Stephen King is the twisted mind behind IT and countless other supernatural horror novels. One would think scaring him would be difficult to do, especially with his own work. However, it turns out that one scene in the new film version of IT, which was not part of the original novel, even scared the master of horror. Barbara Muschietti, producer of IT and sister of the film's director Andy Muschietti, says that King communicated with them after seeing the film to let them know that an early scene with the character of Stanley Uris and a creepy painting really got to him. According to Muschietti...
And it's something that actually, Stephen King, the first email he sent to Andy when he had seen the movie, the one fear he wrote back, he said, 'I fucking love the woman in the painting, it scared the shit out of me,' so.
While the film adaptation of IT takes most of its inspiration directly from the Stephen King novel of the same name, there are also a number of aspects of the story which are modified, if not completely new. One of these new additions is the primary fear of the character of Stanley Uris, played by Wyatt Oleff. Stanley is a young Jewish boy on the eve of his Bar Mitzvah as IT opens. Going into the office of his father the Rabbi, he is visibly shaken by a painting on the wall. It's a vaguely human-looking woman holding a flute, but the style of the painting has her looking distorted. Stanley doesn't even want to look at it. Without going into spoiler territory, you can probably guess that things get significantly scarier than a painting hanging on the wall.
The implication is that Stanley has been looking at this painting for a long time, since he was an even younger child. It would have had an even more chilling effect on him as a young boy and he's just never been able to shake the fear since. I can't say I blame him. The painting is haunting and why in the world would anybody want that on their wall?
The scene might actually be one of the scariest in the whole movie and, considering the fact it's not to be found in the novel, it's a new scene for everybody, including those who have read the book, or, as Barbara Muschietti tells Collider, the guy who wrote it.
Scaring Stephen King is a badge of honor that the IT movie and its creators should wear with pride. If you haven't let IT scare the hell out of you yet, you're in the minority, IT has owned the box office exceeding all expectations for the last two weeks.