Genre: Event Horror
Premise: When a group of young kids begin seeing a demonic clown around their small town, they suspect he may have something to do with all the local kids who’ve gone missing over the years.
About: You’ll float too. After the chillingly bad TV movie version of “It,” in the 1990s, Stephen King’s most notorious novel was all but discarded as a vessel for adaptation. But in recent years, a King resurgence resulted in a newfound desire to produce a feature film based on the material. The problem was length. “It” is a huge book, 1489 pages, yet it wasn’t the kind of book you could build a trilogy around. Finally, someone came up with the genius idea to split the book in two – the children’s side and the adult side – and build a movie around both. This is the children’s side. And holy heck did it kick ass this weekend at the box office, pulling in $117 million, doubling the next highest horror opening of all time.
Writer: Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman (based on the novel by Stephen King)
Details: 135 minutes

fall_movie_preview_2017

Let me start off by dispelling a myth Hollywood likes to propagate. “We’re putting out good movies. People just aren’t showing up.” That statement is nowhere close to true. For the past five years, Hollywood’s been upchucking retreads they only barely convinced us to see the first time around. They haven’t been trying for awhile now and the audience is calling them on it. You have to listen to your audience, Hollywood. They want something new. And in this case, they proved it. They wanted Event Horror.

So what is this thing I’ve been talking about all week that’s going to become the hot new thing? This “Event Horror?” How is Event Horror any different from Normal Horror?

To explain this, let’s go over the current Hollywood horror formula. Throw a group of characters into a single location (cabin, haunted house, deserted warehouse, woods), add scary element (monsters, ghosts, zombies, leprechauns), let the scares take place.

The reason this formula is rarrrrrely messed with is because it works for all three points on the triangle. Hollywood loves it because single location movies are cheap to produce. Writers like it because this is the preferred setup for building believable horror – locking characters into a location with nowhere to run. And audiences like it because the setup is inherently scary.

This is why “It” feels so different. It’s not just a bunch of one-dimensional characters packed into a haunted house. We’re getting to see these characters back in their homes, we’re getting to see them hang out together in their everyday lives. But, most importantly, we’re seeing an unrestrained group of characters. They can move about freely. It’s this “open-ended” character-driven adventure setup that makes this more of an “Event.” It feels bigger and less simplistic than your average horror movie. It’s horror opened up.

For those who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, “It” follows a group of 13 year old kids in the small town of Derry, in 1988 (updated from King’s original 1950s setting). The group leader is a kid named Bill who lost his kid brother, Georgie, to mysterious circumstances last year. Everyone else knows Georgie is dead. But Bill holds out hope that he’s still out there, along with all the other kids who have gone missing from Derry over the years.

One by one, Bill and the rest of the “Losers,” as they call themselves, are visited by a creepy clown who goes by the name, “Pennywise.” Pennywise performs a slightly different bag of tricks from your average clown. He eats children, as we (spoiler) see in the script’s nail-biting opening scene. Bill believes that Pennywise is holding Georgie hostage, and rallies the troops to infiltrate Pennywise’s domain and get Georgie back. But the kids realize that this… “It”… they’re dealing with is more powerful than anything they’ve ever dealt with in their lives.

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Okay, now that I’ve emptied my book of praise all over the decision to make It, did the movie – and script – live up to the hype? It did. And that’s not to say there weren’t roadblocks along the way. In fact, the very thing that makes “It” different is what causes the writers so many problems. This results in a choppy narrative that was constantly in search of calmer seas.

What the hell are you talking about, Carson?

Earlier I was talking about the traditional horror film. For argument’s sake, we’ll call it the “cabin in the woods” scenario. Put a group of characters in a cabin in the woods, take away their car (it’s broken for whatever reason), unleash some evil entities on them, and you’ve got yourself a horror film.

In this scenario, coming up with scares is easy. The characters can’t go anywhere, so you just send monsters at them and they have no choice but to fight back.

Because “It” is open-ended and the characters aren’t restrained, the writers are constantly forced to come up with scenarios by which our heroes would willingly seek out dangerous situations. Either that or manufacture ways to get them into places where horror might occur, even if it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

For example, Ben (the “fat kid”), is reading at the library about the infamous Easter Massacre weekend in Derry 30 years ago where 100 people died. As he’s reading this, he spots a trail of flaming easter eggs that lead down to the basement. So Ben simply… FOLLOWS THE EGGS DOWN INTO THE BASEMENT. It’s here, of course, that he runs into a headless child and Pennywise the Clown. This is as manufactured as it gets. Nobody in their right mind would be dumb enough to do what Ben did. But the writers don’t have much choice. They have to push these characters into scary situations somehow.

Or Beverly, the lone girl in the group. There’s a scene where she gets home, goes to her bedroom, and a postcard Ben secretly planted in her bag pops out. On the back, Ben’s written her a 12 word poem. For some odd reason, Beverly rushes into her bathroom, locks the door, sits in her tub, and reads the poem. At the time I’m thinking, “Why is she going into the bathroom to read this? The poem isn’t War and Peace. It’s 4 lines long.” Then, as she’s reading it, something starts calling her from the sink. Ohhhhhhhhh, I realized. That’s why we had to manufacture this artificially closed-door bathroom scene. So something could attack her in the sink.

You see, this is why the “trapped” scenario is the preferred horror scenario to go with. You don’t have to force scary moments like this. They come to the characters organically.

Lucky for “It,” it has a trump card. Pennywise. This is easily the most iconic horror monster of the decade. He’s a perfectly crafted evil entity. So even when we do hit these manufactured scares, we forget about them the second Pennywise hits the screen because he’s so damn scary.

I have to give the producers props for casting relative unknown Bill Skarsgard. He’s so good in this. And the character creation and the make-up and the attention-to-detail (how the left eye is a little lazy). Wow. This is the kind of monster that will give kids nightmares for years. We can debate whether that’s a good thing or not in another post.

And the characters were great. To me, “It” is Stephen King’s magnum opus. Almost all of his characters in future books are variations on these characters. But these characters were the OGs. And the difference is, he really thought about these kids’ lives. Every kid here has a legitimately tense living situation at home that informs how they act in the outside world. I don’t think King ever tried as hard as he did with this group. And we’re the beneficiaries for it.

I felt that the plotting in the film was strong. The defining choice was having Bill search for his brother. That made sure that the characters were ACTIVE – that they were out there trying to achieve something. Without that, the characters are just waiting around for bad things to happen, and that’s where plots fall, where second acts deflate. So always make sure you’re injecting ACTIVE STORYLINES into your scripts, guys.

There’s a reason this movie made 117 million dollars this weekend. It was an event. It was a spectacle. It was more than your average horror offering. So I’m expecting this trend to pick up, hopefully extending into the spec market. It’d be nice to have another lane to sell scripts in other than biopics and female John Wicks.

[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[xx] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Sometimes, in order to find something original, you have to take a genre out of its comfort zone. Sure, horror works best in tight isolated locations where your characters can’t leave. But that’s also where everything’s been done before. Leave that setup behind to find new, potentially unknown, horror avenues to explore.

P.S. Stay tuned Thursday. I’m going to break down the rejected “It” script from Cary Fukunaga to see what they changed.

  • JakeBarnes12

    The power of the First. It’s intoxicating.

    What can I use it for?

    • Scott Crawford

      I kind of wanted to talk about theme too. I was reading an old book I’d got, Writing Thriller by Andre Jute. Thriller NOVELS but a lot of the ideas apply to movies too.

      He was saying that his preferred method of coming up with a story was 1) to think of a main event that could happen to his character and then 2) think of what it is he wants to SAY in this book. In fact, he would write down all the things he wanted to say and under EACH would write plot points that might express that idea.

      Interesting.

      A lot of people will say you can’t come up with theme before you write your story. Well, you may not be able to firmly ARTICULATE your theme, but most of the time when you start to conceive a story, you’re thinking about what you want to say… another term for theme.

      Not entirely off-topic, Jake, as I think the success of IT is a lot to do with its resonant themes from lost childhood to scary-ass clowns. There’s a good argument that movies (esp. Hollywood blockbusters) might get better if more people had more interesting things to say.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Agreed.

        I’m very interested in thematic horror, which is to say horror stories which explore specific aspects of the human condition.

        I have little interest in horror that has nothing to offer beyond cheap scares and gore.

        Re: theme, this, among other vital tasks, is how you design the character traits of supporting characters (i.e. they display contrasting attributes of the theme). Most amateurs and some professionals don’t think about this and it leads to random characterization.

  • Lucid Walk

    Oh, dammit!

    So close. Almost had the hat trick!

  • Chris Ryden

    “There’s a reason this movie made 117 million dollars this weekend. It was an event…” nope Carson, it was a film that tapped into nostalgia. Book fans and and past generations of film goers knew of the IP and wanted to see if the remake worked. Unlike other remakes that have failed at the BO this one didn’t mess with the original formula. Personally, I thought it was a solid horror movie but I always felt there was a lingering sense of King’s Stand By Me hanging over this and it was hard not to feel the impact that Stranger Things has had on the 80s retro pop culture vibe with the whole Goonies-esque ‘kids on bikes seek out monster’ set up.

    • carsonreeves1

      I disagree. “Nostalgia” is arguably a dirty word these days when it comes to movie-going. Especially 80s nostalgia.

      • Chris Ryden

        Can’t deny nostalgia and movies are becoming a contentious subject but in this case, given the genre and the fact that the first film was iconic (but not a masterpiece or major hit) I’m not sure Nostalgia goes against it. In fact I think it actually benefits it. Ask a handful of your childhood pals if they saw the original when they were growing up and if they recall the ‘gutter scene’ — I’ll stick my neck out and say they probs did and do and that it terrified them. We all remember the clown and his teeth. We ignore the lame spider at the end and we turn up to see whether the 2017 version is an improved take on that memory.

    • Scott Crawford

      Sort of true but… how many people who saw the film this weekend had read the book? Or any King? I’d say not the majority. It WAS an event and they’d been building it up for months.

    • Nick Morris

      I suspect you’re both right. IT is a bit of an enigma. Highest weekend take for any horror movie in history. It’s a perfect storm of excellent marketing/hype, nostalgia/cult status and solid reviews/word of mouth. Not to mention the fact that everyone seems to have a phobia of clowns now. And I think horror audiences have been craving another truly iconic monster for years now. IT checks all the boxes.

      Personally, I’m just thrilled to see a horror flick performing so well. Gonna go see IT tonight. :)

      • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

        You’ll love it, Nick. Its right up your alley!

  • carsonreeves1

    By the way, if anyone’s looking for a TV show to pick up, check out The Sinner. Don’t do any research on it, make sure you make it to 15 minutes in the pilot, and I promise you’ll be hooked.

    • carsonreeves1

      and if any filmmaker types can tell me how they pulled off “that scene,” I’d love to know.

      • PQOTD

        Need to know for one of the shorts, hint, hint?

  • Citizen M

    Speaking of demonic clowns, what’s Trump up to these days? The only blowhards we hear about are Harvey and Irma.

    • Scott Crawford

      He recently sided with the democrats and against the republicans on the debt ceiling. A lousy negotiator.

  • huckabees

    Fun fact about Stephen King: He hates THE GOONIES.

    He called it “one of the loudest, dumbest and most shriekingly annoying children’s movies ever made”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/07/23/reviews/000723.23kinglt.html

    Hm.

    • carsonreeves1

      Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me, lol.

      In general, King has REALLY weird taste. Look up some of his end-of-the-year best movies lists. They’re baffling.

      • Andrea Moss

        King despises The Shining too. But suddenly I’ve remembered he liked The Dark Tower and Under the Dome adaptations. So fuck you, Stephen. And excuse my French.

        • ILoveScriptsButScriptsDontLove

          Wow, he really got into The Dark Tower flick? And why am I surprised? He also liked The Shining TV movie. Say what you will about Kubrick’s version, it had style and atmosphere. TV miniseries felt plasticky.

    • Citizen M

      Three times I have tried to watch that movie. Never made it past 20 minutes. It grates my teeth, it is so annoying and manipulative.

      • Omoizele Okoawo

        I remember enjoying it when I was a kid, I think we wore that vhs tape out with so much watching, but I’ve never had the urge to go back to it as an adult. I can see an adult watching it when it originally came out and being forced to listen to their kids watch it over and over again being mentally damaged.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Brilliant. I thought the SAME THING when watching “It”. It excels the best in its “Goonies” moments.

  • carsonreeves1

    King has always had a blindspot for the one-dimensional villain/bully character. With that said, we did see Henry’s home life. We did see his prick cop father bullying the bully. It wasn’t as if they weren’t trying.

  • Chris Ryden

    Can only agree in part to this. Was it a good trailer? For sure. Did it help bring in folks who hadn’t seen the original or read the book? No doubt. Was it the main reason folks came to see the film? Debatable. The film is a remake… IT already had it’s own cult status. Let’s not forget the studio greenlit the film prior to any script being written. Why? Because it already had a fanbase to build out from.

  • Poe_Serling

    Thanks for the review, Carson.

    With all the hype surrounding the film… I went to see a Saturday afternoon
    showing.

    On a personal level, I didn’t find the whole story line appealing or very
    scary.

    To be perfectly honest, I felt most of the horror elements were a bit dated
    and have been used in a ton of other flicks.

    Just a handful of examples of this in action:

    The photo on the wall coming to life, a slide show escalating into a terrifying
    image of some kind, eerie sounds from the drain pipe, creepy goings-on
    underground, and so on.

    My hunch why?

    Since the book’s publication in the mid ’80s, probably a truckload of writers
    and directors have been mining the material to add some jolts to their own
    projects.

    So, in a topsy-turvy way, King’s fresh take back in the day is now old hat
    for the ‘things that go bump in the night’ crowd.

    One final thought: Based on the box office results, I guess I’m one of the
    few on the outside looking in at the pic’s success.

    And that’s okay… it just wasn’t for me.

    ;-)

    • Justin

      Two words:

      Flute lady.

      • Poe_Serling

        It just shows you that one filmgoer’s scary flute player reaction… is often
        times another viewer’s so-so moment.

        ;-)

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Some day I wanna go to the movies with you, Poe. That’s my wish, when I wish upon a star.

    • Acarl

      Spot. On. Poe.

  • g r e n d l

    The power of marketing compels you…

    The trailers to the new “It” movie were brilliant. A clown in a sewer in an average middle class suburb, the tortuously slow reveal of his face behind red balloons, shot artistically with growing tension, and nerve wracking music, are you kidding?

    That on top of the ” Stranger Things” mania, the nostalgic longing for a time when merchandise was not the primary reason for a movie to exist, at the end of a summer of some very uninspired movies, great Rotten Tomatoes scores and the fact that we had yet to see a really good killer clown movie all contributed to Its success this weekend.

    It’s not just one thing that leads to a hit, but a confluence of many things. And while you can point to the script and story and credit that with its 117 million domestic haul, that’s not the entire truth.

    It was the ads, the marketing campaign, constantly tapping that nerve, that universal fear of clowns so many share. Horror is so visceral, so dependent on visual and audio, it’s a genre perfectly suited to today’s ADD culture. It stops the masses in its tracks when a genuine nerve of terror is tapped.

    ” Lights Out” , a feature which started out as a short did the same thing. Sparked terror of the dark and seeing what may lie lurking in that cloak of darkness with the flick of a light switch.

    Maybe on some level the idea of It, a two faced clown with red hair terrorizing the community taps into our current societal climate. Just like Godzilla and all the sci fi monsters in the fifties touched upon fear of nuclear power and annihilation, we are now being terrorized by a clown who makes no bones about tapping our deepest fears. Deporting hundreds of thousands, threatening to start world war three, destroying faith in the media, doing everything in his power to upset the apple cart of civility and common decency.

    Yes President Pennywise is scaring a lot of people. Meeting with Russians in the White House, selling out his own FBI director, dismissing climate change while his golf course gets drenched by its direct effects.

    Whether or not that’s a stretch, I don’t care. We live in tense times. We live in a carnival atmosphere where a PT Barnumesque administration is constantly trying to muddy reality and fiction. And where rubes are actually buying it, hook line and sinker.

    Our fears are being tapped on a daily basis by Donald Trump, by CNN, by Fox News, all in an effort to gain control of the narrative, all to gain control of power, of the masses. Fear of immigrants, fear of black people, fear of white people, fear of men, fear of women, fear fear fear fear fear…

    The time is ripe for horror. He knows what scares us. Trump and Pennywise share that ability. And they delight in that power like any bully would. It’s also the power internet trolls enjoy through anonymous attacks. Having first strike capability and the desire to use it in order to terrorize.

    And people are sheep, living in terror especially in America, terror that they’re losing their country, their identity, their jobs, their health care. Looking for scapegoats, real or imagined parties responsible for threatening their very existence.

    So yeah horror has a fertile environment to thrive right now.

    And banding together to defeat it seems to be a popular motif.

    I haven’t seen “It” but did watch the entire season of “Stranger Things” and the ” it takes a village” to defeat evil theme was intrinsic to its DNA. Like the Goonies.

    My only question is, if it’s one kid with a fear of clowns in the pack, shouldn’t it be that one kid who musters the courage to finally defeat Pennywise to make the story satisfying? I had the same problem with “Dream Catcher”.

    Again, having not seen “It”, I don’t know how it ends, and know there’s another installment but I like my conclusions one on one, mano a Mano.

    You systematically remove the allies, the crew of the Nostromo, Hooper and Quint, Kyle Reese, so that the protagonist can finally meet his or her deepest fear in the center of town , high noon, guns a blazing. One in one.

    Hillary Clinton thought she could ignore Pennywise, as he stalked her on the debate stage. She crumpled in the summer heat, exhausted from her battle with him, succumbing to his predictions. Afraid to get into the sewer and fight him on his battlefield. While she went high, he stayed low and destroyed her bit by by bit.

    She succumbed to fear of losing another election. She clung to her gender like a security blanket, as if girl power means anything when you’re meeting with Goldman Sachs and rich celebrities behind closed doors while the carnival barker was out getting votes by playing on our fears.

    The village didn’t come to her aid in the numbers she hoped for. Her fear doomed her. Fear of losing, fear of speaking her mind, fear of getting into the gutter or closet with Pennywise because of all the skeletons she knew were in there, waiting for her.

    The way you defeat a bully is by standing up to them, and defeating them on their turf.

    And if you think the Trump analogy is a stretch, I don’t care frankly. The post is about the attraction of a movie about banding together to stand up to a red haired clown. And I think that is our president. A man who constantly works on a sewer level, who plays to our biggest fears. The only difference between him and Pennywise, is Pennywise doesn’t have the nuclear codes.

    • Nick Morris

      “Maybe on some level the idea of It, a two faced clown with red hair terrorizing the community taps into our current societal climate.”

      I don’t think this is a stretch at all. In fact, I think it’s bang on. And I hadn’t even made the correlation yet (seeing the movie tonight) but just like Godzilla in the 50’s and TEXAS CHAINSAW, LAST HOUSE, etc. in the 70’s, Pennywise most certainly taps into our current social subconscious.

  • brenkilco

    And the timing of the release. The studios abandoned Labor Day Weekend this year for who knows what reason. The largely underwhelming summer offerings were largely played out. Any well promoted product with appeal to both teens and adults was bound to do well. Add the nostalgia factor and the king pedigree and the fact that it all played like an early premier of Stranger Things Season 2, and success was assured so long as it was passably entertaining, which judging by the reviews was pretty much all it was.

  • huckabees

    Speaking of clowns: Has anyone checked out AMERICAN HORROR STORY: CULT yet?

    I admire horror writers trying to tackle current events and issues (like GET OUT) but the first episode of this season felt uninspired, too on the nose.

  • carsonreeves1

    Come on. The adult half of that series? John Ritter, of Three’s Company fame, in the lead role! And that clown looks downright goofy these days.

    • Omoizele Okoawo

      Yeah. These days. But in 1990 when it aired the tv movie was considered to be a major success. It might not have aged that well considering the difference between the special effects then and now but let’s not rewrite history and act like it didn’t scare a ton of people in its time. This movies Pennywise is definitely defined by Tim Curry’s.

  • klmn

    How does Pennywise compare as a character to Captain Spalding (from the Rob Zombie movie The Devil’s Rejects). And – since we’re clowning around – might as well throw John Wayne Gacy into the conversation too.

  • https://twitter.com/Angry_Cyborg Angry Cyborg

    For example, Ben (the “fat kid”), is reading at the library about the infamous Easter Massacre weekend in Derry…Ben simply… FOLLOWS THE EGGS DOWN INTO THE BASEMENT.

    Haven’t seen it yet, but…

    They should’ve gone the E.T. and Reese’s Pieces route. Just set up that big Ben’s hungry (simple as his stomach growling), then he sees a piece of Easter candy on the floor. Then another, then another… And each piece gets bigger and tastes better. Before Ben even realizes it, because he’s savoring the sweets, he’s in the basement.

    Though I’m sure flaming Easter eggs looked better, and kids are curious (and dumb).

  • klmn

    So, “event horror” is just horror not constrained to a single location? Or are there other essential elements?

    • Poe_Serling

      Even though The Shining is mostly set in one location (The Overview),
      I’d still might file it under Event Horror based C’s definition:

      ” … an unrestrained group of characters. They can move about freely…
      It feels bigger and less simplistic than your average horror movie… ”

      A hotel (with a hundred guest rooms, main lobby, offices, dining areas,
      bar lounges, kitchen, game room. miles of endless hallways, a massive
      maze out back, etc.) kinda fits the bill in my book.

    • ShiroKabocha

      Nah. It’s just a meaningless pseudo-category coined by PR / marketing people who know nothing of the long history and great variety of a genre they’ve reduced to “ghosts in old houses” or “slash-fest in the woods”.

      I’ll just keep calling these “Horror” :)

  • Omoizele Okoawo

    Event Horror sounds like regular horror before SAW made the studios realized they could make a hundred million dollars worth of profit off of a one million dollar movie.
    Most other genres don’t work on the big screen whn you pare the production costs down that much, but horror, like a haiku in the shape of a knife, sometimes rises to the occasion, even flourishes under those circumstances.

    No way is Hollywood giving up on contained horror, though. When Lights Out can make 140 million off of a 5 million dollar production the risk to reward scenario is simply too good to pass up.

    • klmn

      Of course Lights Out was based on the short film. (Perhaps like C was looking to do with his shorts contest). Wonder what happened to it.

  • Utmk

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    I went and saw “It” last night. Not because I really wanted to, BUT because Carson said he’d be talking about it today. Wanna big box office? Have Carson prime the pump JUST BEFORE your opening weekend.

    I thought this movie did a real good job casting the 13 year old kids. That mix worked and was the highlight of the movie.

    There were some creepy scenes in this movie, but overall I wasn’t really scared like I was watching, “Halloween” (1978) or “28 Days Later…” (2002).

    Did like the overall look of the Pennywise clown, but this story did a VERY POOR job of explaining this monster, and wasn’t that what the kids were trying to do? And remember this is based off a novel so the audience should expect more.

    ** SPOILER ALERT **

    What I found especially BAD was the scene in the sewer where all the past victims are seen to be “floating” up in this room. That was really dumb. BUT you find that’s the case with many horror movies, they fall apart at the end.

    End point conclusion, I’m more interested in reading horror from Script shadow’s own Nick Morris than I am Steven King. I think Steven King’s time has come and gone.

    • Nick Morris

      Whoa. Can’t ask for much higher praise than that! I’m gonna take it and run like hell. :) Cheers to ya, E.C.

    • blake011

      Judging King’s masterful novel on simply seeing a film version that only adapts half the book and lightly at that isn’t really fair.

    • RS

      I didn’t like the “float” ending either. I can’t remember how it was dealt with in the book, but in the TV series, floating, if anything had to do with water and the fact that it was a water pump station where IT’s lair was. It’s true that in this version water piping seems to lead back to the lair, but floating in the old version had to do with bringing victims down into the watery grave with IT where he consumed them- not kept them as trophies or whatever- and perhaps brought them into IT’s deadlights.

      But more importantly “floating” was better handled in the TV series from a thematic point of view. I can’t remember if it was on this board or somewhere else where someone compared the first sewer appearance of Bill’s brother and Pennywise in the TV movie to the film and made a marvelous point. In the TV movie, Georgie asks Pennywise if balloons or his boat will float down there. Pennywise’s response is almost orgasmic, which organically ties in with the idea that he derives psychic pleasure from the killings–as opposed to just eating out of hunger. In the 2017 Pennywise says something about popcorn and just behaves in a silly fashion. The older version, therefore, is better writing (and better acted), at least in this scene because it teases Georgie’s question as a major trope of the story, and Pennywise’s reaction tells us something much deeper about this creature than we learn with current IT’s first appearance.

      Furthermore, I didn’t think the big float room in the 2017 version was just whole victims. I thought some were body parts, but it was brief so maybe I missed it. It’s also another miss for this version because the lair is so massively large it could not possibly have gone unnoticed by the town, but the TV movie (and the book) at least explain better how IT does have some control over the psyche of the town and has the ability to make them forget or look past certain things. Also, IT’s lair in the TV movie was not so massive. I think there was a small door or something, although I recall that being stupidly presented because there are all these lit candles in the lair. Did IT really take the time to light a bunch of candles outside his feeding house door???