Stephen King might be one of the most adapted authors in film history. Dating back to 1976 when Carrie was first introduced, there has been a King adaptation practically every three years since then. Some of the most famous are The Shining, The Green Mile, and The Shashank Redemption. Though the man is known for his horror-leaning writing, he has written some beautiful dramas as well. However, one of his most famous horror classics, which received a reboot in 2017 is murdering the charts on Netflix. Yes, pun very much intended. That horror classic is the remake of It.
It was originally a two-part mini-series adapted from the famous Stephen King novel, that had been released in 1990. The film starred Tim Curry as Pennywise, and all but scared the world in the worst way possible. The newest iteration was released in 2017, with Bill Skarsgard taking over the role of Pennywise. It follows a clown that has appeared in Derry, but this clown is possessed by an evil demon that consumes children. Georgie is one of the first to die at the hands of the evil clown, as his arm is ripped off by Pennywise after he reaches into a sewer to retrieve his paper boat. Georgie is then pulled into the sewer. Georgie’s brother, Bill blames himself for the death of his younger brother. Bill, Richie, Eddie, Stan, Beverly, and Ben form a friendship and group called, The Losers Club. Together, they realize they have been haunted by the same entity, which they have deemed, It. It has appeared in some fashion to each of the children, terrorizing them. After Beverly stands up to her abusive father, It captures her, so the club finds the secret lair of It beneath a well in an old house, and they all descend into the sewers to fight the creature. We will leave you with this vague description of the plot so that the entire movie is not ruined.
It made have been a remake, but it was a massively successful remake. The film had around a $50 million budget and was able to secure $701 million in box office numbers. Stephen King was likely proud that both adaptations did so well. This success led to chapter two being made. That was always the plan, considering the original TV series was also two parts, but the huge success of the remake put more of a need to get the second film started. Although some changes were made from the book to the miniseries, and the corresponding film reboot—audiences and critics loved the 2017 version. It still holds an 86% “certified fresh” critic rating and 84% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critic consensus lauded the performances by the kids and Pennywise. Honestly, and this might sound like blasphemy, Skarsgard was a better Pennywise than Curry. We know, we know. He was just that good. Go watch It on Netflix, and you will see why we claim that.
The original Stephen King It adaptation was deemed a success as well, considering that it was nominated for two Primetime Emmys, landing one for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Miniseries or a Special. Tim Curry was lauded as Pennywise, even landing Best TV Clown 1990 honors next to Homey the Clown from In Living Color. That is quite an honor if we have to say so ourselves. The 2017 version of It did bring a new level of horror with it, and that horror was truly based on how good Skarsgard was as Pennywise. Though the design was drastically different, his version was somehow far more frightening. There was something about his blank stare while being in the sewer that just scares us. It is worth a watch on Netflix.
Although reboots are not always the best course of action, It from 2017 was a resounding success, and now it’s on Netflix. Stephen King also has a quick cameo in the film. Fans flocked to the theaters to see one of the most classic stores retold in more contemporary times. CGI and special effects truly made a huge difference in comparison to the older version.
It will always be one of the most frightening stories ever written by Stephen King. There is a big reason why the remake is doing so well on Netflix. Anyone who hasn’t seen the film should give it a try. Even if you grew up on the mini-series, and you swear allegiance to Tim Curry, which we totally understand, the new reboot film is frightening and well written. Give it a shot, just don’t go saying “hi” to clowns in sewers.