So how does the movie compare to the book?
To be honest, I read the book back in high school and it was fairly scary back then. I vaguely remember it, so not likely a great comparison to the book. I do remember there were many more scenes of going down to the river and the clown kind of hanging out places. In the movie, the clown and his various incarnations show up even around town. So they have adopted the endless by the river scenes to more interactive places: slaughterhouse, library, residential bathrooms and naturally abandoned houses, which is a bit more interesting than the literary source. One other differences is in the book you have both timelines: youth, mixed with the adult. The movie focused only on the childhood as to reduce the confusion and fit inside of 2 hr movie maxium. In the book, the creature appears as whatever the children fear the most: clowns, wearwolves and mummies. The movie does follow on these concepts with different feared creatures the children don't want to meet. The movie doesn't dwell on the alien origin of IT, but does tell of its 27 year feeding cycle. Another plot twist change was that the girl has to have sex with all the boys to escape the sewers in the book, while in the movie she only has a bad reputation founded on lies. It would have made it beyond X rating to have 12 year olds having sex, right? Another change is that the bully gang is older, so that they can drive a car and intimidate the youths where ever they bike too.
Yes, amazingly it has. Several clowns have complained how the book and 1990s version of IT led to kids being terrified of clowns. I think the use of a clown face in the Saw series didn't help ether or the people dressed with masks a bit like clowns in the Purge. Another perversion of the clowns was a bizarre group of guys dressing up as evil clowns in California. This issue led to no crime, but led McDonalds to pull Ronald McDonald clown from commercials for at least one year.
He said he wanted to write a story about a troll like creature but give him flexibility to cover much more ground via the sewer system. Creepily enough the real Bangor system was built hastily, so that noone really has a good lay of how the system is laid out in its entirety, so it is easy to get lost in the system as the characters do in the movie and book.
Naturally, to make IT creepy the adults that are the care takers of the children are in some cases quite twisted. The father of Bev is molesting her in the book while his behavior is only hinted at in the movie. Mr. Marsh has a controlling behavior that leads to pedofilia. Since the movie strips out the scene of her sleeping with all the boys, we kind of miss out on this connection, since it is common among sexually abused children to be promiscuous in adulthood.
Another creepy parent was the mother that is drugging her kid with placebo drugs and is over bearing as well. These characters really help flesh out the whole feel that something isn't right with Derry.
How would you improve the movie?
Well the bullies are fairly mean almost murderous, but the derogatory language has been neutered in the film. This is BS PC culture in that these types of kids would use: kike for the Jew, fatty (which they do use) and nigger for the black kid. To have kind of cleaned up some of the language kind of ruins a bit the film, but this is PC culture we live in nowadays.
So have you done any work on It?
My painting version of IT is a blend of Ronald McDonald and the 1990s version of IT along with the key phrase, "I'm lovin' IT" from McDonalds. Its a commentary on how the real killer of our youth is fast food pitched via Happy Meals and Clowns. You can learn more in my blog on the painting below.