Who would've thought audiences find clowns just as scary as they did back in 1990? IT has creeped its way back into theaters and the general consensus is that this movie will require you to wear your brown pants. Bill Skarsgard knocks it out of the park in the role of Pennywise and all of the child actors are extremely talented. However, that doesn't mean the film is a perfect adaptation of the original Stephen King book.
While the movie is an improvement on the original '90s miniseries, some clichés and tropes remain – and they have not aged well. Here are some ways the studio can improve on IT in Chapter 2.
1. Cut Back On The Silly Side Characters
A popular and tired cliche of Stephen King's bully characters is that they are really one-dimensional who are mean and evil just for the sake of being mean and evil. They don't really have any motives for doing the awful things they do, they just love doing them because they love inflicting pain onto others. One particular example this in IT was the character Henry Bowers.
Other examples of these characters from King's other works include Chris Hargensen in Carrie and Ace Merrill in Stand By Me. While we root for the protagonists to defeat these cut-out characters, they aren't exactly that fun to watch and mostly serve as roadblocks to the story. They rarely add anything to the overall plot, and instead they are just an annoying hurdle that the protagonist needs to jump through in order to face their real challenge.
2017's incarnation of It is no exception to this, as Henry Bowers and friends are merely a distraction from the real antagonist of Pennywise the Clown. Now, they do try to give this incarnation of Bowers more motivation for his terrible deeds by by introducing an abusive father. Unfortunately, this is only shown in one scene and doesn't have any shock value, seeings as two of the main characters also have abusive parents.
While we're on the subject, most of the children's parents aren't very subtle either. Beverly's father is always kept in dark shadows and speaks softly with a menacing stare, almost like he's a Bond villain. Same with Eddie's overprotective mother: the first time we are introduced to her, she is sitting on her chair like Jabba the Hutt and leers at our protagonist. She also has a weird, mean-spirited outburst directed at Beverly, calling her a whore, which is distracting from the rest of the movie.
If we can keep the focus on the Loser's Club in the sequel and dial down the excessive side-characters, we might see a more compelling plot. Our main adversary is a dancing clown, the side characters need not add more insanity to the mix.
2. Introduce Us To Maturin
Maturin is an important part of IT's storyline and a big player in Stephen King's universe. For those of you who don't know, Maturin is a gigantic, ancient turtle and he is the arch-enemy of Pennywise and the creator of the universe that we all know and love. He is considered to be a kind and benevolent creature who advises Bill Denbrough how to defeat Pennywise.
Maturin is also constantly withdrawn into his shell, coming out only rarely. He came out once because he had a stomachache, and he vomited out the mainstream universe. Due his constant slumber, Pennywise refers to him as old, lazy and stupid. However, this doesn't seem to be the case, as he has given wisdom and knowledge to many people who have needed it over the years.
Maturin resides in the Macroverse, the same dimension where Pennywise is originally from. Not only would it be cool to see the creator of Stephen King's universe finally put to the big screen, but we would finally see Pennywise's home dimension. Granted, Maturin is deceased by the time the Losers Club is grown-up, but it's an adaptation – they can easily change some things around.
3. Give IT An Actually Scary Form
Many people agree that the last half of the original IT miniseries was pretty bad. Even the director and Tim Curry, the original actor for Pennywise, have gone on the record to share their dislike of the series' finale.
In the book, Pennywise has the ability to transform into anything it pleases, meaning that its true form is unknown to everyone. Unfortunately, the original did not deliver on the scary aspect of Pennywise's final form. He was just a giant spider – that's it. Nothing super creative or terrifying about it, and fake-looking to boot. The book describes Pennywise's true form as something that can't be comprehended by human eyes. This is something that the studio should try to create in IT: Chapter 2. While it would definitely be difficult to bring that visual to the big screen, its not impossible.
They could also show the characters' reactions to his real form, or show something abstract for a split-second that can give a real shock value. Any attempt to make this a reality might not deliver on scares, but most audiences would definitely appreciate the effort to return to the source material.