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Moments In The 1990 It Movie That Are Scarier Than 2017's Remake

We all float down here.

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1. Moving Pictures


The 2017 version of It includes a memorably terrifying sequence in which Pennywise comes to life within a sinister slideshow, but the 1990 version of that moment is a bit eerier in some respects. 

For one thing, Bill Denbrough is alone and still completely grief-stricken about his brother Georgie's funeral when he first comes into contact with It. (In this version, as with the book, he actually knows his brother is dead.) He skims through a book of photos, when all of a sudden Georgie's most recent picture winks at him and starts oozing blood. What's worse is that Bill's parents are more concerned about him not belonging in the room than finding out what he saw—or more importantly, what they can't see. It's nightmarish enough not to be believed or heard by your parents, but when they're smearing invisible blood all over your murdered brother's room…shudder.

Pennywise's page-bouncing also comes into play later when the Losers are looking at Mike's dad's photo album about Derry's many child-murder sprees, and the town square's carnival comes to life with a certain dancing clown at the center. If the slow burn of him coming into closer, full-color view isn't scary enough, the fact that he then reaches through the page to grab at the Losers while using Henry Bowers' typical refrain ("I'll kill you all!") should keep you up at night.

2. Ben´s Father

The new version of It makes very little of Ben Hanscom's background, but the miniseries introduces a gnawing element of the story that still works as a hair-raiser. Early on, Ben is seen traipsing through the Barrens alone—he is new in town, after all—and sees his long-lost father in military dress, standing in the swamp and beckoning him into the sewer.

The 2017 movie offers its own share of Pennywise's dread-inducing impressions (poor fake Georgie), but the idea that Ben's dead dad would slowly morph into the clown like that betrays a monstrous sophistication and cruelty that's hard to forget.

3. Beverly´s Sink Scene


The 2017 movie does a good job of incorporating everything Beverly Marsh's bathroom scene is supposed to mean—it couldn't be any clearer that her physical maturation is stoking fear in Beverly, and others in her life. But there's still something extraordinarily unsettling about the 1990 version.

It's slower, there are children's voices crying out to Beverly for help, and once the balloon of blood explodes all over the place, Mr. Marsh puts his hands right into the gory mess just like Bill's did, unaware or unwilling to see what his kid sees. Not only that, but the blood also comes back after the first time Beverly cleans it, and she's not even sure that it's real until the other Losers confirm it. A test of her squeamishness and sanity? Shiver!

4. Bill`s Stutter

In the new It movie, Bill's stutter still affects his ability to communicate with others, but it isn't quite as debilitating as it was in the 1990 miniseries. While treating his stammering as a footnote to the character may have made room for other emotional ramifications of the Losers' lives (and avoided caricaturing a real disorder many people face), it did dial down the nightmarish element of that affliction.

In the miniseries, Bill is often shown stumbling over his words during crucial moments, like telling the others what he saw or explaining to his folks why Georgie's photo freaked him out so badly. It reflected a common dilemma kids tend to have: not being listened to by adults, even when they have something important to say. And who hasn't had that nightmare where the monsters are coming and speech paralysis sets in? In other words, Bill's stutter was scary for reasons wholly outside of his inability to say "he thrusts his fists against the post."

5. Pennywise

We`ve all got to admit that despite the new Pennywise´s new look, Bill Skarsgård`s creepy smirk, or even the CGI in the 2017 IT, no clown will ever haunt us in our nightmares like Tim Curry`s 1990 Pennywise.


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