You Probably Haven’t Seen This 1998 Remake of ‘IT’
In 1990, Tommy Lee Wallace created the first adaptation of Stephen King’s horror masterpiece “It.” Despite its limitations in terms of production, Wallace was able to skillfully navigate his way around ABC’s content restrictions without sacrificing key narrative elements. The resulting miniseries went on to be known as one of the best interpretations of King’s work. Subsequently, it was also the reason clowns became the ultimate millennial antagonist.
In 2017 Andrés Muschietti’s adaptation became one of the highest grossing horror films of all time. While a total commercial success it was met with some contention, these reservations stemming from just how much both Derry and our “Lucky Seven” were altered for the updated timeline. Muschietti’s version was rated R, which for some meant it could be compensating for a lack of immersive story building and character development.
The 2017 version was the latest instance of 80’s nostalgia done well, but more importantly it was the point where that trend became painful to tolerate as a viewer. The marketing conceit behind this adaptation was well paced, and as the first “technical” film adaptation it was able to imbue elements the series frankly didn’t have the capacity to explore.
But, in 1998 there was another adaption; one that is largely unknown even by genre-fans. WOH, was a 52 episode Hindi language Indian television show airing on Zee TV. So what happens when you take Derry completely of the equation? You’re left with an unsettling and surreal subversion that allows you to focus more on the situation without being hindered by whether or not the setting is what you want it to be. From here on out there will some spoilers so if you’re a purist stop here.