Horrifying Things That Happened In The Book 'IT' Way Too Awful for the Movies 

Jessika M. Thomas
Updated September 5, 2019 5.3k votes 1.3k voters 107.9k views 11 items

List Rules Vote up the most brow-raising differences between the book and the movie.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

There have been many books made into films, but few authors can boast a number equal to Stephen King. Nearly all the movies based on Stephen King novels try to bring most of the horror in the literature to the silver screen, yet the It (2017) film actually circumvents some of the most terrifying events that occur in the book. For example, there's a huge sex scene that is completely omitted in Andrés Muschietti's cinematic interpretation of King's written story. 

Stephen King's It was made into a two-part miniseries in the 1990s, which was criticized for being comical and not scary enough. Nearly two decades later, Muschietti decided to bring It to the big screen in an ambitious film adaption with a wealth of horrifying scenes. Yet amongst all the frightening hubbub, book readers of It have been quick to point out that lots of scary things were left out in the movie. Just what exactly didn't make the cut for the movie, It? Here is a list of differences between the novel and the film adaptation of King's creepy clown masterpiece. Vote up the most surprising deviations from the book version of It. 

Patrick Hockstetter And Henry Bowers Are More Evil In The Book
Patrick Hockstetter And ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Horrifying Things That Happened In The Book 'IT' Way Too Awful for the Movies
Photo:  Warner Bros.

Hockstetter and Bowers are bullies in both the movie and the book. However, the book goes into much more detail about just how sadistic these two are capable of being. In the book, Hockstetter suffocates his five-year-old brother, Avery, to death with a pillow and is even sexually aroused by his murderous actions. He even tortures animals by starving them to death and keeps their corpses in a refrigerator at a junkyard. Hockstetter is an unlikeable bully in the film, but we don't get the full picture of just how evil he can be, and he's killed off in the film fairly early.

There's also an omitted sequence in the book where Hockstetter gives his friend and fellow bully, Henry Bowers, a handjob, and offers to perform oral sex on him. At this, Bowers punches Hockstetter in the mouth. Bowers also kills Mike's dog in the book and almost kills Mike himself. All these examples of the sadistic nature of Bowers and Hockstetter were left out of the film adaptation. 

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The Movie Is Missing A Weird Scary Turtle That Teaches Them How To Defeat Pennywise
The Movie Is Missing A W... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Horrifying Things That Happened In The Book 'IT' Way Too Awful for the Movies
Photo: StuBramley/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

In what is by far the most out there aspect of Stephen King's book, the Losers Club meet Maturin, an ancient turtle who created the cosmos and explains to them what sort of demon Pennywise is and how they can defeat him by performing the Ritual of Chüd. Confused yet? 

This storyline, while technically integral to the book, is what makes It borderline fantasy in addition to horror. Maturin is also a character King fans will recognize from The Dark Tower series. In order to keep the movie more grounded, and far less confusing, it makes sense they'd leave out any mention of this odd entity. Though true fans will notice in the movie that when the Losers go swimming in one scene, one of them calls out that they've seen a turtle. A nice little easter egg reference to the ancient being of the book.

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The Controversial Sex Scene Is Nowhere To Be Found In The Film
The Controversial Sex Sc... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Horrifying Things That Happened In The Book 'IT' Way Too Awful for the Movies
Photo:  Warner Bros.

There's a rather controversial chapter toward the end of the book where the group of 11-year-old kids participate in an orgy of sorts. The scene is led by the only female in the group, Beverly Marsh. An argument broke out amongst the group of kids, and Marsh realized that It was using his powers to cause the group to fight. She rationalized that the only way to unify the group was to have sex with each of her six friends.

Thankfully, this scene was not included in the movie. The filmmakers decided to just stick with the kids making a blood oath. Of course, a blood pact was made in the book as well, but the filmmakers thought the oath alone was enough.

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Beverly Marsh Becomes A Damsel In Distress In The Film
Beverly Marsh Becomes A ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Horrifying Things That Happened In The Book 'IT' Way Too Awful for the Movies
Photo:  Warner Bros.

Beverly Marsh’s film portrayal was pretty accurate to her book character. She had to deal with bullies from school, which was mentioned in the novel, but seemed to go a bit more in depth in the film. She also had to deal with her creepy, perverted father in both the book and film.

One of the drastic changes that the film made regarding Marsh’s character was her getting kidnapped by Pennywise. In the book, Marsh was brave and never was a "damsel in distress." However, in the film, she gets taken by It and needs the boys to rescue her. She even has to receive a kiss to wake up, which really takes away from the feminine strength seen throughout the film up until that point. 

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