The latest incarnation of Stephen King's book IT has already become much more successful than anyone could have predicted. It was scary, it was silly, it was everything that a true horror- and Stephen King-fan wanted in a movie about a killer, shape-shifting clown. However, in its two hour runtime, it's easy to overlook some of the harder-to-spot Easter Eggs that popped up in the movie, even for the most hardcore King fan. Here are only some of the small details you might have missed during your first viewing of IT.
1. Beetlejuice And Gremlins
In the movie's opening, the show references Bill's interest in horror movies by displaying posters of Beetlejuice and Gremlins. Not particularly hardcore #horror films as Bill is only a kid, but these could be described as horror-comedies. But why did they include a poster of Beetlejuice in there?
Well, in IT, Pennywise is shown to open his jaw very wide, displaying many razor sharp teeth before devouring his prey. This is very reminiscent of Barbara's transformation near the end of the film. She, too, opens her jaw wide to display her sharp teeth in an attempt to scare the new owners of her house away.
The reason Gremlins was featured is because it's a film about something that seems friendly and harmless but transforms into a hellish monster that wreaks havoc. This is very similar to how Pennywise uses the form of a friendly clown to lure his young victims to their demise.
Also, both Beetlejuice and Gremlins are owned by Warner Brothers, the same company that owns the rights to IT.
2. I Heart Derry
In both the book and the movie, Bowers Gang member Patrick Hockstetter meets his demise at the hands of Pennywise the Clown, however his death in the movie is very different from the book. In the book, Hockstetter is attacked by Pennywise in the form of flying leeches that leave large holes on his body. He is then dragged back to Pennywise's lair where he is later eaten.
In the movie, Hockstetter is attacked in the sewers, but before meeting his demise, a balloon appears before him that has "I Heart Derry" written on it. While this is nothing like his death in the book, this is very similar to another death that took place in the second part of the novel. At the start of the second part of the book, a gay couple is attacked by some homophobic bullies and one is thrown from a bridge.
He survives the initial fall but is soon met by Pennywise, who crushes Mellon's ribs and drags him away to devour him. His partner saw this ordeal go down and also saw that the overpass was filled with balloons that have "I Heart Derry" written on them. So why was Hockstetter attacked in the same way that a gay man was attacked in the book?
This is probably because in the novel, Hockstetter seemed to have preferred men based on a pretty controversial scene in the book. It's safe to say this is a subtle wink to one of King's most contentious original plot points.
3. Paul Bunyan
When the Losers Club meets in the park to discuss their encounters with Pennywise the Clown, a statue of Paul Bunyan can be seen in the background. This is a nod to the original source material where Pennywise would use Bunyan as the main fear for Richie Tozier, but who's fear was changed to clowns for the film.
Another practical reason that the statue made it into the final film was because there really is a statue of Bunyan in Bangor, Maine, one of the primary filming locations.
4. The Turtle
When Bill is in Georgie's room mourning the loss of his deceased brother, he picks up what seems to be a miscellaneous toy of Georgie's. However, if you look closely, it's actually a LEGO turtle that his brother made. There is also another mention of turtles when one of the kids claims they saw a turtle in the swimming scene.
This could be a reference to Maturin, the giant ancient turtle who created King's universe after vomiting when he had a stomachache. He also stands as an opposing threat to Pennywise, who refers to Maturin as old, lazy and stupid. In the book, Maturin comes to Bill in a ritual and gives him the wisdom he needs to defeat the monster.
After the film's climatic battle against #IT, Beverly explains to the group what she remembers after being hypnotized by the Deadlights. While she isn't able to remember a lot, she say that she saw a vision of them older and in their thirties. This is clearly foreshadowing the events of the sequel when the Losers Club grow up and have to return to Derry to finish their mission to stop Pennywise once and for all.
6. Final Goodbyes
In the film's finale, the Losers Club makes a blood pact to return to Derry if Pennywise ever returns to finish him off. They all hold hands and agree to the pact, then go their separate ways, but the way they leave might foreshadow something darker in the sequel. During the group's departure, Stan is the first to leave while Eddie isn't far behind.
In the book, when Stan learns that he must return to Derry to face Pennywise once more and uphold his bargain in the blood pact, he slits his wrists in the bathtub and dies. During the final confrontation with It in his spider form, Eddie's arm is ripped off while fighting him and he quickly dies of blood loss. These deaths were also shown in the original #IT miniseries.
But these are only some of the little details that were hidden in this movie. IT is a fairly lengthy film, clocking in at two hours and ten minutes, and you'll definitely need to give it a watch a few more times to catch them all.
What other references did you notice in the movie?