Warning: Contains spoilers for Stephen King’s novel It (and possibly spoilers for the upcoming film adaptation, too).
For rampant Stephen King fans like myself, 2017 is set to be a year of glorious, clown-filled happiness.
We now have two trailers for Andrés Muschietti’s upcoming adaption of It, and so far things are looking promising. We’ve seen the iconic opening sequence with Georgie chasing his paper boat through the streets of Derry, and the beginning of a nicely creepy journey into a murky storm drain. We’ve even had our first proper glimpse of Pennywise.
In a bid to fuel my excitement and fill the aching void of time until the Sept. 8 release date, I decided to revisit some of the other scary moments from the book.
From Ben Hanscom’s first encounter with Pennywise to the impressively disgusting death of Patrick Hocksetter, here are some of the scenes I hope make the final cut.
1. Ben seeing Pennywise on the frozen canal
One of the first proper glimpses we get of Pennywise takes place after Ben Hanscom — a key member of The Losers’ Club — walks home on his own after staying late one day at school. When he stops to look at the frozen canal and sees a man dressed in a clown suit standing on the ice.
Everything about this sequence — the slow build-up; the creepy description of Pennywise; the final dash for freedom after the Derry Town Hall’s five o’clock whistle beaks Ben’s trance — is spectacularly eerie and tense.
2. Georgie’s picture moving
One thing Stephen King does particularly well in It is to tap into collective childhood fears — basically the ideas that everyone was a bit creeped out by as a kid.
In the scene above, Bill Denbrough goes into Georgie’s old room to look at his photo album. He flicks through to the back and finds a school photo of his brother taken 10 days before he died. Then the picture moves.
If that isn’t the stuff of nightmares, I don’t know what is.
3. Eddie Corcoran’s death
There are a couple of sections in It which explore the fates of Derry’s many missing children. The chapter describing Eddie Corcoran’s disturbing death is the first of these, and it’s memorable because King really doesn’t hold back on the description.
It starts with Eddie standing by the canal thinking about his violent stepfather, who was responsible for the death of his little brother Dorsey. Then Dorsey appears and grabs Eddie’s ankle. After Eddie escapes and begins walking quickly home, he realises something is following him. As you can probably guess, it doesn’t end well.
4. Bill and Richie get chased by the werewolf
Another childhood fear most people could empathise with — and which King ruthlessly exploits in this passage — is being trapped down in a cellar. Bill and Richie’s journey into the house on Neibolt Street — and their desperate dash for freedom — is one of the tensest sections in the book.
5. Beverly seeing blood in the sink
From the looks of the first teaser trailer, this is one of the scenes that’s definitely made the cut — which is a good thing, because it’s one of the most disturbingly memorable moments from the novel.
If hearing a disembodied voice floating up out of your sink and seeing blood gurgle from the drain isn’t bad enough, what makes the section above even worse is that Beverly’s father can’t see what she’s seeing. He can’t see the blood. Adults not believing — or simply dismissing — children is another theme that crops up again and again in It.
6. Stan getting trapped in the standpipe
A door swinging shut behind you might be one of the oldest horror movie tropes in the book, but it’s also one of the most effective. Most people hate the idea of being trapped, but when you’re trapped and there’s something you approaching you in the darkness — which is exactly what happens to Stan in the Derry standpipe — it’s even worse.
7. Patrick Hocksetter’s death
We already know Patrick Hocksetter will feature in the film — his missing poster is in both of the teasers — but I hope they include his whole story, too.
Hocksetter’s character is one I always remember from the book because he’s so damn creepy — he’s basically a budding serial killer who murders animals by locking them in an old fridge out at the town dump. Fittingly, his is one of the most disgusting deaths in the book. After looking in the fridge to check on his latest kill, Patrick discovers a nest of flying leeches which proceed to swarm out and latch themselves onto his body.
So which of the scenes above are most likely to be included in the film?
Well in order to fit the novel into two films they’ll likely have had to cut quite a bit of the detail, so peripheral characters like Eddie Corcoran and Patrick Hocksetter may not feature as heavily as they do in the book.
Bill seeing Georgie, blood coming out of Bev’s sink and the house on Neibolt Street all appear in the trailers though, which means we can probably expect at least some of the scenes above to feature in one form or another.
If I had to guess, I’d say they may decide to go heavy on Pennywise and cut back on some of It’s other forms (maybe the werewolf, for instance).
Until the sweet date of Sept. 8 hits, though, we’ll just have to wait and see.