I enjoyed the movie a lot when I finally saw it. I would say that the Georgie/Pennywise scene was pitch perfect (except for Georgie’s weird laughing and Pennywise staring), but after that Pennywise became a presence and lost his character. Bev was a breath of fresh air until, no fault of the actress, she was abducted.
It did take my third viewing to realize this is a PG13 movie with a bunch of cussing, thus the R. None of Pennywise’s scares or kills really merited the R rating.
Despite this I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is, but I’m really worried about Chapter 2.
My biggest red flags for the next movie are as follows:
1. Is Henry Bowers alive?
In movie language, he’s dead. He was thrown down a seemingly endless well, hitting the stones multiple times as he was pitched into the darkness. We never see him again.
Without Henry, we don’t have the physical presence (other than Tom Rogan) to capture the adults, to almost kill Mike, and break Eddie’s arm. Pennywise’s greatest asset again the adults is gone, unless they shift it all to Tom.
2. Did Beverly kill Alvin Marsh?
It took me watching it three times before I heard his grunts in both scenes after being hit, but it took me listening for them. Hell, he was bleeding from his head when Bill found him and the message, presumably written in his blood, on the walls.
Without Alvin being alive, Bev has no reason to ring the doorbell that leads to the Mrs. Kersh sequence, one of the best of the adult storyline.
We never get a real answer for this. We just know she’s moving to live with her Aunt in Seattle.
3. Are Victor Criss and Belch Huggins still alive?
Henry’s cronies are last scene hanging out next to the Trans Am when Bowers finds the knife. We see him kill his dad, but then they just disappear from the film. In movie language, they’re alive.
- The Script
. . . The script they used for this was based heavily on Cary Fukunaga’s last script. There are some small changes, but a lot of the scenes, dialogue, and interactions are the same. Some I saw was Mike was more prevalent in Cary’s story and the “Mama” style painting was actually a nude Judith with a sword.
There were comments about how they didn’t like the Ritual of Chüd and the Macroverse stuff. They’ve already announced that the research will default back to Mike. Mike will be the librarian, but he will be a junkie that uses drugs to learn about the Ritual of Chüd. In the original book, they had an underground play area that they smoked out using a fire to try and have a vision. Both Mike and Richie are the ones to see it.
My point is that the original writers that made this such a strong adaptation are no longer going to be involved in the project. So we’re going to get a new crop that’s going to be bigger, badder, and more badass than the first film, without the restraint that made this film so smart, if a watered down horror film.
- Do we really need the kids?
Yes, the kids are the best part of the book. They are the best part of the 1990 miniseries. And they are the best part of this movie.
However, for us IT book readers, they’ve already hit almost every milestone in the book. What made this movie so much stronger as an IT adaptation is that they ignored the adults. They didn’t undercut the tension of the childhood by introducing the adult cast and using flashbacks. It was all immediate.
And, for run time, we’re already at over 2/3rds of the original runtime without the adults. As much as I enjoyed them, shouldn’t we have the same immediacy for the adults’ storyline to actually make it interesting and not undercut them with the kids’ charisma?
I don’t know. I got really steeped in the book while preparing my video for the movie, then seeing it multiple times, it had a lot of unresolved threads that leave me questioning the story for the next book.