It’s the age old question asked by any film or print fan around the planet. I know how many times I’ve been asked, ‘why would you read that, they made a movie?’ Obviously it’s because the book is always better.
But is it really?
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live.
It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .
The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.
Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.
I saw the original IT miniseries for the first time only a couple years ago. I know that it scared a lot of people, but it didn’t scare me at all, not even a little bit. I wasn’t impressed with Tim Curry as Pennywise. It was just too goofy for me to believe that he was terrifying. I thought the kids did a decent job of capturing the friendships, but mostly I wasn’t impressed.
I did love the book, which I also read in the last few years. Though it wasn’t as long as others, the moment I put the book down I’ve wished that the rumors of a remake were true and I’d see a really great adaptation, because the book begged for a really scary movie. The creators behind the new IT movie thankfully got it all right!
All of the kids were incredible. They nailed the connection and friendships, which were vital for a movie. Their friendship was the heart of the story. All of the kids were awesome, but Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier really stole the show! Richie was already one of the most vibrant characters in the book, and Finn seemed to get who he was and really brought him to life. Beep beep, Richie!
Bill Skarsgård’s interpretation of Pennywise was terrifying! Of all the fears that IT manifested, none of them were as scary as Pennywise. He was the perfect casting choice, because he turned Pennywise into a true nightmare.
Comparing the movie to Stephen King’s novel, I’d say both of them were strong in different ways. Obviously the book is able to dive deeper into each character, and the history of Derry. As good as these actors were, I’d still choose to read about them rather than watch, only because in a book I just get more. However, the scenes that I didn’t like in the novel (like something that happened in the end) weren’t included, which made the movie more enjoyable. Plus, the reality of Pennywise was so much more in the movie… It’s a hard choice.
I want to give this to the movie, that’s my initial reaction, but every time I try to type it I can’t. The book is too epic for it to lose to a 2 hour movie. Instead, I’ll call it a tie. The book was the basis for the wonderful movie, and the movie couldn’t have been as good as it was without it. However, many movies fail no matter how good the book is, so that makes the movie special too. Then, where the book was weak, the movie was strong, and vice versa. They were equally worth watching/reading, I say.
Now, go read the book, and then go watch the movie! Birdie says so!