In 2017, theatergoers will face down an evil that spans generations when Stephen King's behemoth of a 1986 novel IT is finally adapted for the big screen, after years of deflated previous attempts. Director Andrés Muschietti has been busy offering early sneak peeks to get audiences in the mood. (Not a mood people generally wish to wallow in, given the narrative, but excitement comes in all forms.) Comparisons to the 1990 ABC miniseries are impossible to avoid, either from others or one's own inner monologue, and I have to say I'm already tired of seeing people rag on the TV version, even if it's just passive Internet blathering.

As such, I'm drawing you all down here into the sewers of Derry to remind you of 5 things that IT's television debut got absolutely right. And for its more obvious faults, such as its weaker second half, the IT miniseries gets an inhaler full of bonus points for creating as many iconic moments as it did while using a 1990 made-for-TV budget to tackle one of the biggest tomes in modern fiction. It remains one of the best Stephen King adaptations put to film, and I'll defend it until my death. (Don't get any ideas about that, readers-who-may-be-werewolves.)

pennywise

Pennywise, Pennywise, Pennywise

Easily the most effective part of IT, if not the entire horror genre during the 1990s, is Tim Curry's indelibly nightmarish performance as the titular antagonist while in his clown persona, Pennywise. And it is with Curry that the IT miniseries manages to eclipse the book's psyche-jarring effectiveness, heightening one of fiction's most perverse monsters with surprisingly simple, but nonetheless pants-shittingly frightening visuals. His smile never manages to wipe away the depth-less hell behind his eyes, but his grins are still worlds more comforting than when he goes into full-on beast mode, which is basically just fake fangs and colored contact lens. But Jesus Heebie Jeebie Christ, it's just as unsettling all these years later. Free hugs, no thank you.

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