented than the adult actors. The strong friendship they have in this version is also a main highlight. The strength of their bond is obvious and believable, and this is very good considering their friendship in the book is key to defeating It.

The 2017 Losers' Club were also cast perfectly. The kids' acting was incredible and they were a lot more similar to their novel counterparts, especially Richie. Their bond was also pretty tight, but not as close-knit as the 1990 Losers' club. It is exciting to see what the adult Loser's Club will offer in the 2019 sequel this fall.

And what about Henry Bowers?

Both versions of Henry are very different as well.

In the miniseries, he seems more like your typical school bully, even sporting a greaser-like appearance. However, as the story goes on, he slowly loses his insanity. He gives no hints of coming from an abusive home and comes off as just being a sick individual who harms others because he simply wants to.

In the film adaption, Henry's appearance is much different, likely due to the time period, his hair cut into a mullet and dressing like a punk. His awful home life is shown several times which explains his behavior and decreasing sanity. His sadism is slightly toned down compared to the novel and miniseries, even giving Bill a "free pass" when his brother Georgie went missing.

So, which movie did it better?

Both adaptations have their ups and downs. If I had to choose, I would choose the 2017 film, because the acting was better and it focused on just the kids and saved their adult lives for another movie.

As for Pennywise, however, I'd choose Tim Curry. He looks and acts less scary and I love his wisecracking. Also, Tim Curry is just amazing in general.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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