New or Old It, which is scarier?


Just when it was okay to go back to the circus, It enters the box office to give a whole new generation coulrophobia.

IT is a 1986 novel by Stephen King about a demonized clown that terrorizes the town of Derry, Maine during the summer of 1988. The story begins when the innocent Georgie is playing in the rain until his paper boat falls into a grate. This is where Pennywise the “dancing clown” is introduced. The character makeup and picture quality makes you feel like Pennywise is staring back at you. Georgie then goes missing, and his brother becomes obsessed on finding out what happened. He eventually gets his seven friends to become part of this mission. They become even more involved when Pennywise personally visits each one of them. The nerdy kid in the bunch, Ben discovers that Derry has a long history of children going missing every 27 years.

The 2017 version is much darker than the 1990 original. This can be credited to the fact that 1990 version involved a group of kids from the 60s, and this version involves a group of kids from the 80s. Kids from the 60s are typically labeled as good kids. The 80s era of children are labeled as rebellious.

The first major difference involves Bev, the only girl in the friend group. She lives alone with her physically abusive father. Both movies highlight this, but the new version shows it much worse. She shows a strength against her father, that was not shown in the other adaptation.

Secondly, Ben, the chubby nerdy kid of the bunch, gets cornered by the group of town bullies. Both movies show Henry Powers, the main bully, pull out a knife on him. But, the 2017 version shows actually reveal Henry carving out the letter H into Ben’s stomach. The new version is much more gruesome and intense during this particular scene.

Also, Pennywise the dancing clown went through a complete transformation in the making of this film. Tim Curry played pennywise in the old movie. This version was scary in its simplicity. The new Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, is scary because of its absurdity. The crookedness of his teeth and the blood tears rushing down his face are mesmerizing. The way he tilts his head with that signature smile, will send chills down your back. In my opinion, the new Pennywise is a lot scarier.

There are major music differences between the two films as well. The old version specifically use music so it is easy to predict when something will jump out on the screen. It is meant to make the moment suspenseful, but it comes off as cheesy. Both movies share the same theme song. The lack of music in the new movie is what makes it even scarier. The placement of music choices put the new movie a step above the old one.

Stephen King’s It will give horror movie fanatics something to go back to the movies for. Just in the time for Halloween, anyone who buys a ticket for this piece of scary movie mastery will not be disappointed.

Rylee Jackson, a senior, painted an impressive comparison between the 1990s and 2000 version of Pennywise. Notable differences include his hair, makeup, eyes, and smile. The old pennywise (on the left) looks inviting with his big red hair and matching red nose, cheery eyes, and the curl of his smile. The new pennywise (on the right) appears more tortured, based on the intense green of his eye, curl of the lip, and off-color orange hair.