The author starts by expressing their frustration with the 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. They believe that the nastiness and plot points from the source material were stripped away, leading to a mixed bag of casting choices. However, they also acknowledge that certain controversial parts of the story would be difficult to film and understand the limitations of television at the time. They then discuss how Andy Muschietti’s film adaptation of IT addresses some of the problems with the TV miniseries while also making changes that don’t always work.
“IT” films come close to mastering Stephen King’s epic tale.
They appreciate how well Muschietti captures the spirit of the book in a new direction, particularly in the iconic opening moments with Pennywise. They also praise the decision to move the childhood part of the story from the 1950s to the 80s, as it marks the film as a reimagining and allows for some refreshing changes. However, they feel that some of the characters don’t fully capture their book counterparts, particularly Bill and Mike who feel underutilized.
The author considers the casting of the adult Losers to be a masterstroke, with the actors embodying their younger counterparts’ mannerisms. They especially highlight Bill Hader’s performance as Richie, praising the redefined relationship between Richie and Eddie.
In terms of key moments from the book, the author understands some changes and omissions, but also notes odd changes such as Beverly needing to be saved from Pennywise and the rewriting of Patrick Hockstetter’s character. They mention the omission of other kids’ stories as slightly annoying.
The author, however, believes that Pennywise is the greatest display of the films falling short. While they praise Bill Skarsgard’s physical performance and the appearance of the clown, they feel that the abundance of over-the-top jump scares and clownish nonsense diminishes Pennywise’s aura. They find humor and horror should be balanced, but in this case, it often feels misplaced.
Overall, the author acknowledges that while the film adaptations come close to being what they wanted from an adaptation of a beloved book, there were frustrations with certain aspects. However, they credit Muschietti for evoking frustration rather than indifference or scorn.