Is “IT” anything like the book?


A little over two years ago, “IT” hit the big screen and took the world by storm. The movie became a pop cultural icon and raked in just over $700 million at the box office, making it the highest grossing horror movie and fourth highest grossing R-rated movie.

Lucky for us, we didn’t have to wait 27 years to see “Pennywise” (another name for “IT”) again on the big screen. “IT Chapter Two” hit theaters  Sept. 6, 2019, and the film has very quickly garnered a mix of results.

Some have said the film is too long, while others criticize it for leaving things out of the novel.

The two movies in total have a combined runtime of 5 hours and 15 minutes, which is more than two hours longer than the 1990 mini-series featuring Tim Curry as the infamous killer clown. But when your source material is over 1,000 pages thanks Stephen King, it can be expected that some aspect won’t get to be on the big screen.

Many elements of the story stay them same. We follow a group of seven kids called The Losers Club. The members include Bill Denbrough, a stutterer; Ben Hanscom, an overweight boy; Rickie Tozier, a jokester; Stan Uris, a Jewish boy; Beverly Marsh, a lower-class girl; Eddie Kaspbrak, a germaphobe and Mike Hanlon, one of the only African Americans in the town of Derry, Maine.

The Kids are the typical outcasts of the town, hence explaining the name dubbed to them, The Losers Club.

A lot of the movie stays very true to the source material of the book; however, there are crucial events that were left out– some for obvious reasons and others just for the sake of time.

The first major difference between the book and movie is storytelling. In the novel, the story is broken up into two different time periods, the kids in 1958 and their grownup counterparts in 1985. The two time periods seemingly run in tandem with one another as a way of keeping you invested in what happened along with what’s going to happen.

The movies, instead, broke these two time periods into the two movies and changed the time period, as well. Instead of running beside each other, they act as a part one and two. 

The films also update the setting such that the kids fight Pennywise in 1989, and the adults fight him once more in 2016. This change is understandable because it allows the audience to relate to the characters much like how the book did when it came out.

Elements of the story are also changed, such as which characters end up dying. If you are a fan of the novel, then you should know the deaths of some characters have changed.

Other things that changed were an important part of the book called the Ritual of Cuad, which is basically the way of truly fighting and defeating Pennywise. The book describes it as locking biting down on Pennywise’s tounge as he does the same to you and then engage in a sort of interdimensional joke off/ battles of will as you try to make the other release your tounge.

Obviously this would be rather strange to see on the big screen as it would just be plain confusing to anyone who hasn’t read the book. So the movie takes the Ritual of Cuad and makes it more simple to understand. In the simplest terms, it’s putting Pennywise’s soul in an ancient ritual box. 

Another thing left out of the movie was Mike’s journal, also called “The Unoffical History of Derry,” in which he talks to the elders of Derry to discover some parts of the town’s history that weren’t ever written down. The movie covers this a little by having young Ben look through some history books of Derry but that kind of undermines the point of them being unwritten. The people of the Derry know what’s happening, but they would rather ignore it and let the memory fade away.

Other than these few discrepancies, the two movies are pretty spot-on. 

Of course, who knows? The film’s director has expressed a desire to film a few more scenes for the DVD release, so maybe fans of the novel will get to see new scenes that were not originally included a little further on down the road.