Slurktan

Stephen King's IT

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So forgive me if I missed it but I did a search and couldn't find anything.

Saw the movie tonight, It was fantastic pardon the pun.  Going into it they had to nail Pennywise and they had to nail the Loser's Club.  They did both quite well with one exception.  Particularly Ritchie is utterly spot on. And Pennywise.  Oh my that Pennywise. I loved the effect they used on Pennywise in which for pretty much all the shots where he is moving and such his face is stable and everything else moves all jankily and weird.  It looks creepy as all fucking hell, 

Other thoughts:  

So they changed how the Loser's Club deals with It.  And obviously cut out the orgy.  I'm ok with the latter but I'm not sure I'm a fan of the former.  I'm one of the weirdos who actually likes the oddness of how they deal with Pennyiwse in the novel.  I suppose they could still do that with chapter 2 as the way to actually kill him.

I'm also not sure why they gave the historian type role to Ben instead of Mike.  Its my one exception to how they nailed the kids.  Mike is kind of an odd one for me, he isn't really there in the book in the childrens section until the latter stages.  I really like the Mike character but a lot of that is the racism angle which is gone for the most part in the film.  I get that he's much more "active" in the adult section but in the kids he has the role of bringing the history in. I just think glossing over the racism and even the Henry stuff in the film and then taking his one story point made him a pretty useless character moviewise.

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The movie was actually far better than I expected it was going to be, and certainly the best Stephen King adaptation in quite some time.

I like that they managed to keep the spirit of who the Losers are, even though they updated the settings and changed various aspects of the story. As many critics have pointed out, it's not particularly scary for a horror movie, but what it lacks in thrills it more than makes up for in heart. Which really, is what made the original novel so great.

I feel like it went off the rails a bit in the third act, 

Spoiler

Turning Bev into a damsel that the others had to come together to come rescue was stupid, no matter how many badass moments they give her before that. And I'm not sure if the children floating down at the end meant that they were all okay or not, but if so it kind of takes the teeth out of the movie.

But it came together nicely in the end.

Although i really hope someone dubs Gangam Style over that one clip of dancing Pennywise.

The acting was superb and really what made the movie for me, so I'm somewhat apprehensive about the likelihood of lightning striking twice and them getting six adults that can capture the spirit of these characters as well as the kids did.

It was disappointing that so many moments fell back on horror cliches, like the lights flickering while Ben was running around the library stacks, and some of the jump-scares, but as I said, the movie's strength isn't in its frightening elements. The musical score was also pretty uninspired.

Overall I think this movie could have been a bit more challenging as a horror picture, but in managed to retain the best things about the novel, and that's better than 90% of Stephen King adaptations manage to do.

I'd give it a solid 8/10 as a horror movie, 9/10 as a Stephen King movie. Prolly split the difference and say my official score 8.5/10.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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I'm looking forward to this. IT is the single horror novel that actually ever terrified me, thanks to a (mild) phobia of clowns I developed in third grade. But then, I actually read the book around the age of twelve or so.

Is any of the Derry history stuff in the movie? On a reread (or rather a listening) of the novel I realized how great those historical portions of the novel are.

IT is just shy of being King's best horror novel. I think the main flaw is that he ended up blowing the villain up to monstrous proportions (trans-dimensional evil Old One creature which has nothing better to do than eat children?!) while giving the children the ability to defeat it the way they do.

It would have worked much better if the monster had just been a minor demon - a trickster or shape-shifter feeding off human fear and flesh rather than a thing that's older than the universe - or if it had won in the end. This book would have been really horrible if the creature had won.

But I guess King worked himself up the stairs, so to speak, while writing it. The thing is really horrible so it must be ancient and powerful, too, I guess.

Sad to hear they changed Mike's background. Both the racism as well as his interest in Derry were important parts of the original character, and especially Ben makes little sense as the wise guy there, since - as per the novel - he and his mother only recently moved to Derry.

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I Just came home from the theater... I really liked it...  it wasn;t a good "horror movie".... it was just a really good movie period... good balance of funny and scary... 

Spoiler

reminded me of Super 8... only IT was better.

 

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I'm planning to see it at some point. I remember being so proud as a kid carrying around the book, this giant and SPOOKY novel. I actually read it, too. :P 

Nice to know they lost the orgy scene. I always thought King should have had more than one token girl in the group- Bev's "loser-ship" could easily have been her family's socio-economic status. But I wasn't expecting them to make that change for the film. 

And this is one film that makes sense as a two-parter movie! Finally!

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12 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

IT is just shy of being King's best horror novel. I think the main flaw is that he ended up blowing the villain up to monstrous proportions (trans-dimensional evil Old One creature which has nothing better to do than eat children?!) while giving the children the ability to defeat it the way they do.

It would have worked much better if the monster had just been a minor demon - a trickster or shape-shifter feeding off human fear and flesh rather than a thing that's older than the universe - or if it had won in the end. This book would have been really horrible if the creature had won.

But I guess King worked himself up the stairs, so to speak, while writing it. The thing is really horrible so it must be ancient and powerful, too, I guess.

I think King later realized this too; IIRC the references to Pennywise in the later Dark Tower books downplay his importance to some extent. Still ancient and relatively powerful, but not particularly unique.

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1 hour ago, Fez said:

I think King later realized this too; IIRC the references to Pennywise in the later Dark Tower books downplay his importance to some extent. Still ancient and relatively powerful, but not particularly unique.

Yeah, Dandelo really puts IT back down to size. But then, the Crimson King as a lackwit Santa Claus was perhaps the worst King ever did to an evil character - this guy was supposed to be the trans-dimensional Old One BIG BAD, was he not?

Making the whole fight against IT part of GOOD VS. EVIL on a metaphysical scale also harms the story - as do those sections of the novel that written from IT's point of view. You really relate to the thing when it is worried about it's offspring, do you not? And that's not something you want to do in the story.

It could have been much more powerful if the thing had actually had a sort of 'mortal body' which could be injured as by the rules of of the mask it is wearing. If it is werewolf silver does hurt it, if it is a mummy, fire could incinerate it, if it is the Pennywise clown a truck could crush it, etc. That way it would have still been hard to defeat the thing but much more believable.

You can really see how various ideas bleed into each other later on when the whole spider offspring thing comes up. Why does this thing want to procreate? And why now? It has spent eons in the Derry region. Sure, King could have given the cheesy explanation that it only grew to maturity after all those millennia, or something like that, but even that's not used.

I really find the original idea very compelling - the one about Derry the Evil Town. That is great, and all those chapters and sections depicting Derry as the evil town - Pennywise essentially as being and embodying the town - really convince me. But once we get to trans-dimensional Turtle and spider procreation land things sort of fall apart.

The consequent approach and the fitting ending would have been having either IT/Derry win or have all of Derry being destroyed in the process of the whole thing, with only the Losers and, perhaps, some people who had recently moved to Derry surviving the whole thing.

King kills a lot of denizens and destroys huge chunks of the town but not all of it. But then - perhaps the thing is not completely gone. There are hints that 'Pennywise lives!' in other works, although it seems unlikely that King is going to revisit that nightmare again.

A sequel would still be great, though. Have the aged Losers gather one last time to face the thing could be a great read.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

A sequel would still be great, though. Have the aged Losers gather one last time to face the thing could be a great read.

Normally I'd hate the idea of doing a sequel to a classic like that, but I actually thought Doctor Sleep was really good, so maybe it would be interesting to read.

IT isn't my favorite Stephen King novel, that would be 'Salem's Lot, but I do think it's his best. People say that The Dark Tower or The Stand is King's opus, but I've always said that the honor goes to IT. Though King has written across many different genres, he's best known as a horror writer, and for good reason, and with the possible exception of The ShiningIT is his most iconic horror novel.

It encapsulates not only all of the horror genres that King likes to write in, but all of his most iconic themes as well. It pays tribute to the classic universal monsters that these kids (and King himself) grew up on, there's Lovecraftian cosmic horror, childhood horror, racial/antisemitic horror, the fear of domestic violence or being the victim of abuse, the fear of losing a child, etc. It's arguably the best story about childhood friendships that King's ever written (the possible exception being The Body). There's the idea of cycles that shows up in so much of King's work, growing and changing but still coming back around to the same place you started at. Alcoholism, the decaying small town, Maine. IT is all the best of Stephen King diluted into a single novel. And he even manages to more or less avoid a bullshit ending.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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Saw it last night. Never read the book nor did I see the original film.

It was.... alright. Had a few thrills but definitely felt like it went on too long ( it's 2 hours, 15 minutes which seems long on paper for this sort of film and felt that way in reality). It started off strong but in the second half it struggled to even keep my attention. 6 out of 10 stars.

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22 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Normally I'd hate the idea of doing a sequel to a classic like that, but I actually thought Doctor Sleep was really good, so maybe it would be interesting to read.

Have to get around to reading that one.

22 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

IT isn't my favorite Stephen King novel, that would be 'Salem's Lot, but I do think it's his best. People say that The Dark Tower or The Stand is King's opus, but I've always said that the honor goes to IT. Though King has written across many different genres, he's best known as a horror writer, and for good reason, and with the possible exception of The ShiningIT is his most iconic horror novel.

Salem's Lot is most likely indeed better than IT. It pretty much accomplishes anything King set out to do with it, and it is really a great re-enactment of Dracula as well as dealing very well with adolescent themes. King really is an author you should read while you are still very young and in adolescence yourself. You can really relate to a lot of the stuff then.

Never could connect with The Stand. It drags on too much and the whole metaphysical and catastrophe angles really don't go all that well together. Not to mention the problems with the ending...

22 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

It encapsulates not only all of the horror genres that King likes to write in, but all of his most iconic themes as well. It pays tribute to the classic universal monsters that these kids (and King himself) grew up on, there's Lovecraftian cosmic horror, childhood horror, racial/antisemitic horror, the fear of domestic violence or being the victim of abuse, the fear of losing a child, etc. It's arguably the best story about childhood friendships that King's ever written (the possible exception being The Body). There's the idea of cycles that shows up in so much of King's work, growing and changing but still coming back around to the same place you started at. Alcoholism, the decaying small town, Maine. IT is all the best of Stephen King diluted into a single novel. And he even manages to more or less avoid a bullshit ending.

As for bullshit endings, I reread Needful Things some while back and that is really a shitty ending. I really like the topic of this story - it really is something the devil would do - but there is no proper resolution to anything at the end aside from the fact that the devil has to leave the town.

King often comes across like some sort of computer game author in the sense that a huge part of his (compulsive?) writing seems to be about getting through a story - like getting through a video game and defeating the final boss - but not so much about properly wrapping up character arcs and storylines. If he took his time with some of his greater novels he could have written a lot of masterpieces.

IT could have done much better without the 'we forget about each other' plot in the end. What was the point of that?

And while the weirdo sex scene is strange I think it could have had a place in the story if it came immediately before the final confrontation(s). Their bond should have been strongest before they face the monster - how on earth sex could help them get out of the sewers is beyond me.

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Saw this Friday and really liked it.  It had a few good jumps and Pennywise was great.  I thought the kids did a nice job acting wise.  I had a few gripes about the movie, but full disclosure, IT is my favorite book.  I have read it probably 10 or more times, so nothing the movie was going to do was going to compare with the book for me, but I think they did a nice job.

Funny theater story.  During the movie there was a quick scene in which one of the boys picks up a turtle made of Legoes.  Some guy in the theater I was in was almost offended that it was made with green legos.  According to him, green legos weren't around in 89, which he mentioned at least 4 times after that scene.

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I actually like IT as a big time cosmic force. It accomplishes two things. One it makes the force they are facing truly insurmountable which takes the adversity to a fever pitch. Second it sneakily establishes its one weakness. If you were an omnipotent universe destroyer, but you could satisfy your hunger by creating a corporeal form to terrify and eat the weakest members of the dominant species of a single planet in a single small town for a few months and then sleep for 3 decades, why wouldn't you use your power to take the much easier existence. It just so happens, by doing so, he lessened himself just enough to create the vulnerabilities necessary to destroy him. It's the ultimate evil showing the ultimate hubris. 

Otherwise he's just Freddy Kruger without the dream clause. 

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Can someone who read the novel, please explain to me the point of the Beverly storyline in which rumors are going around town about her promiscuity?  I found it to be a completely pointless red herring that was likely created because of multiple re-writes and scenes being left on the cutting room floor.

Edited by Sour Billy Tipton

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On 9/9/2017 at 9:09 AM, Let's Get Kraken said:

Normally I'd hate the idea of doing a sequel to a classic like that, but I actually thought Doctor Sleep was really good, so maybe it would be interesting to read.

I liked the premise of Doctor Sleep. Was cool to see a grown-up Danny and to get an update on how his life had turned out. That said, the antagonists in this book were so inept and underpowered that I had trouble taking them seriously. The finale was totally anti-climatic to me. The outcome was never in doubt.

 I liked the way 11/23/62 worked Derry into its' larger story. I'd prefer more sequences like that as opposed to a sequel. That said, I suppose the story of a newly hatched IT might go a long way towards clearing up the inner workings or power limitations of Pennywise and his ilk.

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49 minutes ago, Sour Billy Tipton said:

Can someone who read the novel, please explain to me the point of the Beverly storyline in which rumors are going around town about her promiscuity?  I found it to be a completely pointless red herring that was likely created because of multiple re-writes and scenes being left on the cutting room floor.

Not really answering your specific question but

 it pairs well with her flirting with the pharmacist (and the Losers ogling her as she sunbathes at the quarry) because it establishes her with the reputation as sexual being, which explains why a grown man would behave like that. It's such a gross and needless narrative. I mean, she threw the first rock, she took on Pennywise pretty fearlessly all alone and impaled him pretty good during the final battle.

I'm upset that her character took that arc based on the leaked original script. Bah. This article deals with the sex in the book and the handling of Beverly's character in this movie.

http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/how-the-new-it-movie-deals-with-the-child-orgy-scene.html

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

IT could have done much better without the 'we forget about each other' plot in the end. What was the point of that?

That was a big part of what made the rest of the novel special. The horror of what the Losers experience while fighting IT is intermingled with the magic of the friendships that they formed and the adventures that they went on together. Ultimately it's a story about the wonder and fantastical elements of childhood. The frightening and the amazing things that you experience when looking at the world through youthful eyes. The older narrative is about trying to recapture that, and how ultimately it's impossible to do so.

The fact that the Losers all forget in the end is about taking the good with the bad when growing up. It's about the fear we all have of saying goodbye forever to our childhood wonder and innocence. That part of us that believes anything is possible. Because while the world is a frightening place to children, it can also be a very magical one. The novel is as much about friendship as it is about horror, and the aspects of each that are only possible when young. Recall the last lines of The Body, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, did you?” This is something that I feel the movie captured on an almost meta level, given how steeped it was in 90s nostalgia.

There is a sense of relief in finally closing the door on IT once and for all, but it's coupled with the sense of tragedy in saying goodbye to childhood as well.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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14 hours ago, Fiddler said:

Saw this Friday and really liked it.  It had a few good jumps and Pennywise was great.  I thought the kids did a nice job acting wise.  I had a few gripes about the movie, but full disclosure, IT is my favorite book.  I have read it probably 10 or more times, so nothing the movie was going to do was going to compare with the book for me, but I think they did a nice job.

Funny theater story.  During the movie there was a quick scene in which one of the boys picks up a turtle made of Legoes.  Some guy in the theater I was in was almost offended that it was made with green legos.  According to him, green legos weren't around in 89, which he mentioned at least 4 times after that scene.

God dammit, he's right and now that's going to bother me.

 

Anyway, don;t venture into this part of the forum often but I loved this movie. Have read the original book 5 or 6 times. Hated the mini series.

Also have to disagree with Krakken, loved the score and soundtrack to the movie.

From what I've read they dropped some of the racism stuff via Mike because they moved the time forward to the 80s.

Also, King has said It is the one thing he'll never, ever write a sequel too, because Pennywise scares him so much.

Well, he said he'd never write about Pennywise again, I guess he could do a sequel with The Losers without him but that would suck.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

King often comes across like some sort of computer game author in the sense that a huge part of his (compulsive?) writing seems to be about getting through a story - like getting through a video game and defeating the final boss - but not so much about properly wrapping up character arcs and storylines. If he took his time with some of his greater novels he could have written a lot of masterpieces.

 

And while the weirdo sex scene is strange I think it could have had a place in the story if it came immediately before the final confrontation(s). Their bond should have been strongest before they face the monster - how on earth sex could help them get out of the sewers is beyond me.

King doesn't pre plan at all when he writes. He just sits down and writes til he stops. It's why a lot of his endings suck.

As for the orgy scene, he was high as fuck on every drug at the time, and I believe he's said he regrets writing it or at least the way he did. Someone in the lit forum linked to a really interesting essay about the whole thing, I should try and pull it up.

More random thoughts: (I literally got back from the theater like an hour ago): Loved all the kid actors. Eddie and Ritchie in particular were perfect. Most of the changes from the book didn't bother me since they nailed the essence and feel and tone so well. Wish they could have kept some of the cosmic/turtle weirdness, but apparently they needed too much CGI and are going to have some flashbacks in part 2(which is pretty much a done deal since it made 4x its budget on the opening weekend).

Oh and whenever Pennywise's eyes are looking in different directions that's a thing the actor can actually do in real life. No CGI.

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13 hours ago, Sour Billy Tipton said:

Can someone who read the novel, please explain to me the point of the Beverly storyline in which rumors are going around town about her promiscuity?  I found it to be a completely pointless red herring that was likely created because of multiple re-writes and scenes being left on the cutting room floor.

I think its just supposed to be about bullying. I don't remember if it's in the original book or not, in fact I just bought the new Hardcover release to have as a reading copy so I don't wear my original anymore.

 

Edit: I'm glad they let the new director rewrite that script. The leaked version was terrible.

 

Edit 2: I just realized in 1989 I would have been about the same age, I wonder if that's why it clicked with me so much. Also I had Georgies Wallpaper growing up and that freaked me the fuck out.

 

Edit 3: Dammit I keep thinking of stuff. I'll tag this in case, but

Spoiler

Loved the fucking deadlights.

 

Edited by Darth Richard II

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14 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Also, King has said It is the one thing he'll never, ever write a sequel too, because Pennywise scares him so much.

Well, he said he'd never write about Pennywise again, I guess he could do a sequel with The Losers without him but that would suck.

I know that, but he could change his mind. Or make it not Pennywise but one of his offspring. It is very convenient that Ben supposedly killed all of them.

But it is King who riddled his other works with pretty confident graffiti that 'Pennywise lives'. I don't know how he could be alive, though.

14 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

King doesn't pre plan at all when he writes. He just sits down and writes til he stops. It's why a lot of his endings suck.

Yeah, and that's certainly part of the problem. He could polish his own writing and plots if he cared to rewrite things or think about a proper ending when he is there.

14 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

As for the orgy scene, he was high as fuck on every drug at the time, and I believe he's said he regrets writing it or at least the way he did. Someone in the lit forum linked to a really interesting essay about the whole thing, I should try and pull it up.

Ah, would be interested in reading that. As it stands it is very odd but it really could have had a purpose in the story at a different point. But it still isn't all that great an idea in the first place.

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18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But it is King who riddled his other works with pretty confident graffiti that 'Pennywise lives'. I don't know how he could be alive, though.

In the Dark Towerverse, I suppose it wouldn't be outside the range of possibilities that you might have numerous Pennywise's scattered about in different realities along the spokes of wheel.

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