by Lash

By now, seeing red floating balloons would have made us shudder and any sighting of clown in whatever shape or form would send us running. Stephen King’s It smashed box office records during its opening weekend, reaching a staggering $123.1 million globally, edging past Spiderman: Homecoming to land as the third highest opening movie of the year (behind Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).  


Watching It was like watching Stand By Me, except with a creepy clown that brings out your biggest fears in a town filled with mysterious deaths. While director Andy Muschietti brings out the essence of King’s story, and filled the 135 minutes with intense scenes (especially the one with the kids watching old family photos on the projector that malfunctioned to reveal something more sinister), we cannot help but find some other terrifying scenes from the novel that were not in the movie. Let’s look at four:

1.       The group orgy that’s on everyone’s mind

OK, let’s get this over and done with. Before the movie was released, there were many discussions on the possibility of this crucial scene in the book being translated to the big screen. In the book, when the kids ventured into the sewers to kill It, and thought they succeeded, they got lost in the vast network of sewer system after that, and only a psychic energy released through group sex can help them get out. The scene didn’t make it to the movie, and King was glad. In 2012, the author shared, “I wasn’t really thinking of the sexual aspect of it. The book dealt with childhood and adulthood — 1958 and Grown Ups. The grown-ups don’t remember their childhood. None of us remember what we did as children. We think we do, but we don’t remember it as it really happened. Intuitively, the Losers knew they had to be together again. The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood. It’s another version of the glass tunnel that connects the children’s library and the adult library. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues.”

2.       What, no werewolves?

If you’ve seen It, you would have realised that almost each of the kid is haunted by something like a manifestation of their biggest fear. Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) is haunted by visions of his little brother Georgie, who drowned, Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) is chased by a hideous leper, Beverly (Sophia Lillis) is inundated with gushing blood, Stanley is creeped out by this dreadful painting that comes to life, but only “motor-mouth” Richie seemed relatively unscathed. His biggest fear turns out to be an anti-climactic… clown. In the book, Richie is actually chased by an It turned werewolf several times, terrifying the pants off the usual shit-talking self-assured boy. He was afraid of werewolves because he had just watched I Was a Teenage Werewolf in the theatres. The movie was originally in the ‘50s, and since this update is set in the 80s, it didn’t quite make sense to include the werewolf.

3.       Patrick Hocksetter's death’s gruesome death

In the movie, Patrick is one of Derry’s town bully’s henchmen, and a cruel one. He likes to pick on helpless kids, and in the book, it explores his sadism further. It turns out Patrick loves to kill small, defenceless animals and keep them in his fridge. In the movie version, his death was not shown; he chased down town newcomer Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) into the sewer and never came out. In the novel, his demise was more graphic. He was looking into the fridge after his latest kill, and come face to face with dozens of flying leeches, latching onto him all at once, literally sucking the life out of him.

4.       The lack of that sinister feel

This isn’t really quite a scene from the book but more of feel. King wrote It as part of a bigger universe, and his Derry is a town that’s displaced, a dark, unsettling place where strange things happen and you can feel it in your bones. Apart from feeding on children, It also fans the fire on racism, hatred, violence, sexual predation and more, making Derry a shifty town. Muschietti’s version however, is missing that ominous feel. We find out the town’s shady and dubious past through Ben’s extensive research about the town’s history of unusual child deaths. Other than that, Derry just seems like any other town in 80s America, and is just so happens that there’s a creepy clown. This film version could almost use with the desolateness and sense of unknown danger that was created in the “Upside Down” in last year’s Stranger Things.