Andrés Muschietti’s movie IT is the latest subject in Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers, where they not only point out the strengths and weaknesses of the film but also mention the real-clown controversy that arose prior to its release. 2017 was a big year for the horror genre, with films like Get Out and IT not only dominating the box office but also getting praise from audiences and critics, as well as a few awards here and there.
Based on Stephen King’s novel, IT: Chapter One tells half the story from the book, following a group of kids self-named “The Losers’ Club” as they come face to face with an evil shape-shifting entity that feeds on their fear. However, even the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time is not safe from the Honest Trailer treatment, and its time has come.
Screen Junkies asked their viewers to vote for the 2017 films they wanted to see an honest trailer for, and Muschietti’s adaptation of IT came in third place. The trailer begins by explaining the story comes from the “twisted mind” of master of horror Stephen King, without forgetting to mention the inconsistency of most adaptations of his work, whether for TV or the big screen. It goes on to mention that IT was “so scary” that it “killed the actual clown industry”; this as the World Clown Association expressed its concern over the film, stating that the portrayal of an evil clown affects their business.
Adapting a novel as rich as IT - which spans over 1000 pages - is not an easy task, so naturally a lot of details were left out of the film. Among the details that were changed from the novel is the time setting, with the movie being set in the '80s instead of the '50s. Hence, the film is full of references and details from the decade, and the trailer makes sure to point them out, even calling the Losers a club “full of Goonies and Lost Boys”, and tracing a link between the film and Stranger Things that brings the circle of nostalgia to its completion.
Speaking of the Losers, the Honest Trailer also points out the stereotypical nature of each character, e.g. there's the leader, the sick one, the bookworm, the girl one, the “kid from Stranger Things” (in glasses), and the other two (Stan and Mike) whose “character development got cut for time”. Lastly, it mentions a few other details that were changed for the film, such as the most controversial moment of the novel and the appearance of the Turtle.
While the film gets most of the characters' traits right, they made some significant changes with the character of Stan, who in the book has a bigger role than in the film. As for Mike, he has a key role in the second half of the story, and as revealed by Muschietti, there will be a “dark twist” on this character for the second film. In the end, Muschietti and company managed to bring a memorable adaptation of a classic that not only brought some controversy with the Clown Association and introduced a new generation to the works of Stephen King, but also showed that the horror genre is still alive and has a lot to offer.
Source: Screen Junkies
- IT Chapter Two (2019) release date: Sep 06, 2019