10 of the most terrifying moments from IT the novel.
"Swear to me...swear to me that it isn't dead...you'll come back."
With just a few mere months before the release of the 2017 reboot of Stephen King's IT, hardcore horror fans have been buzzing about either completely against this re-telling, feeling it was a slap in the face to the cult classic mini series starring the amazing Tim Curry as Pennywise the clown in 1990, or they are completely sparked over how terrifying this re-telling is, most of all since the story will be broken into two separate films, and from the looks of the trailer, seems to be sticking to the novel, and isn't holding back like the mini series was forced to do. I for one have been a huge Stephen King fan since birth. The 1990 mini series scared the ever living shit out of me as a kid, and I now re-watch with fond memories. The novel, all 1000+ pages hands down goes in my top 3 favorite King books of all time. I find this story terrifying, and one of King's best. I've loosely followed production of this film, hoping not to have anything spoiled for me. The second the trailer hit a few weeks before, I was floored. There were TONS of little Easter Eggs for fans of the book, and judging from what I saw, it appears to be in good hands.
I will agree the time shift from the 1950's to the 1980's really threw me for a loop, but wanting to match up the 27 years to present day makes sense enough and I have a feeling these tiny little changes might actually work in the film's favor. Until then, I most likely will be re-watching the mini series a few more times this summer, flipping through the novel yet again, and posting about this brilliant novel, and how I can't recommend it enough to people who haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet.
Until then, here are 10 moments from the novel that I found completely terrifying. Remember kids, there are BIG spoilers ahead so beware!!!
10) Henry takes a ride.
- After Henry has escaped his mental hospital, he finally makes his way to Derry. After attacking Mike at the library and becoming wounded, he's about to give up and bleed to death when a Plymouth Fury comes cruising along the dark deserted street. I'm sure this was a little nod to King's novel Christine which was published and made into a movie the year before. Henry gets in only to see his dead buddy Belch driving the car completely rotting. The way King describes Belch rotting in graphic detail will seriously turn any reader's stomach. Henry drinks booze from the glovebox, and is given instructions on how to pick off the rest of the Loser's who are staying at the Derry Town House. This is a very creepy scene, most of all since the entire car ride only lasts a few minuites, but King makes you think it goes on for a lifetime, most of all with Belch not speaking, and how bugs are squirming through his rotting skin, and how only once when he does speak it's the voice of Pennywise coming through. My favorite moment of this part of the book is how quickly Henry wants to get out of the car after it pulls up to the curb because he hears something moving around in the back seat.
9) Frankenstein in the tunnels.
- What I'm most interested in seeing with the re-telling is how they are going to update the monsters and childhood fears from the children from the 1950's to the late 1980's. I did notice there's a character called The Butcher. I believe this fella is going to be the villain of maybe some slasher movie the kids see who will replace the werewolf. Still, it would be interesting to see if they are going to keep this part that always bothered me from the novel. Pretty much Henry and his gang chase the lucky 7 down into the sewers wanting to finally kill them. After a showdown, the kids are forced into the dark tunnels, while the gang chases after them. Well unlucky for Henry's group they were all a pawn in Pennywise's game to get the gang trapped down there. Lost in the darkness, they wander, chasing the kids, until finally they are in a pitch black tunnel. Here Pennywise appears as Frankenstein's monster, ripping off Victor's head, and killing Belch as well before Henry runs away. This part isn't described in graphic detail, but it gets the point across. Frightening.
8) The mummy/Pennywise on the river.
- There is a section of the book after each member of the gang receives the phone calls to come back to Derry in which they recall several memories that start coming back to them once they agree to come back. It begins to slowly hit them that something strange and terrifying happened to each and every once of them before that faithful summer. For Ben, it's shortly after his mother and him moved to Derry. In the dead of winter, just a few months before when the murders just begin, Ben stays after one evening to help a teacher collect books, before getting on his snowsuit and walking back home. Here something catches his eye when he crosses over the bridge that looks out over the canal. Down below it's frozen solid, and he sees what appears to be a mummy slowly lumbering towards him holding balloons that are blowing against the wind. That's when the mummy appears to have taken the form, at least from the neck up of a clown. Right before it reaches up to Ben, he breaks out of his trance due to what I believe is the town whistle, and runs away. A haunting visual for sure.
7) Patrick Hockstetter's death.
- One of the scariest parts of the book explains that Henry had another member of his gang. Patrick is a slightly over weight odd dirty young boy who clearly has issues and is deeply disturbed. It goes into detail of how it all began when Patrick killed his infant brother, and felt no emotional guilt afterwards. That's when time passed, and Patrick begins to kill poor animals, mostly by locking them into an old rusty refrigerator outside the dump. Patrick is one sick puppy, and after basically giving Henry a hand job while poor Bev watches from afar, they get into a huge fight and Henry threatens that if he says anything about what happened between the two of them he'll tell everyone about his special refrigerator. Bev continues to watch from afar as Patrick goes down the path a little bit to the same refrigerator that was mentioned, wanting to clean it out in case Henry goes tell anyone. It goes into detail over how many animals he's actually killed, including a puppy, and just recently a bird. Opening it up, Patrick discovers these strange little moth creatures that look like tiny little flying balloons with suckers attached to them. Here the things begin flying and attaching themselves to Patrick who suddenly sees how much these things hurt and starts to scream. The flying bugs latch on, sucking his blood, as more and more start attacking him, even sucking out one of his eyeballs. Frantic, and losing blood, he screams before finally collapsing. Here Bev hears a voice (Pennywise) as she hides, and the last thing Patrick sees before passing out is being dragged to the refrigerator. Later Patrick's decomposing body floats down river, before getting stuck in the sewers where it remains nearly 30 years later.
6) Neilbolt street.
- What fans are most excited about after seeing the trailer to the reboot has to be the appearance of Neilbolt street. This is the house that Eddie first encounters, and later brings the gang back with him after Bill and Richie do some investigating of their own. This is where they believe is a passage where "IT" can come and go. This house is setting to three different terrifying moments of the book that I've included on this list, My personal favorite has to be the second time it's shown when Bill and Richie go alone, and the second they investigate the place and head down to the basement they run into the werewolf. Here they use sneezing powder to escape (another great element I love is how childhood gags actually work if they believe in them.) What's so terrifying about this moment is how both boys escape the house, get onto Bill's bike and start speeding down the hill only to have the werewolf chase them all the way down the road in the middle of broad daylight! I love how scary this visual is, and how once they finally get far enough away they turn back to see a quick flash of a pom-pom disappear beneath one of the sewers. Just the exhaustion, relief, and terror with these two boys afterwards, and how close they have to coming. One of the other most powerful moments is when all 7 go there in hopes to finally kill whatever IT is. What's so scary is how the house slowly starts to mess with their minds, making the illusion that it's ten times bigger than it actually is. The house seems endless, and the group stays together before the werewolf legit comes exploding from the bathroom, attacking them. Here we see in graphic detail as it tries attacking them, including slicing Ben up pretty badly. Here is the first atempt before they go underground where they try to sue the silver to kill it. What I like about this part of the book is how they know if they can wound it...they can kill it.
5) The creature.
- Something I'm wishing and praying will end up making it to the film is one of the most unsettling moments in the entire novel. Something that was cut out of the mini series, but shows how blood thirsty and cruel this force that Pennywise is. We meet another Eddie, a kid who isn't part of the Loser's Club but almost has every right to belong. Eddie has had a very tough life. His mother married an abusive asshole who beats him constantly, as well as being responsible for his younger brother's death the year before. We go into detail on Eddie's background, as well as how his step-father covered up his brother's death as an accident. Here poor Eddie spends the first official night of summer vacation hiding out in the park since his report card wasn't good and he's afraid he might get beat by his step-dad. It's heartbreaking to hear about how hopeless Eddie feels at such a young age, and how much he likes the park since it's a place he can hide out and is even thinking about maybe sleeping in it for the night. As he sits by the canal, feet dangling, something grabs his ankle. When he looks down, he can't believe his eyes. It's the rotting corpse of his dead brother. Frightened, he jumps up, and doesn't see anything. Turning and running, he first slams into a tree, before wandering in the darkness thinking he hears his name being whispered. Hearing something coming from the river, he hurries away, trying to make it to the opening of the gate when he accidentally falls over a turned over bench. Here when he turns, he sees the monster from the creature of the black lagoon coming over to him. Frightened beyond words, it goes the last seconds of Eddie's life and how he fumbles, trying to find a zipper on the creature that has it's large clawed hands around his neck, thinking it's a man in a suit. It isn't long before the creature rips Eddie's head off, and drags him back into the river. What makes this even more creepy is the aftermath involving his step-father and how years later he kills himself, claiming his step-son appeared to him shortly before he took his own life.
4) Stan and the dead kids.
- They sorta mixed Neilbolt street and the Sandpipe together in the mini series. What I loved about the novel was how many landmarks were haunted by Pennywise, including the giant Paul Bunyan stature (which appears to be in the re-boot) all of these things are terrifying, one of the worst is Stan's story of the sandpipe, and how long it takes him to finally confess what happened to him the day he helps Bev with cleaning the blood up from the sink. Here we see this happened months ago, when Stan was bird watching in the park and how he seemed to be called to the giant sandpipe in the middle of the park. This landmark has tons of history, and none of it is good, including how a woman once dropped her baby into it years ago while on tour inside, and how years ago a group of boys broke in and accidentally fell in one night and drowned. Here Stan wanders in, and hears carnival music. Slowly he wanders in, going up the curving stairs on the inside, before suddenly something tells him to get out of there. Turning to leave, the door to the outside slams shut trapping him inside. Slamming against the door in panic, he hears the wet soggy sounds of footsteps slowly coming down the stairs towards him. Holding his bird book tightly in his hand like a bible, he can't really think of what to do and starts sputtering off different bird names before magically the door swings open right before whatever was slowly approaching him touches him. Running out, he falls and scoots back on his bottom before seeing in the shadows the water logged gray faded pant legs of the dead boys, including one of them opening their hands with orange pom-poms attached to the end of each finger, almost beckoning him before the door slams shut. No wonder Stan was messed up after what happened!
3) Mike and the giant bird.
- I actually just recently re-read this part of the novel and couldn't believe how scary this was. Mike recalls at the beginning of spring how sometimes instead of helping his father out around the farm, his father would send him on little field trips all around the area to learn about the town's history. Here one Saturday afternoon he rides his bike out to the old iron works where years ago in the 1930's a deadly explosion happened during an Easter Egg hunt, killing tons of little children. All alone, he wanders around until suddenly a giant bird, ten times it's regular size, almost looking like a monster from a 1950's movie appears and begins trying to attack Mike right there out in the open. Running, he goes into an old tunnel, and as the bird tries to trap him, squeezing itself into the tunnel, he picks up tiny pieces of tile and starts fighting back, even taking out one of the bird's eyes. What's most terrifying is how scared Mike is when he finally crawls out after waiting, almost expecting the bird to return.
2) Fingers coming beneath the door.
- A large part that was cut was how Bev's abusive husband Tom is actually insane and partly possessed by Pennywise and follows her all the way to Derry. How just by chance he finds Bill's wife Audra, and is the reason she gets kidnapped and taken down to the sewers. One of the scariest parts is towards the end when Audra knows something is wrong when she wakes up in her hotel room just outside of Derry. How on the TV she sees Pennywise and her producer, and a blinding white light appears underneath the bathroom door with long white fingers appearing beneath the door before she hurries out of there. To think I'm writing this before going to bed. I'm a total fucking idiot....
1) The leper
- HELL NO STORM! The first time we see Neilbolt street is when Eddie recalls going into pretty much the shady part of Derry, where the houses are mostly spread out and abaonded with homeless people living wherever they can near the railroad tracks. One time Eddie stumble upon Neilbolt street and crawls underneath the porch where Pennywise appears, but this time as a leper who's entire face is rooting. Here he tries grabbing onto him, telling him how much he charges for a blowjob before Eddie scrambles away. Judging from these on-set photos I have a feeling this part will be perfectly captured from how scary it was described in the book.
So the countdown continues! Let's see how many of these parts actually make it into the final film!