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IT 1990 vs IT 2017-2019…. Which Is The Better Version?

IT 1990 VS IT 2017 & 2019

I did not watch the 1990 IT miniseries until way later in life. I had seen parts of it, but I didn’t go back and watch the whole thing until after I read the Stephen King book around 2005. So while others my age have a bit of nostalgia for the TV mini-series, I don’t have childhood stories of Tim Curry scaring the crap out of me. I found the 1990 series to be pretty corny in certain parts, and after seeing IT Part 1 in 2017, I thought FOR SURE the new version would be the superior version. Now that Chapter 2 is out, I’ve thought very hard about which version is superior.

Tim Curry vs Bill Skarsgard. Who wore Pennywise better?

This will be debated about until the end of time in horror circles, and if anything that is because both portrayals of the psycho alien clown are pretty spot on – while being completely different and unique. The original Tim Curry performance is scary and jarring, but he reminds me of the creepy neighbor who dresses like a clown and throws kids into the back of his van. Skarsgard seems more like an other-worldly alien, but I don’t find him as creepy – and I think it’s because I don’t find Skarsgard as “real”. Skarsgard gets the upper hand with state of the art special effects, but I’m not sure it helps him be more scary than Curry. There are scenes in the 1990 version with Curry just standing there, and it just seems creepier than what we get in 2019. In the end I think it’s pretty much a tie, and it just depends on personal preference. I prefer Curry.

1990 Adults vs 2019 Adults

The biggest complaint that I hear about the 1990 version is that the movie starts to suck when the kids come back  to Derry as adults. I can agree with this sentiment, but what shocked me about watching IT Chapter 2 this past weekend is I found the exact same issues that popped up with the adults in 1990 come roaring back in the updated 2019 version. The adult actors are probably better in the 2019 version, but the things they do in the movie seem more like things kids would do vs adults in a horror movie. It’s how the book is written, but sometimes it comes across as hokey on the big screen. It felt like Stranger Things with adults in the leading roles, and something about it just doesn’t sit right with me in either versions of IT.

1990 Run Time vs 2017 & 2019 Run Time

I didn’t think this would be an issue for me after seeing IT Chapter 1 in 2017. It felt a hair long, but it definitely didn’t feel like the length of the movie was an issue. The original mini series clocks in at 3 hours and 12 minutes. It’s LONG – But IT Chapter 2 (JUST CHAPTER 2) has a 2 hour and 45 minute run time, and in the theaters IT FELT like every second of 2 hours and 45 minutes. IT Chapter 2 feels bloated. The new IT felt like it wanted to be a Lord of the Rings style epic, with the epic run time, but I just wanted the whole thing to be over at some point. So while the 1990 IT is kind of long at 3 hours and 15 minutes, the total run time of IT Chapters 1 and 2 clocks in at 5 hours and 15 minutes.

IT 1990 VS NEW IT. Which One Would I Rather Watch?
When revisiting IT on the big screen, I think I’ll be going with the 1990 version normally. I prefer Tim Curry to Bill Skarsgard. I prefer the the more minimal (And somewhat cheap) looking special effects of the 1990 version. It might not be as slick as the newer version, but that is ok with me. The real deal breaker is the run time. The 1990 version is two hours less than the newer version, and the extra two hours feels like it all takes place in IT Chapter 2, and I didn’t enjoy Chapter 2 anywhere near as much as I enjoyed IT chapter 1. – Producer Dan