In the year 1990, the master of horror, Stephen King, unleashed “every nightmare we’ve ever had, our
worst dream come true, everything we’ve ever been afraid of.” He terrified adults and children alike
and ruined the careers of circus and birthday party clowns everywhere.
"IT", a two part miniseries based on the 1986 novel follows the story of a group of seven adolescent
outcasts terrorized by Pennywise the Clown, a vicious, shape-shifting entity in Derry, Maine.
Pennywise uses the kid’s own terrors against them. “I am the eater of worlds,” the clown declares,
“and of children.”
The self-proclaimed “Lucky Seven” group bands together to confront their childhood fears and destroy
the demonic serial killing clown.
When the clown awakens, thirsty for blood and vengeance thirty years later, “Lucky Seven” reunites to
defeat IT once and for all.
Emmy winning True Detective director Cary Fukunaga is currently working to resurrect the franchise.
Is this a good idea?
I’m the Haunting Usher. Let me scare you out of your seat.
Since the early two-thousands, Hollywood has been obsessed with cloning classics into cinematic
abominations. Some may have been successful. Will the same be said about "IT"?
Admittedly, a feature film could further explore elements from a novel spanning over a thousand
pages. For instance, there is a scene in the book where all six of the “Lucky Seven” boys make love to
the only girl in the group, Beverly Marsh , that was never shot in the original series.
The floating balloons and IT’s physical form are dated and can be vastly improved with a larger budget.
While some changes may sound enticing, remakes, particularly in the horror genre are often stifled by
CGI and other special effects. Look what happened with The "Thing?"
There were many things the miniseries did well. The deadlights, a power Pennywise uses to subdue its
victims into catatonic madness, are particularly freaky. Little exposition is given to grant the powers
much depth, making IT’s abilities that much more frightening and surreal.
Casting director Victoria Burrows could not have found a more suitable actor to portray the notorious
IT. According to Internet Movie Database (Imdb), Tim Curry was so menacing on set that everyone
avoided him. Notwithstanding that he was reluctant to accept the role due to an intense make-up
requirement the crew didn’t need to apply as much as they initially thought. Curry was already scary
enough. That takes extraordinary talent. Who could be more evil than that?
The actors playing the “Lucky Seven” group between one time-frame to another were also cleverly
chosen. The adolescents share uncanny resemblances to their older counterparts. It’s easy to accept
that the kids would look the way the adult actors do thirty years later.
Seth Green (Richie Tozier), the late Jonathan Brandis (Bill Denbrough) and some of the other actors
playing the younger generation of friends brought a lot of magnetism, charisma and imagination to their
roles. Moreover, IT aired around the same era as Stand By Me and The Goonies. Those movies
possess a nostalgic quality that can never be matched.
Harry Anderson (Tozier) Richard Thomas (Denbrough) the late John Ritter and other actors portraying
“Lucky Seven” each brought something of their own to contribute to their roles, improvisational
humor, a receding waistline, personal medication and a unique appreciation of Stephen King’s work. I
can’t imagine a more convincing ensemble.
The nuances in "IT" are to be commended. The scene where blood leaks all over the Denbrough family
photo album was a rarity in a TV series. It was far ahead of its time and inspired executives to venture
"IT" uses subtle and effective techniques to mark the alternating time periods. Bill Denbrough makes
frequent references to The Lone Ranger while mounting his bicycle. An advertisement for "77 Sunset
Strip" appears on an old television screen and "I Was A Teenage Werewolf" plays in a movie theater.
When we shift into the nineties, we spot a Mad magazine in the pharmacy where Eddie Kasprack goes
to fill his prescription. Ben Hanscomb is seen talking on a ridiculously large cell-phone in the backseat
of a taxi-cab.
It was simple for Tommy Lee Wallace to put us into the nineties when it was the nineties and not much
harder to capture the sixties. Now that it’s 2015, how is Fukunaga going to make the transitions
believable, assuming those are the decades he chooses? It will take more than Cadillac’s and Mad
magazines to convince us.
"IT", both the book and the movie inspired me to write horror and suspense. Those who have read my
Pieces of Fiction blogs will know I have taken that inspiration and put it to good use. When a story has
impacted your childhood, you don’t want to see it change.
Leave "IT" alone.
I’m the Haunting Usher. Let me scare you out of this nightmare.
Do you agree with my review? Is a remake really necessary? Let me know in the comments section.
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