This post contains minor spoilers amid comparisons between the book and film
“New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” directed by Andy Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.” (Source: Rotten Tomatoes)
On Tuesday, Mom took me to the matinée in Conway to see the new It – and it was great. It does have a few changes that are worth noting though – and I’m curious as to how they will play out in the next part. Presently, the film only covers the part that takes place in 1957-1958 (though in the movie, it’s 1988), which leaves things open for another film.
First, I want to say that I have a thing for Bill Skarsgård. I have since I watched Hemlock Grove, where he plays an upir. So finding out that he would be playing Pennywise somehow dispelled my fear of clowns (which actually formed when I was eight and watched the It miniseries – or at least, the first bit of it). Skarsgård performance is spectacular and I have no complaints regarding his acting.
For the most part, It follows a line between the miniseries and the book. When it comes to a tome the size of It, obviously things have need cutting out. To expect more would likely have mean an entire series (not that I’d complain). There are a few things that really bugged me though. First, Richie does not do his voices in It. This is a major character trait that I feel should have been included – especially since he uses his voice imitations in the book to get past Pennywise. To leave out one of Richie’s defining characteristics is disappointing, as I really wanted to see how it would play out.
Second, once again, what Stan sees differs from the book. Those that have read It know that Stan ends up trapped in a standpipe. Here, a corpse comes at him and in order to escape, he recites the names of birds from a book he keeps in his pocket. This causes the door to open and thus Stan Uris lives. His obsession with birds, like Richie’s voice imitations, is another defining characteristic of the boys that is left out.
Because the movie is pressed for time, it’s easier to understand why other elements are left out – such as the real reason behind Eddie Corcoran’s death (which is left simply at “missing” in the film). In fact, several of the disappearance are touched upon just enough to remind viewers how threatening Pennywise is – and that’s perfect for this film.
Overall, I really enjoyed It. I feel that leaving out those two defining characteristics of Richie and Stan was unnecessary. Despite that, It comes in as one of my favorite film so far this year and I might have to bug Mom to get it for me on DVD.