SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers about the new adaptation of Stephen King's IT. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to know any specific details before you do, please bookmark this page and save it for later reading!
The 1990 television adaptation of IT is a horror milestone for many of the millennial generation. Anchored by a brilliant and iconic performance by Tim Curry, it's a three hour telling that fully dives into Stephen King's beloved, lengthy tome, and successfully has delivered nightmares to thousands. That being said, it's also an adaptation that many of us look back on with rose-colored glasses, and the reality is that the new film version from director Andres Muschietti is superior in many ways.
We would never want to try and take away anyone's enjoyment of anything, particularly something with as much merit as the TV version of IT, but as both an adaptation and piece of storytelling, the new big screen take does have it beat in many specific areas -- despite what those in our site's TV section may think. But what areas, you ask? Well, let us break it down for you below and on the next few pages...
It Lets The Story Breathe
Unlike many adaptations of long stories that get jammed into single, short feature films, the first adaptation of IT made a smart move -- going the television route and guaranteeing some extra real estate where run time was concerned. While a movie at the time would have only promised 90-120 minutes at the time, TV allowed the two-tiered story to be told over three hours. But as this new adaptation helps us really understand, it's still quite not enough to do the narrative justice.
The IT miniseries does a fine job showcasing the members of the Losers Club as kids -- showing us how they bonded and how they defeated Pennywise in the late 1950s -- but it doesn't hold a candle to the treatment provided to the characters in the new film. Sure, some of the leads don't get arcs as strong as some of the others, but there is still a deeper dive allowed for the more significant roles, and it's genuinely refreshing for the narrative that we just get to watch Bill, Eddie, Beverly, Stan, Mike, Richie and Ben as kids and not already have a full understanding of the adults that they grow up to be.