For those who don’t know, Stephen King’s infamous horror masterpiece It, which tells the tale of a shapeshifting monster who preys on children, is being remade into a film due out September 2017. The upcoming film is rumored to be be quite a faithful adaptation of the written work, reports the Inquisitr. King’s book is a whopping 1,138 pages long, though, and exactly what parts of it are chosen to be included in the movie will make or break it.
A Second Chance
It was also adapted for the screen in 1990 for a TV miniseries, but Stephen King’s diehard fans will be the first to point out that the 1990 retelling did not do justice to King’s novel. The Stephen King forum on Reddit, a meeting place for the most rabid King fans across the globe, was recently polled on which terrifying scenes from the masterful work of horror fiction they want to see on screen this time around. Five of the top responses are explained below. Obviously, spoilers follow.
1. The Standpipe Scene
“Squish. Squish.” The drawl of carnival calliope music. Corpses of dead children floating in a water tank. All set in the dark, dirty, and claustrophobic Derry Standpipe. Maybe it is because of how it weaves in some extremely vivid audio scares and maybe it is because of how well the isolation and desolation of the setting are established, but fans agree it is one of the creepiest scenes in It, and in Stephen King’s work in general. They also agree it would work almost as well on screen as in Stephen King’s book if it were directed right.
2. The Flying Leeches
Those who have read the Stephen King original probably remember the scene in which Patrick Hockstetter, one of Derry’s school bullies, is captured by the titular shapeshifter, also named Pennywise. It is, after all, pretty hard to forget a scene in which flying leeches burst out of a refrigerator used to store animal carcasses, drain a teenager of blood until he loses consciousness, and then deliver him to a monster who proceeds to eat the boy alive. Yes, it’s brutal and exceedingly horrific. Exactly the kind of brutality and creepiness Stephen King fans think the film needs to retain the feel of the source material.
3. More Deaths
Admittedly, this is not a specific scene, but the Stephen King faithful say the movie needs to show more of the actual deaths caused by It. That may sound kind of sadistic at first (can you say “schadenfreude?”), but here’s the explanation. One of the biggest flaws of the 1990 adaptation, according to Stephen King fans, is the fact that Pennywise is not scary enough.
“One of the big drawbacks in the TV movie is that Pennywise feels very toothless,” writes Stephen King junkie Draculasaurus_Rex on the Reddit thread.
“He often just taunts the kids instead of attacking them, or they escape him very easily, but we also get almost no scenes that establish just how dangerous he really is. All the bits in the book where Pennywise is described killing other people are there to set the stakes, to establish what could happen to the protagonists. Without that, he just seems incompetent and non-threatening.”
For the love of Stephen King himself, can we remedy this in the upcoming version?
4. The Smoke Hole Scene
This scene may not be as scary as the others mentioned, but it is extremely popular with Stephen King lovers because it is so full of meaning. The book’s main group of childhood friends (known in the text as “The Losers Club”) participating together in an ancient Native American ritual, a vision quest, foreshadowing of the storm that is to come. This is some of Stephen King’s best writing, and hopefully it can be translated just as well to the screen.
5. The Ritual of Chud
This is a different sort of ritual that the main group of children (and again later, as adults) use to defeat It. It is quite literally a battle of wills in which the unified beliefs of the group go up against Pennywise himself. Maybe something akin to the final battle between Harry Potter and Voldemort would be appropriate? At any rate, Stephen King fans want something impactful and meaningful.
Unlike the 1990 miniseries, reports Movieweb, the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s It will be rated R. This means it can include many of the more graphic scenes that the miniseries could not. Let’s hope It director and self-proclaimed Stephen King fan Andres Muschietti makes the most of that opportunity.
If you, like many others across the internet, are interested in keeping up with news and analyses concerning the It adaptation and all other kinds of Stephen King-related topics, the Inquisitr covers just about all of it.
And as always, Long Days and Pleasant Nights, Stephen King fans.
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