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.
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.
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.
Rightfully left out for numerous reasons, not least of which is children on hallucinogens and cultural appropriation galore, in the book the Losers Club kids try to gain insight into their foe by getting high. Ben does some research and learns about Native American spirit quests where tribal people would smoke until they hallucinate and are shown visions. The kids build a smoke hole and all but Richie and Mike pass out from all the fumes.
They are, however, successful in discovering that Pennywise is actually an ancient creature feeding off of Derry. The movie shows the kids getting to know Pennywise on a less, uh, deep level.
In the book, Mike Hanlon learns a lot about the town of Derry from his father, who was dying from cancer. Hanlon also learns about It from his father. In the 2017 movie, you never meet Mike's father because both his parents died in a house fire. Mike lives with his grandfather on a farm, who is a hardened, tough love kind of guy.