“I’m every nightmare you’ve ever had, I’m everything you ever were afraid of.” Pennywise the clown “IT”
I am a huge fan of Stephen King. Over fifty books, a huge number of which have been, or are being made into movies. To think that he had thrown his manuscript for “Carrie” away and his wife took it out of the trash, and made him send it to a publisher, is probably the most frightening. We could have never known the most prolific horror writer of the century. My all time favorite of Mr. King’s work is IT. Stephen King has said IT is the only book to give him writer’s block.
I love both the book, and the movie. Though honestly I have to say I’m more partial to the book. While the miniseries/movie is great in it’s own right, mostly thanks to Tim Curry’s excellent performance the book is that much better. The movie changed and/or completely left some stuff out. This is why I’m not as down on the coming remake as I would be. This piece will tell what was left out/changed in the original movie, and give my thoughts on the coming remake.
What follows contains spoilers, if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie and plan on then stop reading now, you’ve been warned. Though as long as the book and movie has been out, what are you waiting for? Here we go.
The Differences from when they are children.
The movie takes place in the years 1960 and 1990, the book takes place in 1957-58 and 1985
In the movie, Ben is new to town, he lives with his mother at his mother’s sister’s house some time after his father’s death. In the book, Ben has always lived in town, he doesn’t see his father in the barrens in the book as he does in the movie. In the book he sees a more realistic version of Boris Karloff’s mummy.
In the movie Richie grows up to be a late night Television host, while in the book he is a radio DJ in Los Angeles. In addition he does see the Teenage Werewolf in the book, as he does in the movie but it’s in a different setting. The first time Richie sees IT, IT takes the form of a giant Paul Bunyan statue. This is something completely left out of the movie.
In the movie, Eddie isn’t married while in the book he’s married to an overbearing woman quite like his mother. Eddie doesn’t see IT as the clown in the shower at school. He sees IT as a leper who makes sexual advances toward him.
Bev’s scenes are the same in the book as they are in the movie, with one particularly gruesome thing left out of the movie for good reason. More on that later…
In the movie we never really learn what Stan saw as a child. In the book he sees a bunch of dead children in the stand pipe of the canal.
Again, in the movie we never know what Mike sees by himself as a child, other than the moving photograph with the rest of the group. In the book he is tormented by a giant bird in the remains of the Kitchener Iron Works.
In the movie there’s only three bullies, but in the book a fourth comes along though short lived, yes pun definitely intended.
Patrick Hockstetter was completely omitted from the movie, with good reason. In the book it is revealed that Patrick is a sociopath who killed his baby brother, and kills animals leaving them in a fridge in the town dump. Mere minutes before Patrick’s death he is seen in a sexual act with Henry, by Beverly. She then witnesses his death by flying leeches. (side note, this is one of two King stories that has a scene with leeches, the other being “The Body” which became “Stand By Me”.)
In the movie the group of children are known as The Lucky Seven, in the book they are known as The Loser’s Club
In the book, they face IT twice. Once in an abandoned house on Niebolt Street, then again in the sewer.
Another pivotal scene omitted from the movie is how Bev brings them all back together when they come out of the sewer. With their power waning she decides the only way to keep them connected is by having sex with them. This is not done in a perverted way, but using sex in it’s most pure form, the power of love. Director Tommy Lee Wallace has said this was left out because it didn’t feel “natural” but let’s be honest, this was left out because it would never fly with network censors.
The Ritual of Chud is another big part of the story that is left out.
In the book Belch Huggins and Victor Criss two of the childhood bullies are killed by IT under the guise of Frankenstein’s monster. In the movie we don’t see what for IT takes.
The differences from when the Loser’s Club is adults
There isn’t as many differences here, but there is one big one. In the movie Stan is the last one Mike calls, while in the book he is the first.
There are more victims that aren’t mentioned in the movie.
Okay, that covers the differences between the novel and the miniseries. Now on to the next topic the coming remake. While not much is known about the remake at present, we can safely bet the story will remain the same. The big thing I think will be changed is the years that the story takes place. The remake is going to be a theatrical release and released theatrically, so let’s hope a lot of the stuff left out or changed from the book in the miniseries will be in the theatrical version. The only problem I am having is a good cast for this. Other than Tim Curry reprising his role as Pennywise I really can’t see anyone else playing IT. Once I give it some more thought, and more information is known about the remake I will attempt to do a fantasy casting. Stay tuned boils and ghouls…